What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you hear “traffic engineering”? If nothing pops up, don’t worry too much about it. Traffic engineering is not one of those popular topics people talk about over coffee – maybe because it’s not a topic they’re familiar with – but in today’s article, we’d look at traffic engineering and what it means for society as we know it.
Traffic Engineering: What Is It?
Traffic engineering is a subset of engineering concerned with the design, planning, and traffic operations of road networks – streets, highways and byways, and transportation terminals. It also explores the relationship between the various modes of transportation. Traffic engineering influences the movement of goods and people within – and across – borders in a stable, convenient, and effective manner.
Traffic engineering attempts to examine and understand the thought-pattern processes and behaviour of road users and uses engineering principles to solve identified transportation problems.
Many folks find it challenging to understand the need to call a traffic engineer in Sydney for solutions whenever there is a transportation problem. Would it not be a simple thing to put up more traffic signs/signals or modulate the speed limit instead of hiring the services of a traffic engineer whenever something goes wrong? Alas, this is much easier said than done.
Traffic engineers have to overcome various obstacles while carrying out their duties. Still, one of the biggest challenges they face is convincing outspoken non-traffic engineers (with little or no experience in traffic management) to abandon conflicting assumptions that do not conform to the best engineering principles. And when such inaccurate concepts are put into practice, the results are – often – catastrophic, resulting in the creation of traffic hazards that anyone could have easily avoided. Whenever there are many impositions of unnecessary traffic laws and regulations, one can almost usually expect a corresponding increase in hazardous traffic conditions.
How Do Traffic Engineers Solve Traffic Problems In Sydney?
Traffic engineers in Sydney are similar to medical doctors in the sense that they are responsible for saving lives. The difference lies in the fact that doctors do so using surgical knives and drug prescriptions, while traffic engineers save lives by designing and building safe roads and transport networks.
Part of the responsibilities of traffic engineers is to observe the prevalent traffic conditions in a place and competently analyze their observations. They study road conditions, examine traffic speed data, monitor traffic count, evaluate accident statistics, and examine the work (and results) of other road professionals so they can diagnose a traffic problem accurately.
And just as people trust a medical doctor’s ability to diagnose and make prescriptions in health-related matters, traffic engineers should be offered the same recognition and importance when they make decisions concerning the statuses of road systems and traffic networks.
How Do Traffic Engineers In Sydney Encourage Safer Traffic Conditions?
Traffic Engineers in Sydney help improve road safety conditions by ensuring that road traffic flows as smoothly – and as efficiently – as humanly possible. From experience, it is an established fact that the smoother the traffic flow, the safer road users are while on the road. It, therefore, means that any disturbance to the smooth flow of traffic significantly increases the risk of accidents.
Unusual traffic conditions may arise as a result of the actions of certain road users. For instance, when a car abruptly stops in the middle of the road or suddenly speeds up for no obvious reason, meandering and maneuvering through traffic, there is every likelihood of creating an erratic traffic operation. If there are too many traffic signs set up on the road or ridiculously low speed limits or tons of unnecessary traffic signals, road users and drivers may end up becoming confused and very indecisive – and this can increase the probability of an accident occurring.
However, it is interesting to note that slower speeds do not necessarily translate to safer traffic conditions and road usage. The best possibility for reducing the risk of accidents on the road is when road users maintain a constant average speed in traffic.
How Do Traffic Engineers In Sydney Set Speed Limits?
Speed limits are set up legally. The only way they can be changed is when an engineering study is conducted and provides sufficient justification for the change.
One of the most commonly accepted principles for setting speed limits is to fix them at slightly lesser speeds than the speed at which eighty-five percent of road users ply the highway. From experience, it has been established that roughly eighty-five percent of road users drive at a reasonably moderate speed. And since legal speed limits are usually set a bit lower than the average speed with which motorists drive on the highway, it wouldn’t be so challenging to promote compliance with the established speed limits, especially since they are considered reasonable and acceptable speed limits. However, the remaining fifteen percent of motorists are the road users most likely to commit road traffic infractions, and become liable for enforcement actions.
What Are Traffic Control Devices?
Just as the name implies, traffic control devices refer to the various signs, markings, signals, and devices installed on (or beside) the road, street or highway. They are usually fixed by a public body saddled with the responsibility – and authority – of regulating and guiding road traffic in a municipality.
When Should Traffic Signal Lights Be Installed In Sydney?
The best time to install traffic signal lights is when doing so solves more problems than it creates. And the justification for installing traffic signal lights can only be determined after an engineering study has been carried out.
Properly installed traffic signals have the ability to direct traffic in a more orderly manner and can reduce the risk of accidents occurring on the road.
Where Can I Hire A Traffic Engineer In Sydney?
Do you have a road-building project and you need expert advice? Reach out to us at Transport And Traffic Planning Associates
You can also call us to book an appointment with a traffic engineer in Sydney today.