Transport Malta announces measures to help reduce traffic congestion
|Email item||Print item||
The Government has announced several new measures to ease the difficulties of the increase in road users during the morning and afternoon peaks at the start of the news school year.
The Ministry for Transport, Infrastructure and Capital Projects, said that it is implementing a number of infrastructural and operational initiatives to reduce the impact of the increase in road users.
It said that on Monday, Transport Malta will be increasing the number of enforcement officials stationed at critical nodes connecting different parts of the country’s road network, to guide road users and provide immediate assistance in case of difficulty.
Local Councils have been advised not to issue permits for road closures, even partially, during peak hours, between 7.00am and 9am. Work carried out on roads – such as the irrigation of landscaped areas along the roads – is also not permitted during these hours, the Ministry said.
The Ministry and Transport Malta said that they are also in constant contact with the Ministry for Education, the Police and LESA to coordinate school transport and road network operations for enhanced efficiency.
Transport Malta said that it will also be monitoring roads from its control centre and an emergency number – 8007 3399 – has been set up to provide swift roadside assistance to drivers in difficulty, with tow trucks on standby in different areas.
“This free service aims to reduce the impact of traffic congestion caused by accidents and other difficulties.”
An educational campaign has been launched by Transport Malta, with a series of videos, posters and radio messages, which aims to increase road safety awareness, improve driver behaviour on the road and help avoid further congestion.
The first video addresses bumper to bumper accidents. Transport Malta said that a minor accident in the middle of the road can cause long queues and undue stress for fellow drivers.
“The video clearly shows the procedure drivers have to perform in such a situation, which starts with the removal of the cars to an open space where drivers can then fill in the form without obstructing other vehicles.”
Blocking the road is an offence, and enforcement officials can hand out a fine of €100, Transport Malta said,. It added that radio adverts and digital posters have also been produced to help drivers become aware of the correct procedure if they are involved in a bumper to bumper accident or if they require emergency towing.
In addition, Transport Malta is working closely with the app and Facebook page Maltese Roads Traffic Updates.
It said that traffic control centre officials will be monitoring reports that come through the app and dispatch officers on site when possible.
“Officials will mark the location of road works or possible obstructions on the map to help drivers prepare their journey,” added TM.
Officials will also send general notifications to app users in case of a major accident or major diversion. “We remind drivers to use the app only for journey planning and only when the engine is switched off unless passengers are the ones using it,” said TM.
The Authority stated that it has also invested heavily in its enforcement section, conceiving and forming a rapid intervention team. Officers on motorbikes are able to reach areas where an accident has occurred, despite the traffic.
“The officers are equipped with front to rear formulas, to help clear the road faster. They can also divert traffic through a prior junction whenever possible.”