Newsletter of The New Zealand Roadmarkers Federation Inc.
Roadmarking News www.nzrf.co.nz Edition 135 February 2019 $20 million to make rural highways safer
Rumble strips, safety barriers and wider shoulders will be installed as part of a road safety package to improve rural highways in Gisborne, Hawke's Bay, Manawatu-Whanganui and the West Coast. The next stage in the Safety Boost Programme $20 million to upgrade 670km across 11 rural state highways - was announced on the 13th January 2019 by Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter.
"The Boost Programme includes simple safety upgrades that can be installed quickly over the summer period, such as rumble strips, roadside safety barriers in high-risk locations, shoulder widening, and improved signage," Genter said. The targeted highways did not have the highest levels of traffic, but were full of risky sections such as sharp corners and narrow stretches, she said. Rumble strips can reduce fatal run-off-road crashes by up to 42 per cent, while shoulder widening at high risk sites can reduce serious crashes by up to 35 per cent. "All drivers make mistakes from time to time. Safety improvements like these stop simple mistakes turning into tragedies," Genter said. The upgrades include the West Coast: • SH6 and SH67 between Murchison and Westport • SH7 from Hanmer Springs Gisborne and Hawke's Bay: • SH2 from Wairoa to Gisborne • SH35 from Gisborne to Tolaga Bay • SH2 from Gisborne to Matawai • SH5 and SH2 to Te Haroto
Manawatu-Wanganui: • SH56 from Makerua to Palmerston North • SH57 from SH3 to SH56 • SH3 from Palmerston North to Ashhurst • SH4 from Whanganui to Raetihi • SH54 from SH3 to Feilding Work on the upgrades will start tomorrow and aim to be finished by July.
Genter said these improvements would be additional to the 870km of upgrades in the Government's $1.4 billion Safe Network Programme for high-volume state highways, which hopes to save 160 lives and serious injuries by 2021. Safety Boost has already made upgrades including almost 2000km of rumble strips, 30km of road safety barriers, and lower speed zones for high-risk intersections - to roads in Northland, Taranaki, Manawatū-Wanganui, Otago and Southland. The road toll was 379 in 2018, the highest since 2009 and much higher than in 2013, when it was 253. Last April, Genter said the Government would look at adopting a target of zero deaths and serious injuries on New Zealand roads.
Published by: The New Zealand Roadmarkers Federation Inc. P O Box 13 605 Onehunga Auckland 1643 New Zealand Executive Director: Alister Harlow Phone: +64 9 625 7470 Email: email@example.com Roadmarking News in published by The NZ Roadmarkers Federation Inc. Opinions expressed in Roadmarking News do not necessarily reflect the views of the NZRF
She said at the time that the target would be "audacious", but all road deaths and serious injuries were avoidable. The Government has not formally adopted a zero target, and it will be part of a consultation process on road safety that will take place in March and April. Genter, who has said it would take decades to see a substantial reduction in road deaths and serious injuries, has verbally clashed with the National Party over the best way to improve road safety. Last election National promised eight roading projects - including Mill Rd in South Auckland, Auckland's east-west link, and a Napier-Hastings four-lane expressway - saying they are crucial to save lives and improve regional economic development. The party has been pushing for the projects ever since, including delivering eight petitions - signed by more than 16,000 people supporting the highway projects - to the transport and infrastructure select committee. This summer the party has put up hoardings to coincide with busy holiday traffic on stretches of highway between Wellsford and Te Hana (Northland), Otaki and Levin, in Te Puna (Bay of Plenty), and in parts of Canterbury.
In a statement, Gammie said that by stepping aside he was hopeful that the necessary review and improvement of the regulatory function at the NZTA could be completed without any distraction. "As I said in October, the Transport Agency has long been focused and reliant on education and self-regulation rather than focusing attention and resources on ensuring regulatory compliance and enforcement. I also said that the public can expect that an increased number of enforcement actions would be taken to ensure compliance," Gammie said. "In resigning, I note that the approach and focus of the Transport Agency has necessarily changed. I ask that full support be given to the board, management team, and Meredith Connell as they work towards resolving the outstanding issues and towards developing a stronger regulatory enforcement framework to ensure the public has confidence in the Transport Agency's processes," Gammie said. In mid-October, the NZTA board, together with the Minister of Transport Phil Twyford, announced an extensive review of NZTA compliance files by law firm Meredith Connell was underway and a tougher enforcement regime was being implemented.
