Ways I Can Help You
Here are some areas where I have expertise and experience that can help you (scroll down):
2. Road Safety Audits - casting a critical and experienced eye over road and traffic designs
3. Road safety audits of Roadwork Traffic Guidance Schemes
4. Help with Signs and Line Marking
5. Crash Assessments and Investigations
Let me provide you with some details on these items:
Improve the skills of your engineers and other technical people with some targeted training. You don't employ technical people? You rely on other companies to design projects for you? Then I can help by training your people on what to look out for and what questions to ask. To discuss your training needs, contact me.
Here are some areas I can help you with training:
Road safety audit training (I've been a leading presenter for over 25 years)
Embedding safety into your designs - basic concepts; human factors; the connection - road layouts and crashes
Crash investigation techniques (I've been presenting this for over 15 years)
Traffic control devices - general introduction. Getting the basics right
Road safety audit and the Safe System - how do these go together? (see the slides below for part of the story)
Traffic signs - general introduction (I've been involved for over 35 years)
Line marking principles and some of the details (Another long-term area of expertise)
Directions signs - principles, plus the latest details (I led the working group that developed the latest update)
Major project design - thinking about signs early enough to reduce design costs and eliminate redesigning.
Road Safety Engineering 101 for Lawyers - How design connects with crashes, what information to seek, what to look for on site, legislation on managing roads (Vic.)
These two slides are from a training presentation about the connection between the Safe System and Road Safety Auditing. The recent Austroads Guide to Road Safety, Part 6 seeks to show how Safe System Assessments and Road Safety Audits fit into the project development process (see the left slide). In doing so this new guide undervalues road safety engineering experience (the cornerstone of effective road safety audits) and it overplays the value of Safe System Assessments. The slide on the right shows there is a poor appreciation of the value of road safety auditing (by an experienced audit team) at the concept stage.
It's as if practitioners are having trouble finding a useful home for the Safe System in infrastructure projects. Slides © Rob Morgan
2. Road Safety Audits of Designs - from Early Concepts to Detailed Designs
Forget about the current fad of doing 'Safe System Assessments' at the concept stage and leaving road safety audits till later. Too many road safety and operational problems occur because a design concept was wrong, or the consequences of an early design decision were not appreciated. That can only be resolved by getting an experienced road safety auditor (road safety engineer) to cast a critical eye over the concept (and any details) at an early stage.
If your job is 'project delivery', you'll need to get the right expertise input early enough. There's no point getting a road or traffic project delivered 'on time and within budget' if it doesn't work properly when completed, due to some unexpected road safety or operating problem.
Maybe you don't need a full-blown road safety audit? Maybe you just need me to peruse and comment on a concept - or give you some useful advice on a design detail.
A phone call costs nothing. Feel free to contact me to discuss any issue.
My experience includes:
- Practicing in traffic management, traffic design and road safety engineering for over 45 years.
- Being the principal author of the original 1994 Austroads Road Safety Audit guide and the 2002 and 2009 revisions. This work still forms the bulk of the current Austroads practical road safety audit guide (Austroads Guide to Road Safety, Part 6A, 2019).
- Carrying out road safety audit and crash investigation training in all Australian jurisdictions since 1994. This training continues today. One benefit of this Australia-wide involvement is that I get to see a wide range of design concepts, road safety issues and problem-solving ideas.
- Carrying out hundreds of road safety audits around Australia - for design projects, existing roads and roadwork traffic management schemes.
- Conducting crash investigations across Australia. This provides me with ongoing experience about road design elements that can result in crashes.
- An expertise in traffic signs and line marking that is probably without parallel outside state road authorities. I have been an active member of the national committee responsible for AS 1742, the MUTCD (Manual of uniform traffic control devices) since 1984. Aspects of traffic signing that I have initiated or had a major influence on, over the years include: freeway-to-freeway interchange signing (a recent initiative of mine), parking control signs (I did most of the design work for these, so they are legible and comprehendable), street name signs (the Standard includes my earlier work on legibility), alpha-numeric route numbering , combined curve and intersection warning signs (I was the first to propose this in Australia), the principal of upward pointing arrows on direction signs, and standardising the use of arrow shapes on direction signs. Much of this is based on my appreciation of 'human factors' in road safety.
- An appreciation of road user behaviour and other 'human factors' issues that influence safe and effective road designs. 'Standards don't necessarily equal safety' is the theme of one of my training presentations: we need to design roads that are 'fit for purpose'. This requires an understanding of road user behaviour.
Select your road safety auditors carefully.
Many practitioners offer to do road safety audits.
