Road agencies typically allocate funding to improve high risk locations, whether based on crash history or on the potential risk. This funding may take the form of dedicated funding for high risk locations and/or be embedded in other operating budgets (for example, major projects or asset management). Most actions undertaken by a road agency have a safety impact, whether they are initiated for safety reasons or not. If consideration of safety is included in all decision-making, safety risk can be reduced, often at little or no additional cost. The assessment of risk needs to occur at the programme and project level, and the advice provided in this chapter is relevant to both.
Assessment of risk should be undertaken for the entire road network for which the road agency is responsible. Such an approach would require a network-wide assessment of risks and issues. The outcomes of such an approach would identify key crash types, trends, geographic regions or areas, deficiency types, etc., with the outcomes of this assessment informing programmes of work.
It is often the case that a small percentage of roads account for a large percentage of deaths and serious injuries. At the programme-level, the task is to identify such routes and address these. For those countries with limited resources or that lack adequate data across the whole network, such locations are the most important to assess. These locations can form the basis of a corridor demonstration project. The content from this and the following chapters can be used as a guide to the assessment of risk across networks or along corridors. The examples shown in the case studies below provide information on the corridor approach in Belize and in New South Wales, Australia.
At a project level, the steps outlined in this chapter are equally relevant. They highlight how to identify risk at more specific locations (e.g. intersections, routes or areas) and diagnose risk at these locations. Crash-based (reactive) and more proactive approaches are relevant to both programme- and project-level approaches. In each case (whether programme or project level) the same steps are involved in assessing risks and identifying casual issues. The Moldova used EuroRAP as a means to assess risk, and the Czech Republic's IDEKO research project developed method and tools for the treatment of hazardous locations.