Rest Area 300m: Signs & Stuff

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Signs & Stuff

Peternz asked if I would elaborate on the setting up of signs. He made the point in a comment that some seem to be forgotten, and often they are unattended.

Firstly we can't just put up signs unless we have a good reason for doing so, especially temporary speed limits. A trained person must do it under delegated authority. They carry legal weight.

There is a manual (download) we use for the various traffic plans, forms to be filled in, and a record kept of the time they are set up and taken down.

In practice this is a routine. We can do very little on the road without setting up signs. They may be as simple as the working man symbol, or the full monty with speed restrictions, lots of cones, etc.
When we have finished working on the road, If there is even a slight risk of danger to traffic, warning signs are left up.

We could be liable if there was an accident caused by the condition we left the road in. In the case of a fatal accident we could end up in court, charged with manslaughter. This has happened before.

"Recent decisions from the Courts and Coroner now mean that road signs are left out a lot longer than previous because contractors are obliged to inform motorists, motorcyclists and cyclists of any problems with the road."

Often they are ignored and we regularly have crashes on road works sites, and lots of them.
Loose sealing chip is the main culprit.
In NZ more motorists are killed in road works then road workers.

We also try and protect fresh new surfaces by slowing traffic. We like you to drive slowly, smoothly, and if it's a hot day, don't stop!

Usually if we must leave a speed restriction it will be 50kph. If we are working, then 30kph.
It seems slow in a car, but I can assure you it is quite fast for us working only a metre or so away from you. Ignore them at your peril.

Where things go wrong perhaps, is in the construction season. Signage can, and does, get forgotten, there is a web site to report them.
Also the trucking companies are not shy when it comes to lengthy road works and delays. They carry a bit of clout too.

In practice though, signs are expensive. They form a big cost to a roading company. They are subject to vandals, damage, and theft. Our boss is always wringing his hands over precious signs being left out on the road at the mercy of the public.

Me; I like the "Home Time" sign from the boss....

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Male. Lives in New Zealand/North Island/The Road, speaks English. Eye color is blue.
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