Speech at Panel on Transport

Progress of the review of road works safety requirements

Guarding requirements for road works

Mr CHAN Chun-ying doubted why the requirement on the application of shadow vehicles equipped with truck-mounted attenuator was only extended to road works on public roads with a speed limit of 70 kilometres per hour (“km/h”) or above, but not to all road works. Apart from the prescribed minimum weight of shadow vehicles in the revised Code, he asked if any standard for the vibration-absorption performance of shadow vehicles was adopted in Hong Kong, and if so, whether the local standard was comparable to the international one. He also asked if flashing arrow signs were required to be erected at the forefront of road works sites to alert motorists of the road works ahead.

DDHy advised that the application of guarding requirements was not limited to road works on roads with a speed limit of 70 km/h and above. There were also relevant requirements for road works on roads with a speed limit not exceeding 70 km/h. Indeed, some enhanced measures in the revised Code extensively applied to road works on roads of all speed limits. For example, CHE/R&D said that the requirement on retroreflective material for temporary traffic signs and the containment level of temporary safety barriers generally applied to all road works irrespective of the road speed limit. Besides, it was also specified in the Code that the person responsible should take into account the actual traffic conditions of the road where the road works were to be carried out. Should the approach speed exceed the speed limit of the road, the person responsible should plan and set up the guarding provisions and the temporary traffic arrangement for the road works according to the approach speed instead of the speed limit of road.

CHE/R&D further advised that the truck-mounted attenuator used should meet the standard of Test Level 3 of the United States National Cooperative Highway Research Programme Report 350 or equivalent, which was the highest standard adopted internationally. Pursuant to the prevailing guidelines, flashing arrow signs should be erected at the beginning of the narrowed road sections at road works sites, with warning signs erected in front of the flashing arrow signs to alert motorists of narrowed road ahead.