Victoria Minister for Roads Terry Mulder
New Website Maps Out Roads Closed Due To Floods, Fires And Other Emergencies
Victor P Taffa
Finding out what roads are closed due to floods, fires, major crashes or road damage will now be far quicker using a new map-based website, Minister for Roads Terry Mulder said today.
Launching the new website set to go live today, Mr Mulder said it would provide detailed information about road closures and conditions during emergencies.
“The new VicRoads ‘Road Closures and Traffic Alerts’ website will be Victoria’s official source for road closure information during emergencies.” Mr. Mulder said.
“Natural disasters have presented many challenges across Victoria and Australia over the past 12 months, and it is critical that the community receives accurate and timely information about road closures.”
“During the peak of this year’s floods there were land slips, bridges washed away and almost 400 roads closed across Victoria.”
“This meant safety concerns for drivers and a challenge for VicRoads to ensure the ever-changing list of road closures and openings was up to date.”
Mr. Mulder said VicRoads had reviewed its response and recovery procedures, including providing information during emergencies, and spent $924,000 on the new real-time website.
“During the January floods, VicRoads text-based website received more than half a million visits and people telephoning to obtain basic road closure information could be waiting over an hour to speak with a VicRoads operator.” Mr. Mulder said.
“Now, people will be able to find out which roads are closed on interactive maps in real time either online or on their smart phone.”
During major emergencies such as fires or floods the website will include information about all road closures, regardless of whether they are state controlled or council roads. It will also provide traffic alert information during non-emergency times for incidents such as crashes and breakdowns.
VicRoads will update information as it receives it from its own staff and agencies such as Victoria Police, Country Fire Authority or local government. Road closures and incident information will be displayed as an interactive map as well as a sortable list. Many of the features included on the site are a direct result of suggestions from the public and other stakeholders including the media.
“The website will be invaluable to road users, media and other emergency service organisations as it provides a real-time picture of incidents occurring on the roads.” Mr. Mulder said.
“This will help people plan their journeys in advance and help them avoid major road hazards.”
The map-based application will also be accessible on web-enabled mobile phones, such as smartphones, by going to the VicRoads website. Alerts will also be available on Twitter.
People without internet access can call VicRoads Traffic Management Centre 24 hours a day, 365 days a year on 13 11 70. This number can also be used to report a fault, hazard or problem on the roads.