NZTA Safety Alerts
The series of hoardings near Wellsford has three messages: "We know this traffic is a real pain"; "National was building a 4-lane highway here"; "but Labour cancelled it".
NZTA has issued a number of safety alerts related to warrants and certification of towing equipment. They are in the process of advising affected owners:
The Government has called the hoardings "cynical politics" that show support for "a handful of goldplated expressways".
NZTA issued a Safety Alert on 21 December 2018 advising that it has revoked the certifications for tow bars on more than 1,400 heavy vehicles. These include small trucks, tipper trucks, motorhomes and goodsâ€™ vans certified by Auckland-based heavy vehicle specialist certifier Patrick Chu of Transport and Structure Limited.
New Zealand Transport Agency boss Fergus Gammie resigns NZ Transport Agency chief executive Fergus Gammie tendered his resignation in early December 2018, which has been accepted by the board. Gammie has been under fire since it was revealed that the NZTA had not been carrying out its regulatory function properly, resulting in thousands of vehicles so far having to be retested for warrants of fitness.
Through November and December, NZTA revoked WOF certification status for a number of inspectors and inspecting organisations. NZTA have access to information about affected vehicle owners and have been in contact with them directly. For more information on compliance review, visit here
North Canterbury’s State Highway 7 $3.5million safety upgrade Contractors are installing safety barriers to help stop people dying or being seriously injured in a crash, and rumble strips to give drivers a wake-up call if they stray across the centre-line. New signage to warn drivers of risks such as sharp corners and narrow bridges is being installed, along with road markings that are easier to see at night and in the wet.
highway. New road markings that are easier to see when it’s dark and in the wet will also be put in place. The project is part of the Government’s $1.4 billion Safe Network Programme, a collaborative initiative that aims to save up to 160 deaths and serious injuries every year across New Zealand’s highest risk state highways and local roads. Transport Agency System Manager Pete Connors says the safety barriers will make a real difference on the high-risk highway, as many of the crashes in recent years have been head-on or run-off road. “Flexible road safety barriers ‘catch’ vehicles that leave their lane before they hit something less forgiving – like other vehicles or roadside hazards such as trees, poles and ditches,” Mr Connors says.
New guardrails will also be constructed on three bridges along the route, Weka Creek, Antills and Archers. Contractors will closely monitor traffic to minimise delays, however people need to plan ahead and allow plenty of extra time to get through Weka Pass on their way to Hanmer, the West Coast or Picton from now until mid-March 2019.
“When a vehicle hits a barrier, the high-tension wire cables flex, slowing down the vehicle and keeping it upright during and after a collision. The barrier absorbs the impact, reducing the force on the people in the vehicle. People will always make mistakes, but these changes to the road will help ensure simple mistakes don't cost lives.” Mr Connors says the side barriers will also protect people who use the nearby shared path to walk and bike to school or work.
This project is part of the Safe Network Programme - a collaborative, prioritised programme of proven safety improvements on high risk routes across New Zealand.
Safety upgrade SH 74, Christchurch Marshlands to Burwood A high-risk stretch of highway in Christchurch is set to get a $2.5 million upgrade that will help stop people dying or being seriously injured in crashes and make it safer for students to walk and bike to school. In the 10 years from 2007 to 2016, one person died and 14 were seriously injured on State Highway 74 (QEII Drive) between Innes Road and Burwood. NZ Transport Agency contractors will soon start work on the upgrade, which will see safety barriers installed down the middle and on the sides of the
“New residential developments nearby and the new Avonside Girls' High and Shirley Boys’ High campus opening in April 2019 mean this road and the shared path will only get busier, so it’s important we make these improvements now, so everyone can enjoy safer journeys.” The contractor, Higgins, is beginning preliminary works, locating services and carrying out other work in preparation for the safety barriers to be put in place between January and mid 2019. More information is available at here.
