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Driverless Vehicles

Driverless vehicles are hitting the road in countries all around the world. It won’t be long before your taxi will pull up with nobody inside, trucks will drive themselves across the country, and your morning commute on public transport will be passengers only.

The autonomous vehicle industry is booming and it means exciting changes for Australian passengers and businesses alike. For the road traffic control industry, the growth of driverless vehicles could see machinery going autonomous, freeing up a driver to increase the crew’s efficiency.

According to industry estimates by 2020 the driverless vehicle industry will be worth more than $100 billion worldwide. Already some companies are exploring how autonomous vehicles can deliver packages, haul material and transport people.

What is driverless technology?
In simple terms autonomous vehicles use a bunch of sensors to tell a computer program how to drive. The sensors register light, distance, speed, sound and direction which feeds in to a program designed to interpret all those things like a human would. It is a similar concept to reversing sensors or automatic wipers.
Driverless technology is not quite road ready for you to sit back and watch a movie while you wave to Sydney’s traffic controllers hard at work. There are some cars like Tesla’s Model S which feature autopilot functionality, a precursor to fully autonomous vehicles. These still require a human driver to be touching the wheel but take over some of the controls at low speeds.

The road to the future
Although still fairly new, driverless vehicles are already revolutionising the way we think about transport and car ownership, boosting the popularity of electric cars in the process. Here are some examples:
• Shared car ownership
Or no car ownership! Autonomous vehicles can be shared between users, because they can drive themselves to the next pickup point.
• Emergency support and road works
What if Sydney’s traffic controllers and emergency workers could partner with data companies to predict where accidents might occur and get there faster?
• Planning and government services
How will we plan for a driverless future? Roads, recharging stations and airspace will all operate differently with the increased presence of robot vehicles.

Benefits and risks
Driverless vehicles will soon make transport more efficient than ever, and ideally safer too. Autonomous trucks will reduce strain on long-haul drivers by taking the wheel on lengthy routes. The technology will allow faster delivery – imagine ordering a pizza and having it delivered in minutes by a driverless car, then carried up to your apartment by a drone! Mercedes-Benz recently unveiled a concept van to do exactly that.
As with any new technology there are kinks to work out before driverless vehicles go mainstream. Machinery is also going driverless which presents its own complications. Take road work machinery; there are so many moving parts like scoops and drills, and their sheer size makes safety the number one issue. Australian roads need to be safe for human and robot drivers alike so companies implementing this technology need to be absolutely sure it will not cause harm.
Cars, buses and trucks are starting to be tested in real life situations and the technology will soon be available to the general public. Autonomous vehicles will innovate the way we live and work in exciting ways.

Incidents on Work Sites

Road construction and repair, and traffic control for special events, are important for the safety of drivers and pedestrians alike. Without these key services the infrastructure we all use daily would fall into disrepair, causing major hazards both on and off the road.

Just like any work site it is important to keep traffic control and road repair sites safe for workers and motorists. Incidents involving traffic controllers all around the country can be minimised by slowing down, paying attention to signs, and being aware of hazards.

Common work site incidents

Motorists colliding with traffic control staff or machinery on road work sites has occurred in the past. This has been due to speed, not paying attention, frustration caused by delays, or the perceived inappropriateness of speed limits. These incidents are dangerous for the motorist as well as the staff; working close to traffic poses some risk however driver education and awareness can drastically reduce the number of harmful encounters. There are also risks working with machinery, including damage to company vehicles from collisions, dangerous work environment around heavy machinery, and fatigue leading to mishandling of equipment.

Tips to reduce accidents on road work sites

• Slow down! Obey speed limits in work areas
• Maintain a safe distance (two second gap) from the car in front
• Watch the signs and follow lane movements
• Be alert for hazards or sudden stoppages
• Minimise distractions
• Stay calm and be patient, the traffic will continue to flow
• Be courteous to other drivers when merging
• Take extra care after dark or in poor weather

Why road safety matters

For motorists travelling through active traffic control zones the temptation to ignore posted speed limits can lead to a dangerous mistake. Research shows the most common type of incident involves traffic colliding with staff, which can lead to a fatality. Taking extra care when travelling through a road work or a special event site will get you to your destination safely while making sure the work site is as safe as your workplace.

Warp Group are on the roads in NSW 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and we want to keep our traffic controllers safe. We believe education and a patient, positive attitude goes a long way to achieving this. It is up to the general public to respect work sites and travel safely in order to arrive at their destination without incident.

