In the past year RAC has tackled many issues affecting our members and the state, using innovative strategies. We’ve applied better, smarter and more integrated solutions to keep our members safe and our road and public transport networks lowing.

RAC funded a trial using technology to improve the performance of traffic signals and found peak-hour congestion could be considerably decreased across the network.

Making the state’s existing infrastructure work harder and smarter is one way we can help relieve congestion pressures. The trial focused on the section of Orrong Road between Francisco Street and Oats Street, and was the second stage of a two year study initiated and funded by the RAC, with Main Roads WA as a key partner.

The trial used technology to test shorter traffi c-signal cycle times, which resulted in vehicles getting a green light more frequently, helping traffic clear faster and creating shorter queues.€

Vehicle queue lengths at the four intersections along the trial corridor were reduced by up to 34 per cent, while journey times were 20 per cent faster. For the trial, the traffic-light cycle times, or the total time allowed to receive a green light, was shortened by as much as 50 seconds.€

This, along with changes to the signal settings, made the traffic signals ‘react’ to congestion and reduced delays.€ These signal settings also resulted in up to a 10 per cent increase in the number of vehicles passing through the trial area in the peak direction of travel for typical trips.

While signal timings will di‹ffer from location to location, this approach can be applied more widely to help improve traffic conditions across the network. Efficiency improvements in our existing city-transport infrastructure means government will be better placed to deliver further investment across our regions, including the regional local government areas of the City of Albany, City of Bunbury and City of Greater Geraldton, where the population is expected to increase by up to 15 to 29 per cent between 2012 and 2026.

As a first step, we will be advocating for the State Government to provide the funding required to ensure that Western Australia’s Traffic Operation Centre, operated by Main Roads WA, is in a position to take the further step of active traffic management to improve real-time road management.

I would like to conclude by thanking you – our members – for your support during 2014. This is a wonderful time of year when our thoughts turn to family, friends and all that we value most in our lives. I encourage you to remind those around you to be mindful of their safety on the road and, as a gift for you this Christmas, to pledge always to wear their seatbelts throughout the coming year. This simple act could spare a life.

Happy Christmas and a wonderful and safe New Year to you all.

Esme Bowen

RAC President