Work zone items influencing driver speeds at roadworks: worker, driver and expert perspectives
Submission Date: 2014
Roadworks are essential to a safe and efficient road network, yet somewhat paradoxically the necessary work is often associated with increased risk to motorists and workers, as well as with traffic flow disruptions. A major source of increased crash risk at roadwork sites (work zones) is poor speed limit compliance. Speeding in work zones is examined in existing literature to the extent that major issues are known and some effective countermeasures are identified. However, as speeding remains a major problem in work zones, influences on driver behaviour arguably need to be better understood to achieve greater compliance and thus realise further gains in road safety. Current research on safety at Queensland roadwork sites has examined the views of workers, measured work zone speed profiles, and conducted an online survey of drivers (N=410). This paper focuses on survey participants’ ratings of 12 specific work zone items (including traffic control measures) in terms of their influence on speed choice. Repeated measures ANOVA revealed statistically significant differences (p<0.001) in the ratings of these items, with the most influential including visible presence of workers, visible police presence, and speed feedback displays. Those rated least influential included ’roadwork speed limits are enforced’ and ‘reduce speed’ signs and increased fines for speeding in work zones. The paper considers the alignment of these findings with those from other sources, including worker interviews and the literature, to provide a consolidated assessment of the influence of work zone items on driver speeds.