Let’s say we’re living in a large Australian city like Melbourne, and we see roadside construction up ahead, what is it that stops those workers from being in danger from the passing traffic? The answer is that measures and equipment have been put in place to control the traffic and stop them from driving past the construction scene in a dangerous way.
But when would an emergency traffic control service in Melbourne or anywhere else in Australia and beyond even be necessary outside of construction? Don’t the police handle all these things? The fact is that no, they do not. Most of these traffic management services come from the private sector.
Let’s see some examples of times when such services are useful:
1. Roadside Construction
This is one area we already touched on, but let’s look in more detail. Construction and maintenance happens on the road very often, but also near the road. In both cases, it presents serious safety issues for the workers who spend their entire day standing and operating machinery on and by a busy road with traffic zooming past. Even cars moving at “slow” speeds of 35 or 40 km/h present a life-threatening danger to construction workers.
Properly placed traffic control equipment like barriers, cones and signage is not mere decoration, but also something that protects and saves lives. Past events have shown that people tend to naturally slow and increase their care when driving upon seeing those bright reflective surfaces on things like cones and barriers. It may be out of concern for their own car and personal safety more than that of the workers, but at least the positive result is the same.
2. Festivals and Events
Melbourne is a city of concerts and music festivals, as well as other big public events. That kind of thriving social scene is great for people’s quality of life, as it is for the local economy, but every time one such event happens, the question of traffic control has to be raised. Once again, providing traffic management to privately organised events is not the purview of Melbourne’s police force.
Locations of festivals and events often overlap or spill over onto public roads, or they naturally attract increased traffic to the location which will need to park up or avoid certain routes in order to prevent too much disruption to regular traffic. This is where these traffic control services are very useful. Plans can be drawn upon where to direct festival traffic, and how to keep all traffic away from where pedestrians and festival goers are walking and enjoying themselves.
3. Public Gatherings
There’s one more thing that Melburnians love than music festivals, and that’s public gatherings for demonstrations and other meaningful purposes. These are important times where people express themselves and make their voices heard, but they also require careful management to keep people safe on all sides. The challenge can be even greater with such events because they tend to move from one place to another over the course of the event, so careful planning is required to ensure that everyone remains safe at every point.
An Essential Public Service
The police stick to their purview when it comes to traffic control, leaving the rest up to the private sector. It remains, however, an essential public service of which we should take note. Effective traffic control is needed perhaps far more often than we realise, and it takes a lot to make it really work well.