Austroads publishes new road safety auditing guidance

Photo by Lubo Minar on Unsplash.

Austroads has published new guidance for public road managers and private sector organisations commissioning and undertaking road safety auditing.

The Guide to Road Safety Part 6: Road Safety Audit consolidates and updates the previous Guide to Road Safety parts 6 and 6A published in 2019. The new Guide incorporates the latest Safe System thinking and focuses on supporting the industry to ensure road safety audit processes are current and consistent across road networks in Australia and New Zealand.

“Road safety auditing makes a significant contribution to saving lives and reducing serious injury. It is a beneficial and necessary step in design and the ultimate delivery of projects,” said Michael Nieuwesteeg, Austroads’ Road Safety and Design Program Manager. “It can complement or be complemented by a range of road safety processes and tools to help road agencies demonstrate that they are fulfilling their duty of care to road users.”

Two concepts have guided the development of the Guide – the need for continual improvement in road safety outputs and outcomes and the establishment of an equitable pathway to national harmonisation.

“The road safety principles outlined in the Guide raise the bar and lay the foundation for future national harmonisation. It is a logical way of bringing about the change and improvement across all aspects of road safety auditing,” said Mr Nieuwesteeg.

The importance of engaging non-road agency stakeholders in the audit process has also been recognised in the Guide.

“Future improvements will require the involvement of private sector clients operating outside of the road agency and we have given that a major consideration in the practical nature of the guidance,” Mr Nieuwesteeg said.

It is stressed throughout the Guide that road safety should never be an ‘add on’. To make the greatest improvements to safety of all road users, risks and hazards need to be identified early in the planning and design stages of a project.

The new guidance will assist road agencies in developing and implementing an effective local road safety auditing strategy or policy for their new projects and existing road network.

The Guide takes a realistic stance stating that while full compliance with the guidance is desired, it is likely to take time within the current operating environment. Where practical issues necessitate, reasonable exemptions are supported, but must be formally justified and signed-off to ensure responsibility and accountability.

To download the Guide, click here. 


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