Road safety audit is a systematic and proactive approach for checking the road safety implications. It could be done for a proposed road or an already existing road. The road safety audit is commonly done in the United Kingdom, Australia and the United states mainly by a team of competent professionals which could include highway safety engineers, highway design engineers, law enforcement, etc.
Road Safety Audit meaning centers on formal safety performance examination of an existing road, future road or an intersection which qualitatively estimates and reports on potential road safety issues and identifies opportunities for improvements in safety for all road users; it takes into account all road users.
Benefits of Road Safety Audit
It is used to identify road safety problems and to suggest measures to eliminate or mitigate any concerns. It aims at ensuring that operational road safety experience is applied during the design and construction process in order to reduce occurrence and severity of accident. It also help fill a vital role in checking that road has been designed and built to the highest safety standard.
In carrying out this audit, two important questions should be asked:
- Who could be hurt if collision occurs on this part of the road and how could that happen?
- What can be done to either reduce the potential for that collision or reduce its consequence?
One of the importance of Road Safety Audit is that it tends to ensure that operational road safety experience is considered during the design and construction process, it also fulfil a vital role in checking that roads have been designed and built to the highest safety standards.
Forms Of Road Safety Audit
- Audit of an existing road
- Auditing the road at various stages of completion: This include the feasibility stage, preliminary stage, design stage, post construction stage, etc.
- Thematic audit: This form of audit concentrate on a specific aspect of the road.
Essential Elements Of The Road Safety Audit
The essential elements of a road safety audit are that the audit:
- Should focus on the safety aspects of the project
- Should be carried out by people who are independent of the client, designer or contractor.
- It should be carried out by people with appropriate experience and training.
- It should be a formal and documented process.
- The Audit should consider all potential road users
- Should require a formal documented response from the client.
Road Safety Audit Planning Conditions
Some conditions has to be met before a road safety audit is done, some of the conditions are:
- Timing of the RSA: The timing depends on the objective of the RSA. For instance, Pre-Construction RSAs can be conducted during the planning and design stages to identify potential safety issues before construction begins while RSA during Construction ensures that safety measures are implemented correctly. So timing can make or mar the process.
- Scope of the Audit: You cannot plan a good RSA if you haven’t drawn out the scope. The scope will specify the elements to be assessed (e.g., intersections, road segments, pedestrian facilities) and other areas to be covered.
- Assemble an Audit Team: Since RSA is done by experts, you need to pick your audit team painstakingly if you need expertise and professionalism. The team should naturally have experts in road design, traffic engineering, road safety, and other relevant fields.
- Follow the Audit Stages: Audit is done in stages if you must have an effective report. The stages include:
- Pre-Construction Audit: This is Conducted before construction to identify potential safety concerns.
- Audit During-Construction: This phase focuses on verifying that safety measures are being implemented as designed.
- Post Construction Audit: Here the audit team examines the scheme from the point of view of all road users, and is carried out during daylight hours and during the hours of darkness, so that hazards particular to night operation can be identified.
Other Road Safety Audit Planning Conditions
- Use established safety standards and guidelines as criteria for evaluating the road or intersection.
- Involve relevant stakeholders, including traffic engineers, road designers, local authorities, and the community.
- Collect relevant data, including traffic volumes, historical crash data, and other pertinent information.
- Document the findings, recommendations, and any identified safety issues thoroughly. Include photos, diagrams, and maps.
- Assess the level of risk associated with identified safety issues and prioritize them based on severity.
- Provide clear and practical recommendations for improving road safety. These recommendations should be feasible and cost-effective.
- Establish a process for monitoring the implementation of recommendations and conduct follow-up audits to assess the effectiveness of implemented measures.
- Clearly communicate the findings and recommendations to relevant stakeholders, including the project team, local authorities, and the public.
When is a Road Safety Audit Required
Road safety audit is not just done, something has to necessitate it. It is typically required at various stages of road development, design, construction, and operation to either assess or improve road safety features. The specific requirement for RSA may vary base on country and region, but generally, RSA are recommended in the following situations:
- During the design face of road construction, a preliminary road safety audit may be conducted to identify potential safety concerns.
- It is also required before the construction begins to ensure that the construction plans align with safety standards.
- During Construction to address any emerging safety issues.
- After Construction to assess the overall safety performance of the completed road infrastructure.
- Where modification or road upgrade is proposed a safety audit may be required to ensure that the changes comply with safety standards.
- Periodically, Road Safety Audits may be conducted to identify any emerging safety issues and implement necessary improvements.
- Safety audits may be required for roads identified as high-risk locations due to a history of accidents or changes in traffic patterns.
- Some jurisdictions have specific legislation that mandate safety audits at certain stages of road development.
Road Safety Audit Consultant are people or group of persons who are expert in the field of Road Safety Audit (RSA). Within the scope of this article, we will mention few RSA consultant in United States and Australia.
Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored mention, it just a guide for our esteemed readers. Thank you
Road Safety Audit consultants in United States
1. Safety Consultants USA
Address: 8100 Roswell Rd Suite 410, Atlanta, GA 30350, United States
Contact number: +18777237622
2. AIST Safety Consulting
Address: 3333 Warrenville Rd STE 280, Lisle, IL 60532, United States
Contact Number: +13123730895
3. Roadsafe LLC
Address: 12 Main St, Canton, ME 04221, United States
Address: 86 E Military Rd, Marion, AR 72364, United States
Contact Number: +18774216426
1. Sterling Road Safety LLP
Address: 13 Bushy Park, Totterdown, Bristol BS4 2EG, United Kingdom
Contact Number: +441179719196
2. Road Safety Analysis Ltd
Address: 27 Horse Fair, Banbury OX16 0AE, United Kingdom
Contact Number: +441295731810
3. TMS Consultancy
Address: Binley Business Park, Unit 36, The Business Innovation Centre, Harry Weston Rd, Coventry CV3 2TX, United Kingdom
Contact Number: +442476690900
4. Waris Consulting – Health and Safety
Address: Unit 3, Eton Business Park, Derby Rd, Burton-on-Trent DE14 1RR, United Kingdom
Contact Number: +448009788937
Address: 146 Power St, Hawthorn VIC 3122, Australia
Contact Number: +61 1300 796 681
2. Safety and Risk Engineering Solutions
Address: 610/1 Queens Ln, Melbourne VIC 3004, Australia
Contact Number: +61422416881
3. Safe System Solutions Pty Ltd
Address: 4/35 Hope St, Brunswick VIC 3056, Australia
Contact Number: +61393812222
4. Chain of Responsibility Training – Australian Risk Services
Address: 121 High St, Kew VIC 3101, Australia
Contact Number: +61 1300 266 172
Some Road safety Audit guide
In conclusion Road Safety Audit is a legal requirement in some locations but just best practice in others. Which ever part of the divide you belong, it is worth carrying out considering the benefits and important highlighted in this article.