Overlooking the inconvenience of being stuck at a red light, most people will be familiar with the three colour traffic lights and the role they play in safety at thousands of intersections on a global scale. While these traffic lights are important and are heavily utilised, their portable version plays an equally critical role.
The design, construction and performance of portable three-colour traffic signal systems are guided by the Australian Standard, AS 4191:2015, Portable traffic signal systems. In providing this guidance,
the standard not only controls the flow of traffic in instances of roadworks or bridge works but contributes significantly to the safety of those working in these situations.
However, it is important to note that while this standard facilitates the design, construction and performance of this type of portable traffic light system, it is the regulation of the relevant traffic authority which will often outline its use. Also, this standard is one of a number which sets out requirements for the equipment associated with traffic signalling.
A versatile contributor to safety
Traffic lights guided by this standard are those used in roadworks or bridgeworks; and those used by small roadwork crews in locations with poor visibility, or where stop-go sign operators may not be appropriate.
These simple systems are therefore deployed to promote safety when it is the safety of a particular road being improved.
It is the design and performance of these traffic lights guided by this standard that are among the main contributors to the wellbeing of the construction workers involved in these safety improvement projects. Thus, as is the case with every Australian Standard and its requirement to deliver net benefit to the Australian community, AS 4191:2015 delivers a positive benefit to those using it in a professional sense but also extends to every Australian road-user.
Whilst the safety objectives of this standard are quite clear in their impact on road construction workers, the common design of this traffic light ensures everyone using the road and interacting with these lights are comfortable in doing so based on the reliability and safety intended by this standard.
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