National Seminar aims for better road incident management


Key organisations and speakers from New Zealand and overseas will meet at a national seminar focusing on road incident management on New Zealand's state highway network. The seminar will be held in Rotorua on March 5 and 6.

Opus Consultants are the key sponsor for this NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) initiative. Top of the agenda will be how to reduce the impact of unexpected events on our roads. Participants will exchange stories, experiences and knowledge so best practice and people's expectations around managing incidents on New Zealand's roads can be improved.

"Whenever there is a road incident such as a crash or isolated flooding or slips, the likelihood of delays, detours and closures becomes an issue - and these can have a number of consequences," says NTZA State Highway Manager, (Waikato/Bay of Plenty), Kaye Clark, a key speaker at the seminar.  "We all know queues are frustrating for motorists, particularly in warm temperatures or when you are in a hurry."

Mrs Clark emphasises that the NZTA recognises people's concerns around these issues.  "That's why we've made it a priority to create this seminar which will bring together police, fire services, councils, consultants, contractors, motorist and heavy vehicle organisations, the insurance industry and St John Ambulance," says Mrs Clark.  "If we can coordinate our efforts to manage road incidents more effectively, we'll be able to pass on the benefits of doing this to road users and our partners in road incident management. Our teams around the country work hard on managing incidents on state highways, but there's always room for improvement.  We're also aware of how reliability and better road access contributes to New Zealand's economic wellbeing - and how vital it is to ensure our goods get to our ports on time."

Mrs Clark says that effective road incident management means all parties involved acting as quickly as possible to restore access and travel movements, taking into account the challenges presented in each situation.  "It's also about getting better at communicating with road users, road incident management partners and other stakeholders as soon as an incident occurs and sending out regular, timely updates, so everyone knows what's happening, when and why."

Overseas speakers at the seminar will include spokespeople from the United States' National Traffic Incident Management Coalition and a guest from the transport sector in New South Wales, Australia, who will talk about the 'F3 event' which occurred in Sydney in 2010. Alongside the NZTA's Kaye Clark, other New Zealand speakers have been sourced from NZ Police (National Crash Investigation Unit and Road Policing Support); Opus Consultants; law firm Simpson Grierson; and the Waikato Regional Council.  The guest evening speaker will be Duncan Gibb (Alliance Manager - Stronger Christchurch Infrastructure Recovery Team [SCRIT]).

More information on the seminar is available at link).