New innovation set to save lives on roads
A road trip up the Kuranda Ranges, west of Cairns, was the catalyst that started an innovation set to save the lives of traffic controllers, drivers and pedestrians around Australia.
The team behind this breakthrough technology, RR LED Enhanced traffic sign designs, is Tanawha resident Robert (Bob) Byers and his friend Ray Kearney.
It was Mr Byers who was taking that road trip back in 2015 and when he came across roadworks on the mountain, he almost missed the stop sign due to a blind spot cast by the rainforest shadows.
As he sat there waiting for the oncoming traffic to pass, Mr Kearney thought there had to be a better solution.
And then it came to him; an LED stop sign was the answer and so his new journey began.
Mr Kearney quickly came up with a design for the new signage and then went about finding someone to produce it.
Mr Byers was the obvious choice as an innovator and an electrician, a fellow business colleague and a friend.
Mr Byers said that if traffic controllers want to live, this innovation was a necessity.
“What’s $330 if they want to live?” he said.
“For instance, if the traffic controller guy that got killed just in the street in Tanawha two years ago, if had have had one of these LED signs, he may have been able to be saved.
“Even the guy that got killed in Sydney recently when he was hit by another vehicle because the driver didn’t see the stop sign … if this sign was in his hand he probably would still be here today.
“They haven’t got a choice, it’s only pure common sense.
“Same with the schools … but again it’s up to Main Roads to buy them because they are State Government and Commonwealth Government problems.
“There’s nothing like these signs in the world.”
Mr Byers developed the current design and experimented with many different alternatives over the years. The team also worked closely with TMR, in order to comply with their rigorous specifications.
Mr Byers’ natural curiosity wouldn’t let him stop at just one product especially when so many inquiries about the new LED stop/slow Banner started rolling in.
“That just catapulted us to the next level of innovation,” Mr Byers said.
RR LED Traffic Signs began being approached by other people, all asking the duo to develop other products.
From the humble beginning of the Traffic Controller’s stop/slow banner came another – the Stop School Banner.
Mr Byers said that as a former electrician, innovation always came naturally to him.
“I just wake up at two or three in the morning with an idea and my brain won’t let me go back to sleep until it’s done,” he said.
“I invented the 4 x 4-wheel chair back in 98 … my son is in a wheelchair and he used it to go up and down the beaches.
“I also invented the 100 per cent solar airconditioning which is the first of its kind in the world.”
Mr Byers also invented doors and fridge covers in Woolworths and Coles, cutting their power bill by 40 per cent running cost.
Mr Byers said that when developing the signs, the Department of Main Roads told him that there were anywhere up to 120,000 to be sold in Australia.
Today, RR LED Traffic Signs offers nine products – with 26 different versions “and there are still more to come”.
For more information visit trafficledbanner.com.au.