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.
As identified in the Case Study in Linkage with other Policies, Standards and Guidelines in General Principles of Infrastructures Safety Management , although Belize is only a small country, it recorded 70 road traffic deaths in 2009, equivalent to 21 traffic deaths per 100,000 population. A multi-sector approach was taken to assessing road safety in Belize. Part of that project involved infrastructure improvements for a demonstration corridor. Read more (PDF, 425 kb).
Road safety infrastructure improvements on their own were not producing strong results in terms of fatal and serious injury reductions. New South Wales developed road safety reviews of major roads as a dedicated corridor approach to the analysis and selection of engineering works (and some behaviour change programmes) to improve road safety. Road safety reviews are different from engineering audits and blackspot programmes. Read more (PDF, 102 kb).
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.
The Republic of Moldova State Road Administration wanted to rate 116km of the M2-R7 corridor to understand how the road infrastructure influenced the likelihood and severity of crashes. Working from the design plans, the corridor was Star Rated in association with EuroRAP. The Star Rating design process provided a means of objectively measuring the impact on risk of various design iterations, and informed new safe design outcomes. Read more (PDF, 347 kb).
On each decision-making level a road safety management system should be established and operate. Such systems start with identification of hazardous road locations, followed by their analysis, priority setting, proposal and application of countermeasures, and evaluation of effectiveness. The national research project "IDEKO" was undertaken by CDV - Transport Research Centre. Its objective was to develop methods and tools for identification and treatment of hazardous road locations. Read More (PDF, 141 kb).