Speed check indicator sign in Lake Macquarie

A new marine speed check indicator sign is being trialled at Swansea Channel in Lake Macquarie to keep boaters informed and safe.

As part of the Transport for NSW Maritime Safety Plan 2017-2021, a speed check indicator sign is being trialled at Swansea Channel until June 2021. The initiative is designed to help reduce serious injuries and fatalities on NSW waterways through the use of smart signage.

The sign will provide boat operators with real time information on how fast their vessel is travelling and will help Roads and Maritime to determine whether the speed indicator modifies driver behaviour in speed restricted zones.

The trial will test how the speed check indicator signage technology performs during the day and at night, and under various weather conditions. The speed check sign also comes equipped with CCTV, however the CCTV and recording functions have been deactivated and is not part of this trial.

The sign will be in operation 24/7 during the trial and will be used to educate drivers about the speed they’re travelling at in a restricted zone. The technology will not be used to issue speeding fines.

The speed check indicator signage contains LED lights that automatically dim at night so as to not disturb nearby residences.

The results of the trial will be evaluated and used to assist Roads and Maritime to determine if the electronic speed indicator signage technology is suitable to be deployed more widely across NSW.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • NSW Maritime is trialling new signage technology - the marine interactive speed indicator sign – to evaluate its usefulness in improving maritime safety by alerting waterway users of their speed.

    Ensure boaters and waterway users adhere to the speed limit and reduce the impact of vessel wake on the environment, residents and other waterway users.

    The trial will consider how well the new speed signage technology performs during the day and at night and under various weather conditions, and the results of the trial will inform future decisions on using this technology across NSW to improve maritime safety by reducing speed related boating incidents.

    • Speeding vessels to reduce incidents resulting in serious injury and fatalities
    • This technology has not yet been used on NSW waterways, purpose of trial is to ascertain if this technology can operate in a marine environment and can be operated in other locations in the future.
    • Compliance data shows large number of penalties in this area to make it a suitable site for the trial, and to help raise awareness and educate boaters around travelling speeds
    • Geography of waterway in this area is suitable to trial technology of this type (narrow waterway allows the detection intercept to be close to the direction of travel, high level of boating activity, different types of boating activity).
  • The signage would complement communication, education and compliance activities including:

    • on–water compliance campaigns
    • safety information available digitally, at events, at NSW Service centres, on request from BEOs/BSOs
    • print, radio, TV, social media campaigns and strategies
    • a test of the equipment was held in April 2019 in Rozelle to demonstrate capability and operability against Maritime patrol vessels. No other avenues are available to test the technology, other than to trial in a different location.
  • Install signage near a restricted speed area in Lake Macquarie, as a trial, to help boaters understand how fast they are travelling and to apply safe speeds, monitor any public feedback during the trial, record speeds for the trial only without any imagery to understand if signage played an important role in reducing speeds.

  • A key purpose of the trial is to determine whether installation of interactive speed indicator signage is a valid education tool that will complement current educative communication methods.

  • The trial will be held at Swansea, Lake Macquarie in a 4 knot zone. The trial site was selected as the most suitable area because of the high number of speed related penalties issued during 2008–2019.

  • During the trial the marine interactive speed indicator signage will be located at Maritime’s marina on Pelican Beach. See star on map.

  • The speed indicator trial will be12 weeks and will run from June to early September 2019.

  • Impacts are minimal as there are no penalties associated with the trial, nor will any data be made publicly available.

    During installation of the signage there will be some but minimal impacts during delivery of equipment, short term restricted access to an area when and where the signage will be installed, and short term reduction of up to 1-2 parking spots.

  • To understand the effectiveness of this type of electronic signage to reduce incidents of speeding by alerting skippers of their speed and the operability of the equipment in the marine environment.

  • From June to September the device will be collecting data to be analysed. This will be compared to compliance data in the area. The feedback from the public will also be considered in the evaluation of the equipment.

  • Speed is one of the 11 priority issues identified in the Maritime Safety Plan 2017, and this trial supports the initiative to reduce serious injuries and fatalities relating to speed. The objective of the trial is in line with the goal of reducing serious injuries and fatalities by 30% by 2021 and towards zero by 2056, it also aligns with Action 44: Initiative to facilitate new technology to improve maritime safety and efficiency.

  • The marine interactive speed indicator signage will not be used to issue speeding fines.
  • The marine interactive speed indicator sign digitally displays a boater’s speed as vessels approach the sign, alerting the boater if they are exceeding the speed zone limit.

    The marine interactive speed indicator sign comes equipped with CCTV, however the CCTV will not be activated and will not take nor record video footage.

  • The marine interactive speed indicator sign will not be prominently visible from nearby houses, nor from houses across the waterway, and is not expected to cause any disturbance to residents. The LED lights will automatically dim at night.
  • Feedback can also be sent to the project team via email: csemaritime@rms.nsw.gov.au.
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