The traffic systems we design, build, install and maintain are constantly evolving. And our Customer Services teams install and maintain the very technologies that are changing the way we move, all over the world!
Meet John McDermott, a traffic signals technician working in Sydney, Australia. This year is a huge milestone for John, this is his 50th year in the traffic signal and ITS industry!
John, you are reaching an incredible milestone in 2023! Congratulations on 50 years in our exciting industry. Can you tell us about your role and what you do?
I started my traffic signal career in January 1973 as an Apprentice, and I am now a Senior Service Technician working on the Sydney Roads and Asset Performance Contract for Yunex Traffic. I work on a wide variety of traffic infrastructure – from traffic control signals and school zone warning systems to variable message signs and vehicle weighing systems. As well as our many innovative technologies across the region.
To put the length of time I’ve spent working in the industry into perspective, in 1973 the Sydney Opera House opened to the public and the first ever mobile phone call was made!
What do you love about your role?
I like that I get to work in a variety of locations across the city. And I also really enjoy the range of activities and tasks I have within the role. I’m always doing something different, and I love the satisfied feeling from a job well done at the end of the day. There’s such camaraderie shown within our team and industry. I get to work with like-minded individuals who all want to do a good job to keep Sydney moving.
How has traffic technology and the industry changed over recent years?
When I started in the traffic signal industry, the traffic controllers were all relay based and operated by electrical components such as capacitors that discharged a valve to change the signal sequence and the signals were driven by cameras which detected vehicles. The camera did not know the volume of the number of vehicles before determining when the lights should change.
And now? They are sensor-driven which intelligently checks the priorities of the junction before providing an output signal to the traffic light – changing to red, yellow or green depending on the specific priorities and waiting traffic.
As the traffic signal controllers are so intelligent now, the traffic flows much better with the adaptive control systems compared to the old type of controllers from the 1970’s which were set up with fixed running times and basic plans.
If you could name just one project that you loved working on at Yunex Traffic – what would this be and why?
Yunex Traffic started operating in Australia a couple of years ago which is when I joined and since then I have been working on the Sydney Roads and Asset Performance Contract project. I get to spend every day doing a different task and always visit new locations! So, no day is ever the same and I really enjoy working on this project to improve traffic flow across the city.
What does the future of traffic in our cities look like to you?
As traffic volume increases, our road sizes won’t, so we need to have more intuitive technology on our roads to cope with these situations and make the traffic fit without causing congestion.
If you could say anything to a person considering Customer Services at Yunex Traffic – what advice would you give?
With the right training and your colleagues to support you, you will enjoy working in a great environment and will get to learn something new every day! You will see just how much health and safety is at the forefront of what we do, particular when working on-street. And, you will soon learn that there is so much more behind “red amber green”!
Feeling inspired? Become a Traffic Transformer! We have many opportunities for you to join our Customer Services teams. Check them out today by visiting jobs.yunextraffic.com.