Sunshine Coast man Ken Altoft was killed overnight while working as a traffic controller on the Bruce Hwy at Tanawha.
Sunshine Coast man Ken Altoft was killed overnight while working as a traffic controller on the Bruce Hwy at Tanawha. Contributed

Traffic control industry demands action after Coast tragedy

THE national body for traffic controllers is pleading with the state government to protect workers, after the tragic death of Sunshine Coast man Ken Altoft overnight.

Mr Altoft was working on the Bruce Hwy at Tanawha just after midnight when he was struck by a car.

No charges have been laid since Mr Altoft's death, and the driver of the car remained in hospital this morning.

Traffic Management Association of Australia president Brendan Woods said tougher laws and enforcement were needed to keep traffic controllers and road workers safe.


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He said inattentive and careless motorists were failing to comply with speed reduction signage and lane closures, and called for initiatives including speed cameras and double demerit points in roadwork zones.

"Initiatives to help minimise the risk to roadworkers should be paramount to the Queensland government," he said.

Mr Woods said traffic controllers have a right to expect to be able to go to work without the risk of being killed or seriously injured, but within the past three years there had been at least three traffic controller deaths across Australia.

"There are deaths and near misses across the country and government needs to step up and protect its roadworkers and traffic controllers from this senseless carnage," he said.


He urged motorists to take note of changed road conditions and exercise extra care around roadworks.

"In the event that they do hit and kill a worker, it's going to change their lives and (those of) everyone around them," he said.

He said the association and its members were working to improve the safety and quality of traffic management on Australian roads, but more enforcement was needed to ensure motorists obeyed the law and roadwork operations were compliant.

"Road authorities have a part to play in this, and they have to recognise the need for safety and compliance at all sites," he said.

"It is paramount that there is surveillance on all roadwork sites, and we cannot afford to turn a blind eye to this and the fact that it puts traffic controllers at risk."

Mr Woods noted representatives of the association had met with members of the Queensland government over two years ago, demanding tighter safety for traffic controllers and higher levels of police enforcement, and penalties for speeding on roadwork sites.

"The (association) continues to meet with government in all states to discuss this ongoing issue and notes the lack of traction within government to ensure the safety for our controllers," he said.

Mr Woods said the association offered condolences to Mr Altoft's co-workers, family and friends.

"We will be providing support and advice to our members as this most recent death has heavily impacted all stakeholders," he said.