Route protection for Warkworth to Wellsford corridor The NZ Transport Agency is completing the work necessary for designations to be put in place for a new road alignment between Warkworth and Wellsford. The Indicative Alignment for Warkworth to Wellsford, the second section of the Ara Tūhono Pūhoi to Wellsford project, is now available to view online. Public information days will be held in February, before the Transport Agency lodges an application for designation and consents later in 2019. “Protecting the land required for a new transport corridor will ensure the route is protected for the future, although the start of construction remains at least 10 years away,” says the Transport Agency’s Director of Regional Relationships, Steve Mutton. “Route protection for Warkworth to Wellsford will provide much needed certainty for property owners and communities who are affected by this project.”
The Warkworth to Te Hana corridor will join the Pūhoi to Warkworth motorway near Woodcocks Road. It will then travel on the western side of the Dome Valley until it reaches the Hoteo River where it will cross eastwards over the existing SH1 to an interchange proposed at Wayby Valley Road in Wellsford. Another interchange is proposed near Mangawhai Road, with the corridor then meeting the existing State Highway 1 north of Waimanu Road. A map of the Indicative Alignment is now available on the NZTA website.
Permanent speed limits set on Saddle Road The NZ Transport Agency has set permanent speed limits for Saddle Road/Oxford Road/Woodlands Road/State Highway 3, one of the main bypass routes for the closed State Highway 3 Manawatū Gorge. Due to the heavy increase in traffic on the route following the closure of the gorge, and the subsequent rise in crashes, emergency speed limits were put in place in January 2018. The emergency speed limits expired in January 2019, requiring permanent speed limits to be set.
The Transport Agency have refined the Indicative Route presented publicly in February 2017 to what is now called the Indicative Alignment within the proposed designation boundary. As a result of further technical assessment and public consultation, there have been changes to what was presented in early 2017, including a new location where the new route will connect into SH1 north of Te Hana, and a shift in the tunnel alignment north of Warkworth. The design of the proposed Warkworth interchange has also changed. The new design is indicative only as its final form and function may change in the future in response to changing transport needs in Warkworth. Consideration has also been given to how the project might be constructed, including how the site is accessed and how large quantities of earthworks will be managed. This means the proposed designation boundary has expanded in some locations to ensure enough land is protected for the construction, operation and maintenance of a future highway.
The permanent speed limits are: 80 kilometres per hour for State Highway 3 from Woodville to Woodlands Road, Woodlands Road, Oxford Road, and Saddle Road from Hope Road to Mangaatua Stream. 60 kilometres per hour on Saddle Road from Ashhurst to Mangaatua Stream. “A consistent 60 kilometres per hour speed limit will reduce driver mistakes and their consequences on the Saddle Road hill,” Transport Agency Director Safety and Environment Harry Wilson says.
No crash resulting in death or serious injury is acceptable, so it’s important we take every opportunity to address the risk. Fewer crashes will also mean fewer closures, which will increase the reliability of this important route.”
How will social trends impact transport?
Since the closure of the gorge in April 2017, traffic volumes on Saddle Road have increased from 150 to 5100 vehicles per day. Crashes have increased by 88 per cent, including one fatal and two serious crashes.
This report has been written as part of the preliminary work for the Norwegian National Transport Plan 2022 – 2033.
A new report focuses on identifying trends that can cause radical change in the relationship between the transport system and society.
