NT Government to consider setting up an independent panel to audit roadwork sites after fatality at "one of the most deficient road work set ups" seen by a safety expert.
The NT Department of Infrastructure, Planning and Logistics has admitted it failed its duty of care and apologised to the family of a man who was killed when his motorcycle crashed into substandard roadworks diversions.
A two-day coronial inquest finished in Darwin Local Court on 25th October 2017. The focus of the inquest was why a compliant safety plan for road works during the major duplication of Tiger Brennan Drive wasn't followed.
A motorcyclist was riding home from work in the early hours of April 29 last year, when he failed to navigate a curve in a traffic diversion. He appeared to follow a marked white line, which led directly into a barricade. He was thrown into a trailer and died instantly, while his bike came to rest more than 130 metres away. The motorcyclist was found to be four times over the legal blood alcohol limit and had cannabis in his system.
The coronial heard his reaction time and how he rode would have been effected, but a traffic safety expert told the coronial that the site "Rated up there as some of the most deficient in road work set-ups I've seen”.
The most critical elements were:
The department admitted it had been a mistake and there had been a failure to ensure that the managing contractor compiled with the appraised and approved traffic control diagram. The department indicated that it conducted random checks and believed it could delegate responsibility to the contractor to ensure safety.
The Coroner told the court that wasn't good enough, that the department had a duty of care to the public.
The findings will be handed down at a later date.
David Wilkins, Principal & Senior Traffic Engineer.