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Resource Road Radio Use Pilot Project March 2008 BACKGROUND IMPROPER/INCORRECT USE OF 2-WAY RADIOS A KEY FACTOR IN SERIOUS INJURIES AND POSSIBLE FOREST ROAD DEATHS PROVINCIAL WORKING GROUP FORMED IN 2006 TO ADDRESS THE PROBLEM

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background
BACKGROUND
  • IMPROPER/INCORRECT USE OF 2-WAY RADIOS A KEY FACTOR IN SERIOUS INJURIES AND POSSIBLE FOREST ROAD DEATHS
  • PROVINCIAL WORKING GROUP FORMED IN 2006 TO ADDRESS THE PROBLEM
slide3
crashes and close calls due to lack of communication or miscommunication
  • inconsistencies in calling procedures, signage, area frequencies
  • too many channel changes, especially in multiple user situations (other industries, more than one mill or contractor, etc)
  • mobility of trucks – moving around the province, working in different areas because of weather and seasonal changes, truck shortages, new BCTS reallocation areas, longer hauls, 2 way hauls, mountain pine beetle, dimension logs, specialized mills....
specific issues
SPECIFIC ISSUES
  • Overlaps of radio traffic from other operations or adjacent drainages
  • More than one radio frequency in use on a road.
  • Too many channel changes, especially in multiple user situations (other industries, more than one mill or contractor, etc)
  • One time or infrequent users have no access to radio frequencies or radio protocol
  • Holder of radio frequency, reluctant to provide access to channel to secondary users
specific issues cont
SPECIFIC ISSUES cont
  • crashes and close calls because of lack of communication or miscommunication
  • inconsistencies in calling procedures, signage, area frequencies
  • Call procedures are unclear or change along a road or road system
  • mobility of trucks – moving around the province, working in different areas because of weather and seasonal changes, truck shortages, new BCTS reallocation areas, longer hauls, 2 way hauls, mountain pine beetle, dimension logs, specialized mills....
slide6
VHF Radio Pilot Projects – Working Group
  • Working Group formed in 2006 to improve resource road safety with representatives from:
  • MoFR Resource Tenures and Engineering Branch
  • B.C. Timber Sales
  • BCMOFR Radio Operations
  • B.C. Forest Safety Council, Trucksafe
  • Industry Canada, Spectrum Management
  • Working group developed a new communications protocol
slide7
Plus consultation with other stakeholders, including:
      • Road Use Permit Holders
      • Contract log haulers
      • Service industry (fuel, repairs, low beds etc)
      • Radio suppliers/installers
slide8
WORKING GROUP PROPOSALS:
  • ESTABLISH A STAND-ALONE PROVINCE-WIDE SET OF RESOURCE ROAD CHANNELS
  • MOFR TO ALLOCATE ONE OF THESE CHANNELS TO EACH FOREST SERVICE ROAD SYSTEM
  • ESTABLISH A COMMON SET OF CHANNELS FOR LOADING AND UNLOADING SITES
  • STANDARDIZED ROAD CHANNEL SIGNAGE AT THE START OF A FOREST SERVICE ROAD
  • STANDARD FOR KILOMETRE MARKERS TO INCLUDE ROAD NAME, KM STATION AND DIRECTION OF TRAVEL AS USED ON THAT ROAD
  • TWO PILOT AREAS (CENTRAL/SOUTH VANCOUVER ISLAND/SUNSHINE COAST & OJAY AREA NEAR TUMBLER RIDGE)
  • IMPLEMENT PROVINCIALLY
regulations
Regulations
  • – Forest and Range Practices Act
  • FOREST SERVICE ROAD USE REGULATIONB.C. Reg. 70/2004
use of 2 way radio s 5
Use of 2-way radio (S. 5)
  • 1) A driver on a forest service road who uses a 2-way radio to communicate with other drivers on the road must announce, in accordance with any road markers posted at intervals along the road, 
    • (a) his or her position, and 
    • (b) the branch of the road being travelled, if the radio's signal can be received on more than one adjacent branch of the road. 
    • (2) Subsection (1) applies to a driver only if 
      • (a) the driver uses a radio frequency provided by the holder of a private commercial radio station licence, or other licence under the Radiocommunication Act (Canada) and the regulations under that Act, to communicate with the other drivers, and 
      • (b) the forest service road is posted with a sign that indicates the radio frequency that is to be used.
traffic control devices s 6
Traffic control devices (S.6)
  • (1) A district manager or an official may cause a traffic control device to be erected on a forest service road if, in the district manager's opinion, restrictions on the use of the road or the traffic on the road are required to achieve the purposes of section 4 (b) and (c) of the Ministry of Forests Act.
  • (2) Without limiting the generality of subsection (1), a traffic control device may be used in any of the following ways: 
    • (a) to close the road to all traffic or to specified categories or sizes of motor vehicles including those not engaged in commercial activities; 
    • (b) to close the road totally, or for a specified period of time; 
    • (c) to regulate the movement of traffic; 
    • (d) to require the use of 2-way radio systems during certain hours in order to coordinate the movement of traffic, including specifying the radio frequency to be used on portions of forest service roads;
    • (e) to restrict the use of vehicles having characteristics that could damage the forest service road or create a safety risk; 
    • (f) to warn drivers of hazardous or unusual conditions existing on forest service roads.
regulation summary use of 2 way radio
Regulation SummaryUse of 2-way radio