Some claim to specialise in it. Sadly, very few are very good at it - too many safety problems continue to slip through.
I trust I will be able to help you. But if I am unable to, I am happy to recommend other people that I know have the right experience, aptitude, attitude and competence.
My audit reports: I will provide you with relevant, direct and succinct advice on any safety-related issues that need to be addressed.
3. Audits of Roadwork Traffic Guidance Schemes
Roadworks are involved in an undue number of collisions. Changing the traffic layout on a road and having workers close to traffic has the potential to create safety problems, unless they are safely managed.
A road safety audit of a Traffic Management Plan or a Traffic Guidance Scheme is not just about the scheme's compliance with guidelines or standards. What are the potential conflicts and risks? Will it function as intended?
Out on site, an audit of the traffic management arrangements is not simply to check their conformance with the approved plans. It's a check of its ‘fitness for purpose’: will it work safely, in the manner that was intended?
I have undertaken roadworks audits for numerous companies, as well as for road authorities. If I can help you, please contact me.
4. Help with Signs and Lines
When it comes to traffic signs, I am probably the most experienced person in Australia outside the state road authorities. I have been an active member of the national committee responsible for AS 1742, the MUTCD (Manual of uniform traffic control devices) since 1984.
I have also drafted several sections of VicRoads' Traffic Engineering Manual, Volume 2, Signs and Markings over many years and, more recently, their supplements to AS 1742.
An unfortunate example - Direction signs at Terminal 4, Melbourne Airport (above). The signs on the left were designed by a large traffic engineering company (seriously!). They follow no Standard: they are illegible at the required distance and they are misleading. I was called in urgently before the terminal opened to help sort out the problem (Urban Information and De Neefe Signs also participated in the quick response). The signs on the right were made to my designs: they are clear, legible and use the correct arrow shapes.
I can help you with:
- Early sign placement advice on major projects (early within the phasing of the project)
- Freeway signing schemes, including direction signing schemes, route continuity, signing to meet legal requirements
- Arterial Road signing schemes
- Local-scale signing schemes, including low-key, low speed schemes where the last thing you need is over-signing, but you need it to operate legally and safely
- Road safety auditing of large or small schemes that include signs and lines. I understand the 'human factors' side of road safety: how people respond to signs and lines.
- After-collision assessments of the adequacy of signing, delineation and line marking. Were the signs a contributing cause?
- Advice about AS 1742, the Manual of uniform traffic control devices
- Advice about Road Rules that relate to signs and markings
I have a wealth of signing knowledge that has been of value to road authorities, universities, companies and personal injury lawyers.
As part of my work with the national road signs committee, aspects of traffic signing that I have had a major influence on, over the years include: freeway-to-freeway interchange signing (a recent initiative of mine), parking control signs (I did most of the design work for these, so they are legible and comprehendable), street name signs (the Standard includes my earlier work on legibility), alpha-numeric route numbering , combining curve and intersection warning signs (I was the first to propose this), the principal of upward-pointing arrows on direction signs- and standardising the use of arrow shapes signs. Much of this is based on my appreciation of 'human factors' in road safety.
If I can help you with signing for a project, or auditing a signing scheme, or you simply have a query, don't hesitate to contact me.
5. Crash Assessments and Investigations
I can help in two ways:
- I can assess the likely causes of individual crashes, including whether any aspects of the road layout or the signing (or lack of it) may have contributed to the crash. This assistance has been particularly valuable in personal injury cases. This work can include reviewing police crash descriptions and any photographs, reading any witness statements, observing the way the site operates, checking traffic control devices against the requirements of Standards and guidelines, and preparing an expert witness statement.
- I can assess crash data for an intersection or length of road, to identify the crash causes at blackspots. From this I can propose effective remedial engineering treatments. I am the principal author of the Austroads guide on this topic (Austroads Guide to Road Safety, Part 8, Treatment of Crash Locations). I also conduct training workshops on this topic.
This is the site of a motorcycle crash (above): temporary kerbing had been installed (not as per the traffic engineers' plan). It tapered across an open traffic lane and was not delineated (no lines, signs or hazard markers). It was evident on-site that the kerbing had been struck several times before being hit by the motorcyclist. The crash occurred in poor light conditions. There was no need to block off one lane, as there were two lanes to turn into. Part of the investigation included identifying which road authority was responsible for the relevant section of road.
This example gets us back to the need for road safety auditing by an experienced audit: if the intersection upgrade project had been audited on completion, the wrongly aligned kerbing would have been identified, then fixed - and the crash would not have happened.