“The increase in traffic and crashes, along with the narrow and windy nature of the road, means 60 kilometres per hour is the only safe and appropriate speed for Saddle Road. This is in line with the speeds people currently travel along the road,” Mr Wilson says. “These permanent speed limits will only increase travel times by approximately 51 seconds across the 16 kilometre route, but it will help make sure people get where they are going safely.” The setting of the permanent speed limits follows engagement with the Police, the AA, and the Road Transport Forum, and consultation with the public. “We thank the members of the public that provided their feedback on the proposed speed limits. During consultation, the public asked us to consider more and longer passing lanes and slow vehicle bays along Saddle Road, improved signage, and more safety improvements to the roads.” “The Transport Agency is looking into opportunities suggested by the public to further improve the safety of the route. There are some safety improvements currently underway, including a stock underpass on Saddle Road, realignment of curves at Woodlands Road and work to mitigate traffic noise and safety issues in Ashhurst. “During consultation we were also asked about the permanent replacement route for the gorge. The proposed new route across the Ruahine Ranges is progressing, with construction expected to get underway in 2020 and completed in 2024. “Because the replacement route will not be built for five years, we need to make this bypass route safer now. The lower permanent speed limits we have set is one way we can do that.”
Digitalisation and increased awareness of climate change and the environmental impact of the transport sector are singled out as the societal trends that have the highest probability of creating a new and different transport sector. The trends selected in this analysis include: Globalization, which we primarily see as increased intensity in the interaction between individuals at global level. Growing and aging population, which is describing how the population is changing over time. Economic growth, which is a result of an expectation of increased productivity and increasing division of labour. Urbanization, which is a reflection of the increasing share of the population living in urban areas. Digitalization, which as a trend is a sum of new technologies available through progress in digital technology and infrastructure. Increased labour mobility, increase in the number of tasks that can be provided independent of time and place. Improved transport systems, ever decreasing disutility from transport as a result of incremental increases in infrastructure quality and technology. A complicating factor in studying and analysing different transition pathways is that the trends and
technologies are correlated. Each trend, or technology, when analysed on its own have a very limited impact on the sociotechnical regime. However, as these trends and technologies are evolving in parallel they form more complex causal relations and can together result in a radically different regime. Impact on the transport system This report concludes that neither of the trends, technologies or new business models, discussed will affect the transport system significantly by its own and in the short term. The expectation is rather that these trends and technologies together will have a great impact, resulting in complex chains of events and societal changes in the medium to long term. The authors find that the combination of increased environmental awareness and digitalization has the potential to change the regime. The report is written in Norwegian, but you can find an English summary here.
UK government proposes new measures to keep people safe on the country’s roads The UK government has announced a number of ground-breaking initiatives as part of a two-year action plan to improve traffic safety, with a particular emphasis put on protecting the most vulnerable road users, including pedestrians, cyclists and horse-riders. The 50 proposed new measures are part of the government’s plan to combat road rage, encourage greater mutual respect between all road users, and ensure the safety of the most vulnerable. The action plan builds upon the feedback of more than 14,000 people, including organizations such as Brake, Living Streets, Cycling UK, and the British Horse Society, who responded to the Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy Safety Review call for evidence.
The government is aiming to make cycling and walking the natural choices for shorter journeys or as part of a longer journey by 2040. Since the strategy was published, councils and metropolitan mayors have allocated an additional £700m (US$892.5m) to active travel initiatives, with almost £2bn (US$2.5bn) being invested in this area over the course of the current Parliament. Among the proposed measure in the action plan are: • A review of guidance in the Highway Code on how road users should behave in relation to cyclists and pedestrians, as well as other vulnerable road users, including equestrians, which will be conducted in consultation with all key stakeholders; • A bespoke new back office unit will be set up so that police can analyze video and photographic evidence from phones and dash cams submitted by the public, building on the success of Operation Snap, a program first piloted by North Wales Police in 2016; • Councils will be given powers to tackle dangerous parking in mandatory cycle lanes; • The Department for Transport (DfT) will appoint a new Cycling and Walking Champion, to ensure new policies meet the needs of active road users across the UK; • Authorities will be encouraged to spend around 15% of their local transport infrastructure funding on walking and cycling; • Hosting a new 2019 Bikeability Summit encouraging businesses to promote cycling and walking schemes to their employees. The action plan will also assess whether insurance companies could offer discounts to drivers and motorcyclists who have passed Bikeability training. The DfT will work closely with courier companies to explore incentives for drivers who undergo training in driving safely alongside cyclists, pedestrians and horse-riders. “Greater road safety, and especially the protection of vulnerable road users such as cyclists, pedestrians and horse-riders, is essential,” said UK Cycling and Walking Minister Jesse Norman, announcing the initiative. “We want to improve air quality, encourage healthy exercise, reduce obesity and boost our high streets and economic productivity. That means more support for cycling and walking, and that’s what these new measures are designed to deliver.”