In general, a driver on a forest service road who uses a licensed 2-way radio to communicate with other drivers on the road must announce his or her position, in accordance with:

  • any road markers posted at intervals along the road, and
  • the forest service road sign that indicates the radio frequency that is to be used
mof position on radio use for staff
MoF Position on Radio Use for Staff
  • Ministry policy has been that handheld radios for communicating with other vehicles on resource roads is not permitted - mobile (truck mounted) radio units are required.
  • In cases where temporary Ministry staff or Ministry Contractors (such as fire wardens) require access the Ministry can provide a higher power seatback unit (Mobile “breadboard” with magnetic mount antenna) to improve safety and communications with other road traffic.
  • For Protection staff, fire wardens or other contract users they can obtain a seatback radio by requesting through Regional Radio shops. Several have been ordered for districts.
slide15
There is a need to develop a standard for operating and communicating on Resource Roads to meet the needs of single and multiple users in order that they may operate and communicate safely.
slide16
To this end the MOF/BCTS has obtained radio frequencies which are available to provide effective coverage to all users while operating on Forest Service Roads (FSR's.)
  • No requirement for “letter of authority”—channels are available to all road users
initial implications for pilot areas
INITIAL IMPLICATIONS FOR PILOT AREAS
  • Rationalize road systems and if necessary establish new PoC and road names.
  • Map road systems and spatially assign radio channels
  • Install frequencies in Ministry radios
  • Install new Radio Channel and kilometre marker signs
  • Advise road users
  • Advise public and others
notification letter template
Notification Letter Template
  • Dear Permittee:
  • Please be advised that effective _____________ the Ministry of Forests and Range will be implementing part of the Resource Radio Frequency pilot project. All road users will be required to have the proper channels installed for operation on the ______________ Service Road (FSR). Radio frequencies will be posted at the start of the FSR.
  • It is recommended that permittee's have the full bank of new Resource Road frequencies installed. Industry Canada has sent all radio shops the necessary information to upgrade your radios. The initial frequency for the _______________ FSR is:
  • ____________, Frequency ____________, Tone __________
  • As this is a pilot project, the initial frequency may change if problems with transmissions or reception are encountered.
  • For more information please view the Ministry of Forests and Range website at
  • http://www.for.gov.bc.ca/dsi/ or the BC Timber Sales website at
  • http://www.for.gov.bc.ca/bcts/areas/TSG.htm or contact _______________, Engineering Specialist, BC Timber Sales, Strait of Georgia Business Area, at _______________.
  • Yours truly,
  • Trish Balcaen
  • District Manager
  • South Island Forest District
resource road channels
Resource Road Channels
  • A series of Resource Channels have been dedicated for use on FSR’s. These channels have been previously assigned and are unique to each road system.
  • Radio users are to only use the identified channel for that road system, which will be posted at the start of the FSR (use of alternate RR channels may interfere with other nearby road systems)
slide22
VHF Radio Pilot Projects – Working Channels
  • 14 frequencies with 3 tone codes each for a total of 42 dedicated narrow band channels
  • 33 road and 9 loading channels
  • low (5W) and high (30W) power channels
  • standardized signage
  • standardized radio call procedures
slide23
33- RR Channels

