Traffic management roles

It is important that you understand the different roles played by your contracted traffic management provider, the Police, Local Laws officers, Traffic Controllers, event Marshals and Volunteers.

Police do not manage road closures - your traffic management company does.

Police offer assistance only and the level of assistance is pre-arranged during the application process. A user pay service is available by police.

Minor events that impact roads might be sufficiently managed by traffic controllers and marshals.

Major impacts on roads (for example: on-road competitive cycling events) often need police, traffic controllers and marshals to assist with the management of the changed traffic conditions.

During an event:

  • a Police Officer can close a road, stop and direct traffic or provide vehicles to lead parades and sporting events. If the police who are monitoring or providing assistance deem your event to be dangerous, they have the power to stop the event.
  • traffic controllers can close a road, install speed reductions and direct traffic in accordance with the plan that has been approved by the City’s Engineering Department and/or VicRoads, and complies with the Code of Practice.
  • a Local Laws officer can advise vehicles as to where they should park, and when necessary, book or fine a vehicle for a parking offence.
  • marshals can assist at pedestrian crossings, assist with parking, provide information about staff rest stops and drinking stations and provide general information to participants and spectators. They can also assist with communications to the event coordinator.
  • marshals should be adequately briefed, be positioned in a safe area, be provided with personal protection such as a reflective vest, and have contact with a supervisor.
  • marshals should not:
    • be under the age of 18 and/or assigned to a position at the event where they may be exposed to trauma (that is: on a cycle course or race track)
    • remove or re-position any traffic equipment. If this is required, they should advise their coordinator to make contact with the traffic controller to do so
    • direct or control traffic.

Looking after event Marshals and Volunteers

Marshals and volunteers form an integral role in the successful delivery of events where roads are being used, closed or changed traffic conditions apply.

It is your responsibility as the event organiser to ensure that workers, volunteers, contractors and event marshals are cared for and protected (Part 5, OHS Act 2004).

You should:

  • arrange fair and reasonable shifts for marshals and/or volunteers
  • provide:
    • access to water, food, sun block and shelter
    • each marshal with copies of your Traffic Management Plan which should show public diversion routes, explain changed access times etc. They should be familiar with their immediate location so they can provide access advice to motorists if necessary and/or a copy of the plan.
    • high visibility vests
  • take into consideration how the marshal is able to get to their location. Many event organisers ask their marshals to meet at a location suitable for private vehicles to be left for a period of time, board a bus and drop off and pick up the marshals.

Also ensure that marshals are:

  • regularly checked on to ensure they are safe and there are no issues
  • can be communicated with and have access to their supervisor’s mobile/radio
  • positioned in the safest position (that is: not seated behind a road closure sign, where they would not be visible from the other side to oncoming traffic - the driver will only see a sign).
  • briefed with not only the task at hand, but also an event program, and the process for a member of the public to provide feedback. They should also be aware as to what they cannot do – that is: direct traffic.




Page last updated: Thursday, 28 May 2020

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