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Practical safety tool for local low-volume rural roads : The Road Safety Audit Review Wilson, Eugen M ; Lipinski, Martin E

By: Contributor(s): Publication details: Transportation Research Record, 2003Description: nr 1819, s. 225-30Subject(s): Bibl.nr: VTI P8169:2003 Ref ; VTI P8167Location: Abstract: Practical tools for improving transportation safety are needed worldwide. It has been estimated that motor vehicle-related crashes account for more than 1 million fatalities each year, and the number of serious injuries far exceeds fatalities. Local and low-volume roads are significantly overrepresented in crash statistics. Globally, the road safety audit (RSA) concept has been recognized as an effective tool in identifying and reducing the crash potential of roadways when used to analyze the safety aspects of project plans and designs before completion. In the local rural road arena, many safety issues are associated with existing roadway networks. Many of these networks have developed over time with little or no planning or design. There is a critical need for a practical tool that focuses on the safety of the existing as-built local road network. The RSA review (RSAR) process has been developed for this purpose, giving specific recognition to the functionality of the road being evaluated for safety issues. Significant numbers of safety improvements are needed, and practical approaches to address these needs are crucial. The RSAR tool has the potential to be particularly beneficial to local governments in systematically addressing safety deficiencies on existing rural road networks. In addition, it is a proactive safety tool that has the potential to protect agencies from tort liability since it establishes a record of the organization's safety agenda. An RSAR methodology that can be adapted by local agencies is presented. A case study illustrating the application of this process is included. Also highlighted is a local rural training program that has been presented in several states for county applications. The focus is on U.S. county applications, but it is recognized that the process has utility for other agencies and has application in other countries. The necessity for training as a key component in the development of a sustainable safety program is emphasized.
Item type: Reports, conferences, monographs
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Practical tools for improving transportation safety are needed worldwide. It has been estimated that motor vehicle-related crashes account for more than 1 million fatalities each year, and the number of serious injuries far exceeds fatalities. Local and low-volume roads are significantly overrepresented in crash statistics. Globally, the road safety audit (RSA) concept has been recognized as an effective tool in identifying and reducing the crash potential of roadways when used to analyze the safety aspects of project plans and designs before completion. In the local rural road arena, many safety issues are associated with existing roadway networks. Many of these networks have developed over time with little or no planning or design. There is a critical need for a practical tool that focuses on the safety of the existing as-built local road network. The RSA review (RSAR) process has been developed for this purpose, giving specific recognition to the functionality of the road being evaluated for safety issues. Significant numbers of safety improvements are needed, and practical approaches to address these needs are crucial. The RSAR tool has the potential to be particularly beneficial to local governments in systematically addressing safety deficiencies on existing rural road networks. In addition, it is a proactive safety tool that has the potential to protect agencies from tort liability since it establishes a record of the organization's safety agenda. An RSAR methodology that can be adapted by local agencies is presented. A case study illustrating the application of this process is included. Also highlighted is a local rural training program that has been presented in several states for county applications. The focus is on U.S. county applications, but it is recognized that the process has utility for other agencies and has application in other countries. The necessity for training as a key component in the development of a sustainable safety program is emphasized.

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