Joe Irvin, chief executive of Living Streets, commented, “Looking to improve the Highway Code for walking and cycling can help make our streets safer for everyone. Lower speed limits in urban areas, more time to cross at light-controlled crossings, better street maintenance, and constraints on pavement parking, can all help encourage people to choose these cleaner and healthier ways to travel.”
'Cultural change' needed: Western Australia trails eastern states in effort to bring road toll down A "cultural change" is needed to drive down WA's road toll, which remains higher than the national average and that of most eastern states.
road fatality rate, more than 70 West Australians would still be alive today. "For a number of years WA has consistently ranked as one of the nation’s worst when it comes to road fatalities and serious injuries, lagging well behind states like Victoria," RAC general manager of corporate affairs Will Golsby said. Mr Golsby said the fact more than 60 per cent of fatalities last year happened in country WA, despite it being only 20 per cent of the state’s population, needed greater focus. "These figures clearly highlight more work needs to be done to bring WA’s road fatality rate down, particularly in WA’s regional communities," he said. "(But) we need to see through these statistics because any life lost or serious injury on our roads is one too many." Ms Roberts said it was disappointing WA still lagged behind other states in terms of road fatalities per 100,000 people. “It shows we need to go beyond our current road safety strategies," she said. “We can’t afford to keep doing the same thing year after year and expecting a different result."
That's the message from Road Safety Minister Michelle Roberts, who conceded recently WA "can’t afford" to keep doing the same thing year after year in an effort to tackle road safety. "The impact road trauma has on families, friends and indeed all of us is devastating and as a community we must all work together," Ms Roberts said on Monday. And while the latest figures show there were 158 people killed on WA roads last year — the lowest since records began in 1961 — a new report shows Victoria, New South Wales and South Australia were all performing better. The Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities report shows WA's road fatality rate of 6.09 people per 100,000 last year is well above the national average of 4.59 and higher than Victoria at 3.31.
Ms Roberts said the Road Safety Council was in the process of developing a new strategy for road safety in WA. “One of the objectives of this strategy will be to achieve the degree of cultural change needed to really drive down the road toll," she said. “We need to change driver behaviour and get people to have the conversation with their family and loved ones. “Road safety is everyone’s responsibility and if we all make a commitment to drive so others survive, then we can work together to reduce death and injury on our roads and prevent more families experiencing the tragedy of road trauma.”
78 fewer road fatalities as road toll improves
New South Wales and South Australia also had lower fatality rates per 100,000 people at 4.43 and 4.66 respectively.
The Australian national road toll dropped to 1146 in 2018, its lowest level since August 2014, reversing increases in deaths in 2015 and 2016 that prompted a national inquiry.
The RAC jumped on the report's statistics, and made the point that if WA matched Victoria’s 2018
Compared to 2017, 78 fewer people lost their lives on the roads in 2018.
Acting Prime Minister Michael McCormack said the latest figures showed a 6.4 per cent drop on 2017 when 1224 deaths were recorded.
figures should serve as a reminder to all road users and stakeholders, including all governments, to be ever-vigilant and work harder to achieve improvements.'' The 2018 result compares to 2016's 1295 deaths, a 7.5 per cent spike, that followed another rise in 2015. These poor results prompted a national inquiry into Australia's road safety strategy with fears the trend would continue, and reverse a decade of improvements. The road safety sector has been waiting for Mr McCormack to respond to the results of this inquiry into the national road safety strategy, which was chaired by surgeon Dr John Crozier and road safety expert Professor Jeremy Woolley.