For traffic controllers the risks also include working with machinery. To minimise the risk of accidents occurring it is important to always stay alert and keep a safe distance between any heavy machinery if you are not operating it. Warp Group offer up to date safety training courses to keep work sites safe, and always try to plan for minimal impact work so as not to put our staff, or passing motorists, at risk. We invite you to contact the Warp Group team to find out more about our safety training and traffic control services in NSW.

Safe travels!

Road Safety 101

Australians are pretty safe drivers most of the time — we obey the road rules and watch out for hazards because we know how important it is to be smart on the roads. But we definitely could be doing better. Road accident numbers are starting to creep up compared to 2015 and dangerous, sometimes deadly, accidents are still occurring too often.

Because WARP Traffic Management are on the roads 24 hours a day 7 days a week managing traffic and sites for events, roadworks, and emergency response situations we see it all. We want drivers to stay safe in all conditions, starting with these handy tips:

Driving safely in the wet

Heavy rain can cause chaos on roads if people don’t slow down and pay attention. In the wet you should always slow down, increase the distance between you and the car in front, and keep a keen eye out for any potential hazards. Water on the road can cause your vehicle to slip, and potholes can form deceptively deep pools. Be patient and you will arrive safely every time.

Driving at night

In the dark it is easy to miss hazards on the side of the road like broken down cars, animals, or poles. As visibility drops always remember to use your headlights and drive safely, staying alert for dark objects. Safety is paramount at WARP Traffic Management so when you are on the roads at night and see traffic management signs, we urge you to obey the signs and drive with caution. Traffic management is important to keep all motorists and pedestrians moving safely at all hours of the day or night.

Traffic management and special events

Take extra care when you see traffic management or special event signs at road works.. There are usually lane changes or detours in place, and workers very close to where you are driving. Traffic management often affects main roads and busy intersections so you always need to obey the signals to keep things moving smoothly. Outside events there are likely to be a lot of people trying to navigate the roads so be patient and everyone will get home safely.

Country roads

The open road often has some incredible sites, quite complex and long. Driving on country roads can be unfamiliar for city drivers and staying alert is vital. The road conditions aren’t always perfect but if you are looking out for potholes, wildlife, heavy vehicles, and other hazards you will enjoy the drive even more. We do a lot of traffic management work in the NSW and WA countryside (as well as the Sydney & Perth areas) so we know how enjoyable a country drive can be.

Road safety is an important part of every drive on all roads. Safety is paramount at WARP Traffic Management and we work with our clients to think the same way because we want everyone to get where they are going safely. Obey traffic control signs, drive safely in hazardous conditions, and always pay attention to what is ahead (and behind) on the open road.

 

Keeping You Safe

Busy construction sites and road users can be a hazardous combination, which is why government authorities and large construction companies manage the risks by employing Road Traffic Management specialists to keep things on the move in a safe and controlled environment.

Road Traffic Management is a complex business

Let’s face it, everyone’s in a hurry to get from A to B, and the last thing we want is a hold up.  This is precisely why road management and traffic control is so important. Road Traffic Management is more than a person in a high-vis jacket with a sign, it’s complex and governed by strict rules and regulations. While each State and Territory has its own rules and standards, there are many common themes.

  • Traffic Controllers have responsibilities which include:
  • their personal safety and that of other workers;
  • the safety of other road users; and
  • safely controlling the speed road users and access to and from a work site.

How WARP keeps the traffic flowing

It doesn’t matter if it’s a simple road closure, major civil construction, road works or an emergency, all of these situations call for professional road management to keep people safe.  Whatever the scenario, WARP will have a traffic management plan drawn up by an expert and implemented by one or more of our trained and experienced Traffic Control Officers.

There are many ways to safely slow and direct traffic safely.  These include:

  • warning signs – advising you that there is a hazard ahead
  • personnel with stop – go signs
  • temporary traffic lights
  • temporary road closures and diversions

The important thing for the road user to remember is that a traffic management plan has been put into place with your safety and the safety of others in mind.

Safety is everyone’s responsibility

When it comes to road safety everybody is responsible for keeping themselves and others safe. To do this it’s essential that you obey the directions of the Traffic Control Officers. They will be in direct contact with other people either on site or close by and will know of hazards that may not be immediately obvious to you.

