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A world free of high-risk roads

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Investing in safer roads and safer speeds will save lives
and provide significant economic benefits.

The establishment of a locally led and managed Road Assessment Programme and applying the Step by Step approach to Safer Roads can provide the confidence to invest, the metrics to measure success and the vaccine we need for safer roads.

Identify High-Risk Road Sections

Typically, more than 50% of all fatalities happen on less than 10% of roads and targeting high-risk roads is high-return and achievable.  Use the iRAP Risk Mapping Protocol or equivalent local crash mapping tools to identify where high-risk sections of road exist (e.g. Great Britain Case Study). Where crash data is not available, the iRAP Star Rating assessments include a map-based estimate of fatal and serious injuries across a road network that can help target action to high-risk sections where larger numbers are killed or injured.

Undertake Star Rating & Investment Plan Analysis

Use the Star Rating and Safer Road Investment Plan assessment to provide a benchmark of current safety performance and identify the proven, cost-effective solutions that will save lives.  High priority maintenance level, minor and major upgrades can be prioritised to meet local needs and the business case for upgrades determined. (e.g. Belize City to Belmopan’ Case Study).

Set Network and Corridor Level Star Ratings

Set achievable and time-bound star rating targets, based on the investment plan analysis, for your road network (e.g. 90% of travel on 3-star or better by 2025), road heirarchy (e.g. 4-star National Highways) or corridor/location specific network of roads (e.g. CBD and linear settlements to achieve 4-star or better for pedestrians and cyclists by 2030). Make sure you are on track to meet and beat the Global Performance Target for the equivalent of 75% of travel on 3-star or better roads by 2030.

With the vision for the safety performance of the road system established, the right mix of infrastructure investment and speed management can be identified to reach the desired target.  In many cases well-focussed maintenance level activities (e.g. better signage, clear footpaths, clear roadsides, good line-marking) may be all that is required (e.g. Global Policy Case Study; Malaysia Case Study).

Establish a Safer Roads Fund

Using existing budgets, or with new resources informed by the Investment Plan or Business Case for Safer Roads, establish a Safer Roads Fund or dedicated funding stream to help focus road agency resources and investment.  iRAP recommends a dedicated provision of at least 0.1% of GDP per year through to 2030.  With the funding mechanisms in place, the optimisation of that investment to maximise lives saved is the next priority.

Invest in Safer Roads

With the highest risk roads identified, and a plan to improve the star rating of the road prepared that will maximise lives saved, the design and construction teams can be deployed.  Key road infrastructure safety features can be included to ensure the desired safety performance for all road users.  The Star Rating of Road Designs can help ensure that the planned work will achieve the desired target prior to construction commencing (e.g. El Salvador Case Study; ChinaRAP Case Study).

Ribbon Cut Safer Roads

Safer roads will save lives and save money and should be celebrated by all involved.  The star rating of the road provides a simple, objective, and evidenced-based global standard to share with the public.  The Minister, Road Authority representative, Design Team, Construction Team and Mobility Club CEO can stand side by side and ribbon cut the brand new 3, 4 or 5-star road.  Local media and community representatives can help share the good news and create demand for the next safer road investment  (e.g. ‘Bruce Highway Cooroy to Curra B’ Case Study, Yangpu District Transport Commission (China) achieves a 5 Star Rating for bicyclists and pedestrians).

Repeat !!

With the original highest risk roads eliminated, the next batch of highest risk roads can be upgraded too.  This systemic approach can be measured on an annual basis and progress tracked over time.  Together with safer vehicles, safer road users and improved post-crash care, the journey to a safe system can be achieved and many lives saved across a county, country, region and the world.

Are you looking to establish or expand your own RAP programme?
See here for more details.

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