The South Australian Government plans to improve traffic flows on state arterial roads by introducing new penalties for roadworks that cause unnecessary traffic delays.
Under the state government’s Operation Moving Traffic initiative, agencies and contractors undertaking works on prescribed state arterial roads, including within the City of Adelaide, will be required to apply for a permit.
At the end of December last year, new penalties had been gazetted, enabling the introduction of the laws from 1 June 2018.
The new system will categorise prescribed roads into three tiered categories based on factors including traffic volumes and heavy vehicle routes, with charges incurred for works in the road corridor during designated periods.
The tiered charges will be as follows:
Tier 1 (major roads)- $500 per hour Monday to Saturday, 7am-7pm and Sunday, 10am-6pm
Tier 2 (main roads) – $250 per hour Monday to Friday, 7am-10am and 3pm-6pm
Tier 3 (minor roads) – $100 per hour Monday to Friday, 7am-9am and 4pm-6pm
The permit system is aimed at encouraging work to be undertaken outside of the busiest periods on the arterial road network to reduce the delays caused by roadworks.
Expiations of $1250 will apply to agencies and contractors that block off lanes of traffic or reduce speed limits without a permit or fail to comply with the permit conditions.
The maximum court-imposed penalty will be $20,000 for a first offence and up to $50,000 for second and subsequent offences.
Under the new scheme, 40kmh speed limits will be prioritised for roadworks over 25kmh and speed restrictions will need to be removed when no workers are present and road conditions do not present a danger.
“In the past, the Government has been limited in our powers to control roadworks which cause delays on the road network, especially during peak periods,” South Australian Transport and Infrastructure Minister Stephen Mullighan said in a statement.
“This legislation will give us powers to make sure non-urgent roadworks and other developments aren’t unnecessarily holding up traffic by taking up lanes in peak hours.
“These changes will in no way undermine existing provisions to keep workers, road users and the public safe, but they will encourage agencies and contractors to do work outside of the busiest times on our roads. And tough penalties will help to deter organisations which are careless or blatantly ignore the impacts that restricting the flow of traffic can have.”
The permit system will also allow the Government’s Traffic Management Centre to coordinate of roadworks as well as provide advanced warning through the free AddInsight app and the Traffic SA website.
The changes follow extensive consultation with the South Australian Police, RAA, Safework SA, City of Adelaide and the Traffic Management Association South Australia.