South-east Queensland is trialling new technology to give emergency vehicles better access on roads when pursuing urgent jobs.

The Gold Coast is trialling the latest traffic light technology to allow fire and ambulance crews to reach emergencies more quickly and safely.

Minister for Police, Fire and Emergency Services Jack Dempsey says crews experience difficulties when navigating through traffic and red lights at intersections.

“This technology allows for the lights and sirens on an emergency vehicle to be recognised at traffic light intersections,” says Dempsey.

“As the vehicle approaches, an automated system triggers the lights to change and allows the emergency vehicle to proceed through a green light

“Not only will it decrease response times, it also means emergency service workers no longer have to put their own lives on the line trying to navigate their way through red lights when other traffic can be coming from another direction.”

Minister for Transport and Main Roads Scott Emerson says the technology has been trialled in Melbourne and Sydney, but Queensland is taking the concept further.

“The Queensland system is designed to minimise the disruption to traffic and seeks to return to normal traffic conditions as quickly as possible after the emergency vehicle has passed,” says Emerson.

“This is important technology that will improve safety for all road users but it’s important to remember drivers must always give way to emergency vehicles if they approach under lights and sirens.”

Health Minister Lawrence Springborg says 10 Queensland Ambulance Service vehicles were also part of the trial and were benefiting from green lights at 52 intersections in the Southport area.

“This technology is ensuring our paramedics reach their patients in the quickest possible time and is another example of how this government is improving Queensland’s health system,” he said.

“So far, this trial has been very successful and there are plans to expand the project to reach more areas in the coming months.”