Vulnerable Road Users at Roadworks and Events


Safe System Approach

Main Roads WA has adopted the Safe System approach to the management of the road network, recognising that humans make mistakes which can lead to death or serious injury.

The Safe System philosophy demands that we make changes to the road network to prevent road trauma and reduce crash forces to survivable limits.

In particular without the protection of a vehicle, such as a car or truck, the human body is extremely vulnerable to crash forces.


Pedestrians and Cyclists

Road users are not limited to motorists - they include pedestrians, such as school children and people with disabilities, as well as cyclists. Management of work on roads requires consideration of all road user needs and attention should not focus just on the management of vehicular traffic through, past or around the work site.

Any work that occurs on, or will obstruct the use of footpaths, shall ensure path users such as people with disabilities are catered for.  A guide for path users has been developed to assist:

Guidelines on the Provisions for all Path Users at Roadworks


Motorcyclists are a vulnerable road user group with specific needs that should be understood by those tasked with road design and maintenance. With only two tyres, motorcycles are far more dependant on good, consistent traction on the road surface. Motorcyclists need to be considered when undertaking all works on roads ensuring that the pavement is free of defects, loose stones or excessive water that may be hazardous to riders.


Road Workers

Road workers working on foot are also extremely vulnerable to crash forces and are identified as a vulnerable road user.

The WA Occupational Health and Safety Regulations 1996 and the National Work Health Safety Act 2012 both classify work on or adjacent to roads as high risk work. The ways of controlling risks are ranked from the highest level of protecting and reliability to the lowest. This ranking is known as the hierarchy of risk control. These regulations require duty holders to work through this hierarchy when managing risks.

Engineering controls such as Workzone Road Safety Barriers or Truck/Trailer Mounted Attenuators (TMAs) should be considered to protect workers from being hit by errant vehicles on high speed and/or high volume roads. The risk assessment should identify all hazards likely to arise, evaluating them in terms of likelihood of occurrence and adverse consequences.

Main Roads WA along with key stakeholders has developed the Guidelines for the use of Truck Mounted Attenuators (TMA's) in WA, see here

For information on the selection and use of Workzone Road Safety Barrier see here:

Guide to the Design of Workzone Barriers

Traffic Controllers

Personnel managing traffic on roads or on construction sites are also extremely vulnerable to crash forces from public road users as well as construction vehicles.

The Traffic Controllers' Handbook provides brief guidelines for effectively carrying out work as a Traffic Controller, see here


Modified: 06 Nov 2018