As part of Victoria’s Big Build there is an increasing presence of trucks on our roads as they transport material, equipment and machinery. This means more potential interactions between pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists (referred to as vulnerable road users) and trucks.
As we conduct our program of works, the safety of our workers and the public is our number one priority.
We are working to reduce the risks to vulnerable road users through a range of approaches:
- Fitting additional safety equipment to some of our heavy vehicles
- Raising awareness with truck drivers on sharing the road with vulnerable road users
- Improving the design of temporary road and footpath diversions around worksites
- Providing information to vulnerable road users about the safest behaviours around trucks
This has enabled us to more carefully implement and incorporate the safe systems approach into our works:
If you see any safety concerns while traveling around our sites, please contact us.
We are working collaboratively with our contractors to develop truck driver awareness training around safely sharing the roads with vulnerable road users.
Trucks have many blind spots and sometimes it can be hard to see vulnerable road users on the road. This initative focuses on influencing behavioural change of vulnerable road users, to help them share the road with trucks more safely.
Working directly with cyclists, we used:
- A human behavioural technique to identify three key actions that cyclists should be influenced to choose more often.
- A range of influence strategies to encourage people to choose those behaviours.
These three key behaviours now form the basis of the ‘Swapping Seats’ events - funded and led by Rail Projects Victoria and developed and delivered by Bicycle Network – which involves:
- Having a truck present in a location with high foot and cycling traffic
- Encouraging the public to interact with real truck drivers and step up into the truck
- Use of props to clearly show the blind spots around the truck
- Allowing cyclist to see what truck drivers can see from their cabin seat.
Route selection and management
A ‘Human Impact Route Assessment’ (HIRA) tool has been developed to help construction contractors and trucking companies assess the risks to their proposed truck routes. The tool includes a number of dimensions such as the nature of the community and facilities along the proposed route, the infrastructure available for vulnerable road users, and specific event or time-based features. The tool aims to help choose the best routes for protecting VRUs.
Best practice guidance for traffic management
The guidelines (a summary reference tool) have been developed to provide those with responsibility for traffic management plans a source to determine whether the safety of pedestrians and cyclists have been adequately considered around construction sites.
The guideline has been made available to contractors with construction sites which would impact on public areas and roadways.
We are working collaboratively with our contractors to progressively fit safety equipment to some of the heavy vehicles servicing the higher risk worksites to enhance safety conditions for VRUs. This equipment includes side under-run protection, cameras/mirrors/sensors to eliminate blind spots, signage warning VRUs about blind spots, and devices to sound a warning when the vehicle is about to turn left.