New rules for advertising road closures for events
Recent variations to the Road Traffic (Miscellaneous) Regulations 2014 (Regulations) have changed the requirements for the advertisement of orders to close roads and/or grant exemptions from road rules in connection with events. Such orders must now be advertised by multiple methods, which can include website and social media.
Pursuant to Section 33 of the Road Traffic Act 1961, the Minister for Infrastructure and Transport may on application by an interested person make road closure orders and/or grant exemptions from road rules in relation to certain events.
By virtue of the Minister’s Instrument of General Approval and Delegation to Council, each council can also exercise this power to make such orders.
However, it is condition on the exercise of this power (whether by the Minister or by a council) that any order must be advertised in a manner consistent with the Regulations at least two clear days prior to the order taking effect.
Previously, the only method of advertising contemplated by the Regulations was by newspaper. Advertising could of course occur by other means also, but advertising by newspaper was still necessary to ensure compliance with the Regulations.
The amendments to the Regulations now expand the methods by which notice of an order may be advertised in order to satisfy the Regulations. The Regulations now recognise four methods of advertising, namely: notice in a newspaper (either local or state-wide depending on the impact of the road closure); notice in the Government Gazette; notice on a website; and notice on a social media service.
For orders which will substantially impact road users in a neighbouring council or on a road under the care, control and management of the Commissioner of Highways, two of the above four methods must be utilised (and such methods must be chosen after necessary consultations have occurred and must be appropriate in the circumstances). For other orders, only one of the above four methods must be utilised. It remains the case that any notice will be at the cost of the applicant.
It is noteworthy that, in certain circumstances, a council will now be able to advertise a road closure under the Road Traffic Act 1961 purely by electronic means and without requiring a notice in any newspaper. These amendments can therefore be viewed as an example of the law ‘catching up’ with technology.
However, it is important to note that these changes only relate to orders made with respect to events under the Road Traffic Act 1961. By contrast, a road closure under section 234A of the Local Government Act 1999 will still require certain online, Government Gazette, and newspaper notifications.
Should you have any queries in relation to this article, or require specific advice in relation to any aspect of road closures, please contact Dale Mazzachi on +61 8210 1221 or email@example.com or Chris Alexandrides on +61 8210 1299 or firstname.lastname@example.org