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Driver views on safety at roadworks

Blackman, R, Debnath, A K, Haworth, N (Peer reviewed)

Road Environment

ARSC conference 2015

Poor compliance with temporary speed limits is a common contributing factor in roadway work zone crashes. Despite the wide range of measures used to encourage compliance, speeding remains a major challenge in work zone traffic control. As part of the major study into safety at Queensland roadworks conducted by CARRS-Q and industry partners, an online survey was conducted to study the perceptions and experiences of drivers regarding roadworks, speed choice and related safety concerns. Survey participants (N=410) were asked to view photographs of 12 roadwork sites (shot from a drivers' perspective without revealing the speed limits), to nominate the speed they thought they would drive at through work zones, and to rate from 1 to 5 separate levels of perceived risk to workers and to their own vehicles. The survey sought further information on topics including recall and effectiveness of public safety messages, perceived effectiveness of common roadwork safety measures, and demographic characteristics. Participants were also invited to express their concerns regarding any general or specific issue related to driving through roadworks. The current paper provides a descriptive summary of key findings from the survey, drawn from preliminary analyses of both quantitative and qualitative data, demonstrating the depth of data and its value for improving knowledge on driver perceptions and speed choice at roadworks. The survey is the first study of driver perceptions of roadwork risks and hazards to include an assessment of self-nominated speeds which can be compared with actual observed speeds at the same roadwork sites. _x000D_