Safety change a challenge

“LIFE isn’t getting any easier,” Gympie Region councillor Larry Friske observed in exasperation.

The council Works and Services Committee chair told this week’s committee meeting of unintended and seriously expensive consequences from new traffic safety rules, which could make it almost impossible to maintain roads, or even collect garbage in some areas.

A staff report warned councillors a recent amendment to the Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices would mean “huge increases in the required degree of traffic control,” adding significantly to the cost of minor maintenance and cleansing work.

The report said the new rules had been toned down “after uproar from numerous sources,” but still presented serious barriers to council’s normal operations.

The new rules had originally banned the practice of pothole patching during breaks in traffic on roads with more than 400 vehicles a day, requiring major increases in signage and traffic control. Fortunately, the government had now “relented,” at least partially.

But Cr Friske said traffic control costs would still be enormously increased.

“It might cost $200 for grading a road, but we will have to spend $700 on traffic control to get that $200 job done.

“We’re told there could even be problems with regulations about truck movements when emptying wheelie bins,” he said.

Gympie Times


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