File(s) under permanent embargo
Towards making informed decisions on selecting promising work zone safety treatments
journal contributionposted on 2014-01-01, 00:00 authored by Ashim DebnathAshim Debnath, R Blackman, N Haworth
Lack of detailed and accurate safety records on incidents in Australian work zones prevents a thorough understanding of the relevant risks and hazards. Consequently it is difficult to select appropriate treatments for improving the safety of roadworkers and motorists alike. This paper outlines development of a conceptual framework for making informed decisions about safety treatments by 1) identifying safety issues and hazards in work zones, 2) understanding the attitudes and perceptions of both roadworkers and motorists, 3) reviewing the effectiveness of work zone safety treatments according to existing research, and 4) incorporating local expert opinion on the feasibility and usefulness of the safety treatments. Using data collected through semi-structured interviews with roadwork personnel and online surveys of Queensland drivers, critical safety issues were identified. The effectiveness of treatments for addressing the issues was understood through rigorous literature review and consultations with local road authorities. Promising work zone safety treatments include enforcement, portable rumble strips, perceptual measures to imply reduced lane width, automated or remotely-operated traffic lights, end of queue measures, and more visible and meaningful signage.