Victoria recorded the most striking improvement: According to the annual figures compiled by the Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics (BITRE), 214 people died on the roads in 2018 compared to 259 in 2017. NSW recorded 354 road fatalities in 2018 compared with 389 lives lost in 2017, a drop of nine per cent. Despite population growth, the NSW road toll has dropped from 556 in 1998 and 374 in 2018. One of the most striking aspects of the NSW result was the improvement in fatalities for children four and under with only one child dying. A three-yearold boy – a passenger in the back seat – died when a car crashed near Tamworth on December 16, 2018. That death compared to five children under five dying in 2017, a spokesperson for Transport for NSW said. Only the Northern Territory and the ACT reported increased road fatalities. Mr McCormack, the acting Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development, said the statistics showed an encouraging improvement. But he warned against adopting a false sense of security, saying complacency remained the real and ever-present enemy of road safety. “A 6.4 per cent decline in road deaths last year should trigger a reason to ask how that performance can be improved in 2019 and what more can we do to make a difference,” he said. “One road death or accident is one too many and the release of these recent national road death
Reporting last September, they found the existing plan had failed and road safety has stalled. They warned that without improvements another 12,000 people would be killed and 360,000 injured at a cost of over $300 billion on the roads over the next decade alone. "We must act on a scale that matters, with a disaster response that reflects the true measure of the problem. Lives depend on it." They recommended that the government adopt a policy of "vision zero" with a target of no road deaths and serious injuries by 2050 across Australia. Mr McCormack, who has indicated informally that he supports much of the report, said in a statement released on Wednesday night that state and federal governments shared the ‘zero vision’ target. They were working with multiple agencies and through various jurisdictions to improve road safety standards and deliver a more secure transport system for all Australians and their families. This included a $75 billion infrastructure plan to improve road safety on projects across Australia. Mr McCormack has backed the National Road Safety Governance Review as a first step in following through on the National Road Safety Strategy 2011-2020 Inquiry’s recommendations. It will assess Australia’s road safety governance structure, including comprehensive mapping of specific roles, responsibilities and accountabilities held across agencies and jurisdictions.
Boeing's flying car lifts off in race to revolutionise urban travel Seattle: Boeing Co said on its flying car prototype hovered briefly in the air during an inaugural test flight, a small but significant step as the world's largest planemaker bids to revolutionise urban transportation and parcel delivery services.
Boeing bought Manassas-based Aurora Flight Sciences last year to speed development of a fleet of autonomous air vehicles. With Aurora, Boeing is also working on Uber Technologies Inc's UberAIR service for flights that are planned to be available for order via smartphones around 2023. Boeing is looking to achieve a range of 50 miles with two flying car variants capable of carrying two and four passengers each. Tests are planned for later this year on a package-hauling version that can lift up to 226.8 kilograms. Competitors range from Airbus (which says it has already conducted numerous flying vehicle test flights) to Volocopter (which has tested drone taxis that resemble a small helicopter powered by 18 rotors) and AeroMobil, with a stretch-limousine concept that can turn into a fixed-wing aircraft.
Boeing is competing with arch-rival Airbus SE and numerous other firms to introduce small self-flying vehicles capable of vertical takeoff and landing. The investments, fueled by leaps in autonomous technology as much as frustration with road congestion, could change the face of the aerospace industry within the next decade. Boeing's 9-metre aircraft – part helicopter, part drone and part fixed-wing plane – lifted a few feet off the ground and made a soft landing after less than a minute of being airborne on Tuesday at an airport in Manassas, Virginia, Boeing said. Future flights will test forward, wing-borne flight. "This is what revolution looks like, and it's because of autonomy," John Langford, president and chief executive officer of Boeing subsidiary Aurora Flight Sciences, said in a news release announcing the test flight.
Vertical Aerospace, which completed a flight test last year, aims to offer short inter-city flights in the coming years with a piloted aircraft capable of carrying multiple passengers. “The future of mobility – moving goods, moving cargo, moving people – that future is happening now and it’s going to accelerate over the next five years and ramp up even more beyond that," Dennis Muilenburg, Boeing's president, chairman and CEO, told a panel at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
French road deaths hit 'historic' low amid row over controversial speed limit cuts Road deaths in mainland France have hit a new low just six months after the government introduced controversial new 80kph (50mph) speed limits, it has been announced.
