The Inspector-General for Emergency Management recommends that Emergency Management Victoria – in collaboration with the emergency management sector – develop and implements processes to ensure greater dissemination and improved understanding of information for all Victorians, and visitors to Victoria in an emergency event. This should consider but not be exclusive to individuals who:
a) are not familiar with Victoria and its environment
b) find it difficult to understand and respond to emergency information
c) are socially or geographically isolated.
To support dissemination and improved individual and community awareness of the impacts, disruptions and closures to the road network due to emergencies, DoT will seek funding to upgrade and modernise the VicTraffic App. This will enable integration with existing modern digital platforms to create centralised, up-to-date disruption information and journey planning; meet surge demand during emergencies; and support individuals and communities to make timely decisions about their safety, including those unfamiliar with road networks.
VicTraffic is the official VicRoads traffic information platform that lets users view real-time travel times on freeways around Melbourne, see traffic alerts for all of Victoria, and view upcoming roadworks and events likely to impact their travel.
As part of the 2021–22 Victorian State Budget, DoT was allocated $22.6m over three years to upgrade the VicTraffic App and website.
DoT has since commenced the project to upgrade the app and website and onboarded a project team.
A series of upgrades are planned in late 2022 and early 2023 to support functioning of the app and website over the 2022–23 summer season, including:
- ensuring VicTraffic is using the latest and most up to date data sources
- updating VicTraffic with additional information and a new user-friendly interface.
As of September 2022 this work was in the discovery and planning phase with user experience development (for the interface) and application programming interface development and testing (for the data sources) commencing.
DoT is also working to ensure traffic disruption data is consistent across VicTraffic and third party websites (including VicEmergency and Live Traffic NSW).
DoT advised that following budget approval, this action is now expected to be completed by June 2024, with website, app and backend system upgrades planned to be delivered as they are ready.