Speeding through roadworks: Understanding driver speed profiles and ways to reduce speeding
Poor compliance with speed limits is a serious safety concern at roadworks. While considerable research has been undertaken worldwide to understand drivers’ speeding behaviour at roadworks and to identify treatments for improving compliance with speed limits, little is known about the speeding behaviour of drivers at Australian roadworks and how their compliance rates with speed limits could be improved. This paper presents findings from two Queensland studies targeted at 1) examining drivers’ speed profiles at three long-term roadwork sites, and 2) understanding the effectiveness of speed control treatments at roadworks. The first study analysed driver speeds at various locations in the sites using a Tobit regression model. Results show that the probability of speeding was higher for light vehicles and their followers, for leaders of platoons with larger front gaps, during late afternoon and early morning, when higher proportions of surrounding vehicles were speeding, and at the upstream of work areas. The second study provided a comprehensive understanding of the effectiveness of various speed control treatments used at roadworks by undertaking a critical review of the literature. Results showed that enforcement has the greatest effects on reducing speeds among all treatments, while the roadwork signage and information-related treatments have small to moderate effects on speed reduction. Findings from the studies have potential for designing programs to effectively improve speed limit compliance at Australian roadworks.