Major hurdles to Boeing's vision of "low-stress" mobility – as it is called in the company's marketing materials – include sorting out numerous critical safety and regulatory issues to meld traditional roadway traffic with fleets of flying cars. Boeing is working with startup SparkCognition Inc and the US Federal Aviation Administration to develop a traffic-management system for threedimensional highways, as well as the regulatory framework that will allow waves of autonomous vehicles to zip safely around buildings, the company has said.
But with anger from “yellow vests” mounting nationwide over the new restrictions - leading to 60 per cent of the country’s speed traps being damaged or destroyed - the prime minister
conceded that demands to row back on the limits were “legitimate” in some cases. Last year, some 3,250 people were killed in road traffic accidents in mainland France, nine fewer than the previous record in 2013. The fall came after three consequence years of rising death tolls between 2014 and 2016 - an unprecedented spike since 1972, followed by a plateau in 2017. The worrying rise prompted the government to cut speed limits on 400,000 km (250,000 miles) of two-way B-roads with no central reservation from 90kmph to 80kmph last July. That sparked howls of disapproval from automobile groups, who said the measure was another wheeze to fleece motorists via speed traps and would even cause dangerous and unecological traffic jams. Some analysts say the speed limit was the initial catalyst for the gilet jaune (yellow vest) movement, even before resistance erupted against President Emmanuel Macron’s decision to slap new green taxes on diesel and petrol in the New Year. Some 78 per cent of the French oppose the changes, according to one recent poll.
In a nod to anger over the restrictions, Mr Philippe said it was “legitimate to discuss the issue” in the current “great debate” launched by Mr Macron in a bid to defuse the gilet jaune revolt. “But it would be mad to lower the level of ambition,” he went on. “I wouldn’t want measures to be taken that would degrade this figure, raise the number of road accidents, the number of injured,” he said. “We are proud to have shouldered our responsibilities. Before the end of the debate, after the debate, everyone will have to assume theirs before the French.” Mr Philippe has stuck his neck out over the new speed limit, a source of tension with Mr Macron, who reportedly blasted it as a “stupid mistake” of the prime minister’s doing and not in his electoral manifesto. The president has said he would be willing to find a more “intelligent way” of cutting deaths while aides have let it be known they could be willing to grant local authorities the power to rescind the speed limits in certain cases. But Chantal Perrichon, president of the “league against road violence” said that allowing local MPs or regional heads to set speed limits would herald a “return to feudalism, with barons who had the power of life and death over serfs”.
Legal case underway over materials testing for Chinese bridge A legal dispute has arisen regarding some of the materials testing processes carried out for the landmark Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge project.
Announcing the road deaths drop, Edouard Philippe, the prime minister, said the effects of the new restrictions were “without ambiguity” and that 116 lives had been saved because of them. “We took a decision that we knew was unpopular,” he said. “We are proud of the results, of the lives saved.” But the French drivers' organisation "40 millions d’automobilistes" pointed out that road deaths had already started to fall at the start of 2018 before the new speed limit cut was implemented. "Death rates had generally been slowing down, even a year before the speed limit," said the motorists’ group.
The argument is focusing on whether or not 12 technicians manipulated the results of testing concrete samples taken from the bridge during construction. It is alleged that managers of the test facility told the technicians to change the time settings on the equipment carrying out the tests, due to samples not being tested within the eight hour time period required. There are also allegations that some of the test samples did not perform to the specifications of the project and that these results were also manipulated. The tests being investigated were carried out between 2012 and 2017 as the bridge was being built.
The Chinese Government has taken major steps in recent times to crack down on corruption, imposing heavy penalties on those found guilty of the most serious offences. Given the high status of this landmark bridge engineering project, it seems likely that should anyone be found guilty, they will be penalised heavily by the Chinese authorities.
