Multi-stage Road Safety Auditing to Maximise Development Impact
Submission Date: November 9, 2017 Journal
Suggested Citation: Whalley, O. Multi-stage Road Safety Auditing to Maximise Development Impact. Journal of the Australasian College of Road Safety, 28(4), 22-30.
Development institutions including the World Bank recognise that road safety is a critical issue for investments in low and middle-income countries (LMICs). Inadequate consideration of safety disproportionately affects the poor; the very group which Governments and development institutions strive to lift from poverty. Road safety audits (RSA) are an effective way of addressing safety, however, their systematic use is often lacking. RSAs are also often completed too late for their full potential to be fully realised. To address this, the World Bank with support from the Global Road Safety Facility (GRSF) trialled the systematic application of multi-stage RSAs. The goal was to integrate road safety into the project design, with RSAs undertaken at feasibility, detailed design and post-construction stages. This approach is innovative for a project in a LMIC, and aimed to overcome the design inertia often observed when RSAs are undertaken later in projects. The results of a case study from the Kiribati Road Rehabilitation Project (KRRP) are presented. The approach resulted in a road design with extensive and well detailed safety features including a narrow carriageway, footpaths, speed humps, street lighting and gateway treatments. For the KRRP, pedestrians were the key vulnerable road user and the risk to them was expected to increase as a result of speed increases due to improved road condition. However, it was found that by applying a multistage RSA approach, improvements in road condition were made in parallel with features which decreased the safety risk to Kiribati’s most vulnerable road users.