Success of ‘Hold the Red’ Trial Prompts Expansion to Enhance Road Safety in Queensland

Following successful trials conducted in four southeast Queensland intersections, including Aspley, local officials have announced the extension of the implementation of the Hold the Red trial. 

Read: Active Collision Technology on Trial at Busy Aspley Intersection

Transport Minister Mark Bailey announced that 15 intersections have been selected for the expanded rollout and they were specifically chosen due to their ‘poor safety records’ concerning drivers running red lights. 

Although the government has not disclosed the exact locations where the technology will be deployed, one intersection guaranteed to receive the system is the junction of Finucane and Windermere roads at Alexandra Hills. 

Hold the Red
Photo credit: Maria Orlova/Pexels

This particular intersection has tragically witnessed several fatal crashes in the past, prompting officials to prioritise its inclusion in the expanded rollout.

Hold the Red
Photo credit: National Road Safety Week/Facebook

This announcement coincided with the commencement of National Road Safety Week (14 to 21 May 2023), which aims to raise awareness about safe driving practices and prevent accidents on the roads.

“This National Road Safety Week, Queenslanders are being asked to ‘drive so that others survive,” Mr Bailey said.

“It’s an important message that reminds us that road safety is everyone’s responsibility.”

How it Works

Hold the Red
Photo credit: Queensland Government

The implementation of the Hold the Red (HTR) system involves integrating it into the Traffic Controller Cabinet at signalised intersections through the use of a virtual loop card. 

Using radar technology, the system effectively monitors and tracks every vehicle approaching an intersection, providing coverage up to a distance of 150 metres from the stop line.

When the radar detects a potential red light violation during the all-red phase, the HTR system takes immediate action by extending the duration of the opposing red lights. 

Hold the Red
Photo credit: Aayush Srivastava/Pexels

This proactive measure significantly reduces the likelihood of another vehicle entering the intersection simultaneously with the offending vehicle, thereby enhancing safety and preventing potential collisions.

According to a comprehensive evaluation conducted by the Centre for Accident Research and Road Safety Queensland, the trial of the HTR system showcased remarkable potential in reducing crashes related to red light violations by 33.47 percent at intersections where it was implemented.

Furthermore, the evaluation revealed that the HTR system had minimal effects on traffic flow, causing only slight delays at intersections. On weekdays, the maximum delay observed was 10 seconds, while on weekends, it amounted to just 8.5 seconds. 

Read: Volunteers Welcome at the North Brisbane Indigenous Community and Police Consultative Group

Since 2018, the government has conducted trials not only in Aspley but also in Calamvale, Ashmore, and Broadbeach Waters. 

Published 17-May-2023

Active Collision Technology on Trial at Busy Aspley Intersection

Robinson Road West on intersection with Gympie Road in Aspley is currently testing the Hold the Red technology as part of efforts to reduce collisions caused by motorists running red lights.

The Ministry for Transport and Main Roads selected the Aspley intersection after it was identified as a potentially dangerous intersection. It is one of the busiest intersections in Queensland, with more than 68,000 vehicles passing through the intersection every day. In the past five years, there were 24 crashes and 11 serious injuries due to crashes at the intersection.

The technology uses radar to see if vehicles are about to run a red light. When this happens, the opposing traffic lights are forced to stay on red to prevent a possible collision.

Preventing Collisions

Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey revealed that the technology is already being used in Florida where it has been instrumental in the significant decline of collisions at intersections.

Mr Bailey said that around 11 percent of critical road casualties in the state happened at intersections with traffic lights.

“During the past five years, 42 people have been killed and more than 3,000 hospitalised in crashes at signalised intersections in Queensland,” said Mr Bailey.

“Red light running is a complex problem. There is no single reason why drivers do it but what we do know is that resulting accidents are likely to be T-bone crashes, which have a higher potential of causing death or serious injury.

“Hold the Red lowers the risk of a crash at sites where it is installed while still allowing for offenders to be penalised.

“This will keep other drivers safe, while still acting as a deterrence to offenders.”

Queensland’s peak monitoring body RACQ lauded the introduction of the Hold the Red technology at crash prone intersections.

RACQ’s Head of Technical and Safety Policy Steve Spalding believes that the system could help prevent T-bone crashes.

“We look forward to the results of the trial and are always interested in new technologies that can reduce crashes,” Mr Spalding said.