9- Loading Channels

42- Channels Total

slide24
VHF Radio Pilot Projects – Preliminary Testing Results
  • Results to date:
  • 5W channels provide adequate coverage in most cases, often getting good audible reception at 7 – 18 km
  • Subtle ridges can create dead spots but hard to predict by visual inspection, reduces reception to 4 km
  • Adequate coverage depends on topography and road geometry
  • Tsitika signage has been very well received
fsr radio mapping procedures
FSR Radio Mapping Procedures
  • The Road Manager will identify the “Main” road and establish Branch names and numbers.
  • The Road Manager will select the Point of Commencement (PoC) of each road.
  • The PoC will normally be the log dump, highway connection or junction with another FS road.
  • The kilometre numbering for each branch road off of the main will recommence at Km 0 and be spatially established.
slide30
VHF Radio Pilot Testing –Outstanding Issues
  • What’s an acceptable communication distance?
  • If 5W channels are implemented will a detailed risk assessment be required on each road to find dead spots and position “must call” signs?
  • Finalize call procedures
  • Determine Provincial roll out date
  • Public awareness
public other commercial users awareness
Public/Other Commercial Users Awareness
  • Standardized signage
  • Standardized channels
  • Public Service Announcements (PSA’s)
  • Low watt FM broadcasts is key areas (Sproat Lake 88.1 MHz)
radio call procedure goals
Radio Call Procedure Goals

This procedure is intended to address four distinct parts;

  • 1) provision of dedicated “Resource Road Safety Channels”;
  • 2) Provision of operational “Loading Channels”
  • 3) Establishment of standardized road signage
  • 4) Development of standardized radio call procedures
slide34
VHF Radio Pilot Projects – Call procedures
  • Default Call Procedure identified for province-wide use:
  • Call frequency: every km traveling in either direction
  • Call order: Road Name – Kilometer – Direction – Vehicle type
  • Rules for convoy calling
  • “Must call” at junctions and other key points
radio call procedures
Radio Call Procedures

When using a radio to announce locations, the operator will;

  • Call when entering onto the FSR or onto any named spur roads
  • at each kilometre mark subsequently, or “Must Call” sign
  • announce vehicle type and then information as indicated on the sign (ie “Fuel Truck,--Eve River—12 km—Up”)
  • Every vehicle will call each kilometre
slide37
At the PoC of the “main FSR” an identification sign, and the Resource Road (RR) channel (and frequency and tone) sign will be posted
kilometre signage
Kilometre Signage
  • Kilometre signs will be installed at every kilometre—visible from both directions
  • Signs will indicate road name, road mark and direction of travel.
  • Kilometre signs will be installed both ways on the road, to cover travel in either direction
loading channels
Loading Channels
  • The loading channels are intended to be utilized for communications for operational requirements (e.g. between truck drivers and loader operators, during loading and unloading situations). They are not to be used while travelling on roads
  • Upon entering a cut block, landing or sort yard the radio channel to be used will be posted along with the worksite operator’s company name.
  • The worksite operator may select any of the available Loading Channels providing it does not conflict with other users in the immediate area.
  • The worksite operator will be responsible for supplying and installing the LD sign.
loading channels cont
Loading Channels cont
  • The loading channels are intended to be utilized between truck drivers and loader operators, during loading and unloading situations. They are not to be used while traveling on roads
  • Upon entering cut block, landing or sort yard the radio channel to be used will be posted along with the worksite operators company name.
slide52
Trucksafe