Simple steps to keeping the traffic moving and yourself safe

  • Don’t leave it till the last minute. Slow down as soon as you see there is an event or a hazard ahead.
  • Always obey temporary speed limits and lane changes. Be prepared to stop.
  • Be vigilant. Look out for workers, and keep a safe distance between you and the vehicle ahead. Know your safe stopping distance.
  • Be a hero. Traffic Controllers and worker’s jobs can be a dangerous, keeping your distance and keeping them safe will be much appreciated because you’re helping to make their work place as safe as your own.

At WARP we believe that every worker has the right to go home to their families safely at the end of their working day. Major civil works may be disruptive for a short time but building better towns, cities and roads creates a safer and more enjoyable environment for everyone.

How to: Keep Your Kids Safe on the Road

Children are the most vulnerable road users and could easily be at risk of serious road accidents and injuries, without proper adult supervision. No matter how sensible they are, children under ten years old should never be allowed on roads unsupervised. With school holidays on the horizon there’s never been a better time to teach your little ones about road safety and it’s never too soon to start.

Know the rules

As children grow up and become more aware of their environment, they also begin to learn about road safety. Things like learning to cross the road and recognising traffic signals are important and they’re never too young to start learning. Remember children follow your lead, so make sure you set a good example.

With little ones the first lesson is learning to cross the road. The old saying “stop, look listen” still makes very good sense. Teaching your child to always stop at the kerb, carefully look both ways and only cross if they can see the way is clear. This simple practice could save a life!

When they get a little older

Things get a little trickier when children are old enough to ride a bicycle or scooter, because they can race ahead of you. This is when it’s so important that they know basic road rules and to know when an adult says “STOP” they have to! It doesn’t matter if it’s a parent, a lollypop person or a traffic controller – stop means stop because there is danger ahead.

Road safety is everyone’s business

Be ready for the school holidays and everyday life by making sure that your children know the rules.  Some Local Government Authorities, Schools and Community Groups run road safety classes for children – check out the NSW Road Safety website for tips about children and road safety.

When you need professional help

WARP is a company that provides professional road traffic management services in NSW.  Whether it’s for a one-day event, a major construction project or a professional response to an emergency situation. WARP staff are all accredited with valuable hands on experience. They are available 24 hours a day – 7 days a week – 365 days a year and ready to respond to your traffic management enquiry. Call them today on 1300 131 204 find out about Traffic Management Planning, Traffic Controllers and our Emergency Response Service.

Keep Safe On The Road This Holiday – WARP Traffic Control Tips

Here are our top tips to keep you safe!

At WARP (NSW) we live and breathe road safety and traffic management. It’s our bread and butter. Leading up to the winter holiday break, many Sydney siders are planning day trips, family holidays at a ski resorts or in regional NSW. This means you will be driving on unfamiliar roads often in unfamiliar conditions. This is why planning ahead is important. Here are some of our favourite safety and driving tips to help you get there and back again safely.

Prepare your car

Book your car in for a service before you leave.  If you like to DIY, here is our check list:

  • check brakes and hand brake for excessive play
  • ensure tyres (and the spare if you have one) are in good condition with the correct pressure
  • clean your windscreen and make sure the washer reservoir is full
  • check oil levels and top up if necessary
  • fill up with fuel
  • put your roadside assist service providers contact details in your phone

Check your route

Get the App or simply check the live traffic websites for Sydney and regional NSW, for major traffic events or road works before you set off to save you on unnecessary delays. If you’re travelling further afield, the other states and territories have similar sites.

Prepare for delays

Delays can and do occur so be prepared. Take enough food, water, medication and other essential supplies with you and make sure they’re easily accessible in case you need them along the way. Allow extra time for food and comfort breaks, so you’re not driving tired.

Play It Safe

Road accidents happen and the majority are caused by one or a combination of the following:

  • Driver inattention – using a mobile phone increases your risk of being involved in a crash by up to 4 times,
  • Speeding – 384 people died on NSW roads in the past year, 41.4% of these fatalities are directly attributed to speed,
  • Drink driving – it’s never worth it – nearly 12% of road deaths in NSW in the past year involved alcohol,
  • Seatbelts – you’re 10 times more likely to be killed in a road crash if you’re not wearing a seat belt,
  • Fatigue – driving tired is similar to driving under the influence of alcohol.

WARP

Where ever you travel in NSW, if there’s a traffic hazard, WARP Traffic Controllers are likely to be there, keeping people safe. It’s important next time you encounter traffic management, to slow down and obey the speed limit, maintain a safe following distance and be patient. By following these simple steps, you’re helping us make the roads a safe place for all.