What is a Traffic Control Permit and When Do You Need It
Apr 01, 2022
If you’re conducting business on or near a public road, traffic management and control should be your number one priority. As a PCBU, you should be constantly thinking about the safety of motorists, pedestrians and road workers.
To ensure that everyone remains safe on the roads, businesses and individuals are required to apply for a traffic control permit before they start an event or begin any sort of road work that disrupts traffic.
In this blog, we’re going to cover everything you need to know about getting a traffic control permit. We’ll discuss the instances when you need government permission, the authorities that you need to contact, and how you can apply for a permit.
- When permission is required
Simply put, if your project disrupts the flow of traffic for vehicles or pedestrians, you will need to get a permit from the relevant road authority. Permission is required for events and projects such as road work, construction, street fairs, festivals, fun runs and so on.
The purpose of a traffic control permit is to ensure:
- The safety of the workers and all road users that may be affected by the project/event
- The protection of public property and departmental assets
- That traffic disruption is minimized
- That the project adheres to local government regulations
If you’re unsure about whether you need a permit for your particular project, we recommend contacting your local road authority for more information.
- Who to contact
The authoritative body that you need to contact for a permit will depend on who is overseeing the road that you’re working on. In Victoria, there are three main bodies that you may need to contact:
VicRoads is the main road authority for most motorways and arterial roads. Arterial roads are urban roads that have a high capacity, but do not have the same speed limits or traffic flow as major motorways.
For pathways owned by VicRoads, you will need to apply for a Memorandum of Authorisation (MoA).
- Local council
Local roads that aren’t motorways or arterial roads will fall under the responsibility of your municipality’s local council.
You will need to be issued a traffic control permit by the relevant council before you can begin your project.
- Other state offices
For pathways that aren’t motorways, arterial roads or local roads, you may have to contact the relevant state office such as the Department of Land, Water and Planning.
If you need help figuring out who has the authority on a particular path, please visit VicRoads’ Maps of Declared Roads.
- Applying for a permit
To apply for a traffic control permit, you will need to have a detailed traffic management plan (TMP). Essentially, a TMP is a document that outlines how the flow of traffic will be managed during your project or event. It will have important information about the placement of signs, modified speed limits, the necessary road safety equipment, road closures, and the separation of pedestrian and vehicle zones.
TMPs are generally very complex and require a lot of risk evaluations. Indeed, to be accepted by authorities, TMPs need to comply with the Australian Standard 1742.3, the Road Management Act 2004 and, depending on your municipality, several other legal requirements and codes of practice.
Due to the plan’s complexity, both VicRoads and the City of Melbourne only accept TMPs that are drawn up by a professional traffic consultant or company. With VicRoads, they only accept TMPs from pre-qualified traffic management companies (TMC).
Besides the TMP, you will also be asked to provide details about your project such as the nature of the work, the relevant street name(s) and the proposed timeframe of the project. For VicRoads, you will also need to fill in a MoA application form.
- Traffic control plans
Of course, all the above will be for naught if you and your workers don’t follow the TMP. As such, once you get permission to conduct your business on the roads, it’s important that you and your co-workers understand the principles of traffic management as well as the principles of general occupational health and safety.
As a PCBU, you need to take the proper measures to ensure the safety of your workers and customers. This doesn’t just stop with the TMP. It also means managing workload, communication, professional relationships and so on. Indeed, when it comes to safety, workplace leadership and cooperation is paramount.
Hopefully, this helped you understand the importance of traffic control permits and the process of acquiring them. When it comes to road works, it’s essential that you follow all government regulations to ensure the safety of your co-workers as well as the public. Contact a reliable TMC today to make sure that your project can be completed legally and smoothly.