05 June, 2017
Engineers continue to strengthen road safety

The Department of Works has hosted workshops in Port Moresby and Lae aimed at strengthening road safety measures across Papua New Guinea. The two Australian-funded workshops coincided with the fourth UN Global Road Safety Week recently and brought together key partners in order to promote improved road safety.

"Road accidents are three times as likely at worksites."

The World Health Organisation estimates that over 1,000 lives are lost on PNG’s roads each year. This tragic loss of life has a long lasting economic and human cost. The workshops focused on how to make roads safer for all road users, including by promoting more responsible road use and reducing speeds.

Deputy Secretary, Gabriel Tomtai, is pleased with the progress that the Department of Works is making in this field.

“The Department of Works is committed to continuing to improve engineering standards for safer, more reliable roads in Papua New Guinea. Road safety is a shared responsibility and so it is also critically important to raise awareness in the community.”

At the workshop, the Department of Works launched a new road safety manual that provides detailed standards and drawings for traffic management at road worksites. Mr Tomtai explained why this is an important step forward.

“Road accidents are three times as likely at worksites as on the rest of the network. This means increased danger for pedestrians, construction workers, motorists and the travelling public.”

The workshop in Port Moresby was well represented by key stakeholders including the Road Traffic Authority, police, Department of Transport, and local road construction contractors. Topics included traffic calming measures, safer road design, speed enforcement, and an interactive session on audits for safer roads. This road safety initiative was funded by the Australian Government in partnership with Papua New Guinea and delivered through the Papua New Guinea - Australia Transport Sector Support Program.

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