what is traffic management

Who Needs Traffic Management?

Who needs traffic management? According to SafeWork Australia, between 2013 and 2017, vehicle accidents in the construction industry caused an average of 251 incidents annually.

Some crashes can be real serious and not only do they damage people and lives but they also cost everyone money. So, could you imagine what Sydney roads would look like if no one was managing traffic?

But, what does traffic management involve? And, why do I need traffic management?

What does traffic management involve?


Traffic management involves controlling and directing vehicle and pedestrian traffic. And, it can be around a construction site, event or situation that affects people’s use of the road infrastructure.

Thus, Transport for NSW aims atoptimising road space allocation and traffic movement so that the best performance possible is achieved for all road users at all times.”

And, managing the road network in NSW requires consideration of many issues. In fact, it includes road safety improvement, commuter/bus/freight and tourism movement.

In addition, it takes into account transport alternatives improvement including bicycling, walking and travel demand management. But, it also considers congestion in cities, and delays caused by planned and unplanned incidents and special events.

In short, Transport for NSW (Formerly called Roads and Maritime Services (RMS)) defines Traffic Management as “the management of the existing road network and its users to maximise safety, efficiency and reliability.


What is construction traffic management?


Construction sites are busy places. Powered mobile plant vehicles, forklifts and cranes require traffic management. In addition, around the site deliveries and general traffic has to be managed especially if the works are in a residential or commercial area.

Managing traffic in and around construction sites is an important part of ensuring the workplace is without risk to workers and the general public. Vehicles move in and around the workplace, reversing, loading and unloading are often the leading cause of death and injuries to workers and members of the public.

According to Safe Work Australia the most effective way to protect pedestrians is to eliminate traffic hazards, which they say can be done by designing the layout of the workplace to eliminate interactions between pedestrians and vehicles include prohibiting vehicles from being used in pedestrian spaces.

However on some construction sites this is not possible but with traffic management systems in place and the correct training, controlling vehicle operations and pedestrian movements can be managed to ensure safety is the priority.


Why is a traffic management plan important?

Build an effective traffic management plan to reduce the risk of harm


A plan helps communicate how you manage risks. Good traffic management keeps everyone safe, including road users, road workers, pedestrians and the traffic controllers. Also, it prevents road users being delayed for longer than necessary – reducing the risk of stress and conflict.

Why do I need traffic management?

For instance, if your site is located near a road, you need some kind of traffic management to reduce the risk of harm around your site. Moreover, you also need to keep everyone safe within your site, when trucks and utes are reversing, loading and unloading. And, dust can also make visibility difficult.

As a result, the key is an effective traffic management plan. And, the complexity of your plan will depend on where you are. And, it will depends on what buildings and infrastructure are in your area – major roads, footpaths, schools, shops, etc.

What should be in a traffic management plan?

The plan may include details of the desired flow of pedestrian and vehicle movements. And, the expected frequency of interaction of vehicles and pedestrians.

Then, it can also have illustrations of the layout of barriers, and walkways. But, also signs and general arrangements to warn and guide traffic around, past, or through a work site or temporary hazard. In addition, it explains also how business will manage short term, mobile work and complex traffic situations will be managed.

For example, it could set out the responsibilities of people managing traffic in the workplace. And, the responsibilities of people expected to interact with traffic in the workplace. As well as the instructions or procedures for controlling traffic including in an emergency.

Who Needs A Traffic Management Plan?

Any business working around traffic needs a traffic management plan

Any business working around traffic needs one. In fact, working on or near roads can pose significant health and safety risks. So, a Traffic Management Plan details the work to be undertaken and how the risks associated with plant and vehicle traffic are being managed.


In addition, councils have an important role in managing traffic movement. And, they work with Roads and Maritime Services to deal with these issues on its own Regional and Local roads.

Therefore, the applicant must prepare and submit a comprehensive Traffic Management plan (TMP) to the council. And, the plan must be in accordance with RMS guidelines, details traffic diversions, timings and the methodology for achieving the activities. Last but not least, the TMP must satisfy the requirements of the Police, Cumberland Council and the RMS.

What to include in a traffic management plan to obtain a council permit?

Council Permit

So, you will probably need a council permit if you intend to do any work around or near roads, including:

  • changing traffic conditions
  • closing or blocking a car park
  • closing or blocking a footpath or driveway
  • doing work that affects council roads.