Safer roads and vehicles with new European standard New EU rules covering road infrastructure safety and minimum vehicle safety have been given approval in the European Parliament. The European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) is now calling for the EU to reach a final deal on both pieces of legislation. The European Parliament’s Transport committee voted to approve an update to rules governing road infrastructure safety management. The existing requirements ensure governments carry out regular road safety audits, identify high-risk sites and prioritise safety when building new roads. However, the rules only apply to major European roads known collectively as the TransEuropean Transport Network (TEN-T). The European Commission proposed an update that would extend the rules to all motorways, all “primary roads” and all non-urban roads that receive EU funding. ETSC and other organisations have been calling for all main urban and rural roads to be included as well, because more people die in collisions on these types of roads than on motorways. The backing of the Commission’s proposal to cover primary roads offers higher potential safety benefits than that of the EU Member State transport ministers. The European Commission also proposed that performance standards for road signs and road markings across Europe should be developed. A high standard and consistency of road signs and road markings across Europe could be an important issue for higher levels of automation, when cars increasingly take away control from the driver under certain circumstances. Minimum road safety requirements for vulnerable road users such as pedestrians and cyclists are also being proposed. The existing legislation, which mainly covers motorways, does not make special provision for these groups.
The final shape of the rules will only be decided following a vote by the full European Parliament and final negotiations with transport ministers. The Transport committee also voted in support of a package of new vehicle safety measures. The update to the EU’s General Safety Regulation for motor vehicles includes a number of new mandatory technologies such as Automated Emergency Braking (AEB) and an overridable form of Intelligent Speed Assistance (ISA), to help drivers keep within the speed limit. In addition t eCall, an automated emergency calling system fitted to all new cars and vans in the EU, looks likely to be fitted to lorries and buses in the future.
Hitachi’s new road scanning technology Hitachi Automotive Systems (Hitachi) has developed a new technology package that allows the detection of road surface problems, including holes and small debris. The system works while a vehicle is being driven and uses the firm’s invehicle stereo camera technology. This allows for accurate detection of small road surface issues. The firm intends to link the package to vehicle suspension systems. This would allow vehicles to respond quickly to any surface irregularities, immediately prior to passing over them. The firm is working on a new development that would tune the vehicle’s stability in accordance to the condition of the road surface. The firm says that its stereo cameras are also able to detect pedestrians as well as other objects and can determine distances accurately. The system is able to detect surface irregularities quickly accurately according to the firm and has been designed to ignore false readings caused by dirt or shadows in the roadway. The high performance readings made by the stereo cameras have been key to identifying shadows or dirt, aided by a sophisticated algorithm that can analyse the image information extremely rapidly. Using advanced vehicle to vehicle communications, this data could be shared between cars and trucks using the same stretch of road. Multiple alerts over road surface issues could also be used to highlight the need for debris removal or road repairs to road authorities.
Congestion charging proposal for Los Angeles A new proposal for congestion charging in Los Angeles has been put forward as a possible solution to the cityâ€™s traffic woes. The CEO of the Los Angeles Metro system has suggested that a congestion charge for drivers could be used to allow riders to use the cityâ€™s transit system for free. Under the proposed scheme, drivers would be charged for entering certain districts of the city at peak travel periods. The proposal has been put forward as a way of smoothing out transport ahead of the 2028 Olympic Games. As anyone who has driven across Los Angeles during the rush hour can attest, its traffic delays can be a tedious burden. Jams are frequent and even comparatively short journeys can take a long time. Los Angeles is amongst the top 10 most traffic congested cities in the world according to research, the only city in a developed nation to have such a dubious accolade.
Civil Contractors Conference: Featuring
ATSSA 49th Annual Convention and Traffic Expo Tampa, Florida 8-12 February 2019 www.atssa.com Traffex National Exhibition Centre, Birmingham 2-4 April 2019 http://www.traffex.com/
NZTA/NZRF T 8 and T 12 The T 8 and T 12 applicator testing programme is a key component of industry self regulation. There is a .pdf version of the applicator certificates associated with each registration line.
1-3 August Energy Events Centre,
We're proud to announce Mike King as our first keynote speaker for this year's conference! Long renowned as one of New Zealand's top comedians, Mike is now the driving force behind the Key to Life Trust, and recognised as one of NZ's foremost mental health advocates. Upcoming Events
These can be accessed via a hyperlink off the certificate registration number. The certificates include a photograph of the applicator. T 12 certificates include schedules setting out the scope of certification.