SAFETY IMPLICATIONS

On the Road to Safety

slide53
How will this make the roads safer?
  • every radio-equipped vehicle will have the same resource road safety channels programmed in across the province
  • dedicated resource road safety channels will be clearly identified by specific signage, which will ensure clear communication
  • road channels will not be used for loading channels

On the Road to Safety

slide54
Forestry TruckSafe’sCommitment
  • education of road users around new radio
  • channels and usage
  • communication with road users through

Forest Safety Council website, Rumblings

newsletter, presentations, media, public

meetings

  • exploring options on finding funding assistance for re-programming with new channels in pilot areas
  • communications with Industry Canada and BC Timber Sales re: radio-use related incidents on roads
  • development of regional “radio calling procedures” with stakeholders

On the Road to Safety

slide55
Forestry TruckSafe’s Commitment cont’d
  • to support BCTS contractors by providing information packages
  • to educate non-forestry resource road users – oil & gas, mining, guiding, tourism, service industry
  • to provide web-based on-going support that will allow road users to identify what channels are used where; who is using them, what the “rules of the road are” and what the radio calling protocols are
  • provide “hotline” support to deal with issues as they arise

On the Road to Safety

slide57
VHF Radio Pilot Projects – Call procedures Truckers/Users Perspective
  • Opportunity to fine-tune procedures for local conditions
  • Changes should be developed and endorsed by a road user committee
  • Positive feedback from recent Trucksafe survey:
  • Province wide standard supported
  • Majority favor “Up / Down” for call direction
slide58
1. In your opinion, which of the following issues around radio use are the top three contributors to crashes or unsafe road use around the province?
calling direction up and down
Calling direction: “Up” and “Down”
  • The proposed new rules would require vehicles to call “up” as they move away from the highway and “down” as they move towards the highway.
slide61
3. Do you agree with the logic behind the working group’s recommendation to use “up” and “down” to indicate direction?
calling order
Calling order:
  • The proposed new rules would require drivers to call “Road – kilometer- direction – ‘type’ of vehicle”
  • Since knowing what’s coming may change how a driver chooses to operate (i.e.: pickup vs. log truck),
  • and since order of calling is important because often operators will start speaking before they key the mike, this calling order was chosen to try and make sure the most important information has the highest chance of getting broadcast. Signage will match the calling order.
slide67
8. What is the best way to inform road users about the radio calling standard? (Indicate as many as you like)
slide68
Incident Reports Involving Radio Communications Lapsesas reported to the B.C. Forest Safety Council (Trucksafe)
why is a standard radio use protocol necessary
Why is a standard radio use protocol necessary?
  • to reduce incidences of crashes in the bush because somebody was on the wrong channel
  • to ensure that wherever you are in the province, you have the right channel in your radio

Both these incidents were loaded trucks rear-ending other loaded trucks in adverse weather conditions –both weren’t on the right channel as they were short term hauls, and didn’t get channels programmed into their radios.

slide70
“reports of log trucks and pickups traveling to and from the workplace and not using proper radio protocol”
slide71
“Immediately after the notice of an accident is broadcast, all traffic stops at the closest available pullout and stays stopped until given the all clear”
slide72
“Log truck/silviculture crew suburban narrowly missed contact due to missed radio calls when approaching a frequency switch board”
slide74
Pick up truck towing trailer did not have a radio.
  • Log truck slowed to pass but pickup tried to back up causing trailer to jackknife in front of log truck
slide75
Verbal agreement between two loaded trucks that the second truck would remain silent.
  • Second truck driver later missed a “both ways” call.
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