Permit From The Federal Government

Besides, if your work affects a state-controlled road, you may need a permit from the federal government as well.

To get these permits, your plan must outline:

  • the scope of the works, including a timeline
  • how traffic will be affected by the works
  • how you will manage all traffic risks associated with the works, including what equipment and services you’ll need.


And, if the plan isn’t done correctly, you may not meet all of council’s requirements or get the permits you need to proceed.

Who is affected by a traffic management plan?


So, when creating your plan, you must consider the requirements of everyone who will be affected, including:

  • Residents
  • Pedestrians
  • Suppliers and contractors getting in and out
  • Other vehicles in the vicinity.

How do I write a traffic management plan?

In particular, you need to consider:

  • Entries and exits for vehicles, including speed limit signs and how to prevent pedestrians being hit
  • Loading zones and parking spaces
  • Vehicles routes – sufficient width, solid surface (especially in rain), and no obstructions or hazards
  • Pedestrian walkways – clear signage and solid surfaces that are well maintained
  • Lighting – to ensure signs are visible at night
  • Clothing – to ensure all traffic controllers wear high-visibility, protective clothing
  • Equipment, such as signage, barriers, vehicles, etc.

Then, the plan should also state how you will notify affected people of changes to the use of the road, such as signage for road users and flyers and door knocking for residents.

In short, there are many options for traffic control measures, and it’s vital to design and choose the right ones for your situation.

Eventually, a good traffic management plan keeps everyone safe.


Next, every person you engage to work in traffic control must be trained and accredited to protect everyone’s health and safety.

When do you need a traffic management training card?

For example, in New South Wales, you need a training card from SafeWork NSW to:

  • Control traffic: direct traffic in accordance with a work zone traffic management plan
  • Implement traffic control plans: implement a work zone traffic management plan in the immediate vicinity of a workplace
  • Prepare a work zone traffic management plan: design (including vary) or inspect a work zone traffic management plan

So, check your state or territory government’s own work health and safety website for training requirements in your state.

Besides, Safe Work Australia provides more guidance material on traffic management, particularly around construction sites.

The Role Of A Traffic Management Company

Planning and organising traffic management on your site can be overwhelming. You consider permits and approvals, labour, signage, control measures and a host of other necessities.

So, when undertaking construction that requires large machinery or trucks to be taking up a lot of road space outside the premises, speak to a us to ensure you are good to go.

It is our job to liaise with councils, RMS, and police, Traffic Management Centre and various other bodies to ensure the community is kept safe at all times.

Choose A Traffic Control Company

So, you’re wondering which one to choose among the various companies? Accreditations, Safety Work Methods Statement (SWMS), Controllers’ presentation, organization, and paperwork. These are the essentials elements you need to pay attention to when choosing a traffic control company.

And, if you want to avoid extended delays, non-performant workers and an overpriced experience, read our article “5 tips on hiring the right traffic control company”.

How to choose a traffic control company?

  • Ask For The RMS Accreditation
  • Be Up to Date With a Safety Work Methods Statement
  • Check Your Controllers’ Presentation
  • Check the Traffic Control Company Organization Plan & Organise the Paperwork
  • Check the range of traffic control services provided, including labour hire and traffic management planning.

At Absolute Traffic Management, we can help you fulfill all the council and government requirements needed to get your permit.

No One Should Have To Risk Safety With Poor Traffic Management

To sum up, if you plan correctly, your project runs smoothly and it won’t break the bank. But, even the slightest mistake could cost your company thousands of dollars. And, believe me, we have seen it happen before.

At Absolute Traffic Management, we are dedicated to your job to make sure you get everything finished on time, every-time.

And, we all share strong values:

Safety: With over 27 years experience we operate at the highest standards. We ensure that all staff, contractors and members of the community are not exposed to danger or risk whilst we operate.

Reliability: We are highly committed and love what they do.

Honesty: We always operate with the utmost integrity to ensure we develop long lasting professional relationships to grow your company.

Excellence: We believe in doing the job right the first time round.

For this reason, our main goal is to save our clients money on their projects. To do so, we offer the best and most reliable Traffic Management, the first time round.

So, if you are unsure if you need traffic management services or require extra help, contact us now. Absolute Traffic Management is here to help!