Thu 27 Aug 2015
Member Feedback Request – Truck Mounted Attenuators (TMA) Deployment Considerations Guidelines:
Over recent months, VicRoads Health and Safety advisors have been collecting feedback in regards to their TMA Deployment Considerations Guidelines. Given that some of the incidents described in this document have occurred recently in another states, it is important to share this information so that action can be taken to prevent a recurrence.
As such please find attached an overview/report of recent incidents in Victoria and interstate. The presentation includes what we have identified to date in respect to current deployment practices in Australia compared to practices around the world for the tail or advance warning vehicles, issues in respect to open adjacent emergency lanes or hard shoulders, and recommendations for improvement.
The behavior of some drivers who are not effectively in control of their vehicles indicate the need for higher level controls in general, either road closure or some physical protection, so far as reasonably practicable. Human factors also need a new focus so drivers clearly understand advance warnings again taking note of overseas practices and the location of these ‘tail vehicles’ to reduce exposure to traffic and optimise their advance warning potential – not being the first vehicle they could run into.
Feedback with respect to the application of TMAs is welcome. For example wet ground conditions may not be suitable for deployment of a TMA on grass area which is not a hard shoulder but may be reasonably practicable in dry ground conditions. In such circumstances the next available control under the hierarchy of safety controls should be applied, perhaps utilising a TMA in a different way / location.
Work on or adjacent to freeways in urban areas and between major cities in Victoria is obviously one application, but we need to identify other roads which are exposed to the traffic hazard and may not be practical for TMAs due to local factors e.g. no hard shoulders, ground conditions in wet weather. High speed roads need to be a key focus. Trucks may act as a shadow vehicle for road workers but do not provide impact attenuation for errant vehicles and their occupants.