Addressing the problem of vehicles crashing into utility poles on metropolitan & rural-urban roads in NSW
Utility poles contribute to more than 1600 road crashes each year in the metropolitan and rural-urban areas of NSW. In the period 2002 to 2006, NSW urban areas experienced 8,432 crashes involving utility poles, resulting in fatalities and injuries costing the community $232 million per year.
There are high safety and community benefits to be gained by providing a more forgiving urban roadside environment. Roads and utility authorities have begun to address the safety issues posed by utility poles. The first step has focused on addressing future problems by ending poor installation practice. Other strategies include addressing critical locations (existing poles), utilising utility agency works programs, and addressing the utility pole problem as part of the NSW Roads & Traffic Authority?s (RTA) development program.
Utility authorities? codes of practice and installation standards, development of RTA guidelines on better practice regarding utility pole installation, development of utility pole policy and technical guidelines for use in scoping RTA projects and education programs for RTA and utility authority staff has provided a foundation that is likely to produce, overall, better results for the community.