Ask RACQ: What are those yellow figures on the side of the highway?

We’ve recently been contacted by a member who had spotted a number of bright yellow men on the side of the M1, and wanted to know what they were for.

Answer: The yellow cut outs were the brainchild of construction firm Fulton Hogan, and were initially rolled out in 2015 to protect both workers and sensitive underground testing equipment during Gateway Motorway upgrade project works at Nudgee.

The Department of Transport and Main Roads said the markers were more effective than simple witches’ hats, as they tapped into the psychology of drivers helping to connect them to real people onsite.

The figures, which pointed up or down, were also used to help workers identify the presence of underground equipment, including settlement plates as well as overhead wires.

The yellow men were equipped with reflective gear to ensure they were also clearly visible to drivers at night.

Fulton Hogan said the roll-out of the initiative has resulted in less damage to equipment, fewer onsite safety incidents and had also reduced the need for crews to redo work.