Roadwork safety

Roadworks are necessary to build new roads and keep our existing ones safe—however, roadwork sites can be dangerous. You need to take extra care when driving through roadworks—this is for your safety and the safety of the roadworkers who are improving our roads.

When driving through roadworks you must:

  • move into the correct lane (or designated area) as soon as possible
  • slow down (to the reduced speed limit if one has been posted)
  • drive very carefully
  • look out for roadworkers
  • follow roadworkers’ instructions
  • follow direction of the traffic controller if one is present
  • watch for vehicles entering or leaving the area
  • follow all signs
  • keep a safe distance from all vehicles, barriers, equipment and roadworkers.

Roadwork signs and markers

Roadwork signs alert you to where roadworks start and end and tell you the speed limit that you must stick to in that area. Roadwork signs are official traffic signs—by law you must follow them.

A roadworks warning sign, advising motorists to reduce their speed to 80km/hr
Reduce speed sign warning of upcoming roadworks.

The reduce speed sign is usually the first sign you will see. It tells you to look out for upcoming roadworks or roadworkers, and to slow down to the speed limit listed on the sign—as road and traffic conditions may have changed. There may also be other measures in place to slow traffic such as temporary speed humps or flashing lights.

A reduce speed roadworks sign, with roadworkers sign added, and a speed limit of 60km/hr
Reduce speed sign with roadworkers sign.

The reduce speed sign with the roadworker warning sign tells you to expect roadworkers on or near the road and to slow down to the speed limit listed on the sign. The sign should be around 500m before the roadworks site—although this distance may differ between rural and urban roads.

A traffic controller roadworks sign with prepare to stop sign.
Traffic controller sign with prepare to stop sign.

The traffic controller sign is used when traffic controllers are on the road. It usually comes after a reduce speed or roadworker warning sign. You must always follow the directions of the traffic controller.

A end roadwork sign, with a speed limit of 100km/hr
End roadwork sign.

The end roadwork sign is the last sign you will see when driving through roadworks. It marks the end of the roadworks and tells you that, after passing the sign, the road’s normal speed limit applies.

Orange cones and safety barriers are often put out within roadwork areas to guide you around hazards or show you exactly where the roadwork is currently taking place.

Hazards at roadworks

It is important that you take care around roadworks, and adjust your driving to the changed road and traffic conditions. Changed conditions can include:

  • uneven road surfaces
  • loose gravel and stones
  • excavated areas
  • narrow lanes
  • changed lane merges
  • changed road configurations
  • changed road shoulders
  • work vehicles suddenly entering or leaving sites.

Reporting roadwork issues

If you experience an issue or a problem when driving through a roadwork site you can report it to us. We will then investigate the issue for you.

Complete the Department of Transport and Main Roads online form to submit your feedback.

Make sure to include the:

  • location of the roadworks
  • name of the road
  • issue or problem you noticed
  • time of day you drove through.