Science and Technology

Queensland green lights Hold the Red trial

green traffic light stock image

In a bid to lessen the number of car accidents at intersections, the Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads and Queensland Police are trialling technology that will manipulate the timing on traffic lights.

The trial is called Hold the Red, and involves a system that uses radar to detect instances of cars looking likely to attempt to run a red light. It is the first trial of this technology in Australia. Statistics alone show that this is an important, worthwhile trial — 11% of all serious casualties on Queensland roads occur at intersections with traffic lights.

‘Hold the Red is an active collision prevention system using radar to detect vehicles that are about to run a red light. When the danger is identified the opposing traffic lights are held on red to halt drivers waiting for their lights to change to green,’ said Queensland Minister for Transport and Main Roads, Mark Bailey.

‘Red light running is a complex problem. There is no single reason why drivers do it but what we do know is that resulting accidents are likely to be T-bone crashes, which have a higher potential of causing death or serious injury’, said Minister Bailey.

‘Hold the Red lowers the risk of a crash at sites where it is installed while still allowing for offenders to be penalised. This will keep other drivers safe, while still acting as a deterrence to offenders.’

Queensland University of Technology’s Centre for Accident Research and Road Safety – Queensland (CARRS-Q) is running an independent evaluation of the effectiveness of the technology behind Hold the Red. It’s assessment is due by mid-2019, and if positive Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads and Queensland Police will consider rolling the technology out to other high-risk locations.

Where are the trial sites?

There are four trial sites for Hold the Red, two in Brisbane, and two on the Gold Coast. The four locations are:

  • Intersection of Beaudesert Road and Compton Road, Calamvale
  • Intersection of Robinson Road West and Gympie Road, Aspley
  • Intersection of Bermuda Street and Rudd Street, Broadbeach Waters
  • Intersection of Southport – Nerang Road and Ashmore Road, Ashmore

Since implementation the technology has detected about 50 high-risk situations each week across all four trial locations.

While the technology does protect road users, it will not protect their wallets … an infringement notice is still issued to those that have attempted to run the red light. with an additional infringement issued if speeding to beat the light change was involved.

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