The development of a proactive road safety assessment tool – KiwiRAP
Keywords: Risk Assessment
Submission Date: 2012
Road Assessment Programmes (RAPs) provide a proactive means of managing road safety which does not rely solely on death or injury to identify road safety problems. This proactive approach provides a key means for moving towards a safe system approach, promoted by the New Zealand road safety strategy, Safer Journeys. KiwiRAP is the New Zealand Road Assessment Programme. KiwiRAP is helping to grow public awareness, and provides a common nationwide assessment methodology for highway network planners and managers. By understanding the deficiencies in road infrastructure features that increase crash risk through KiwiRAP, it is possible to proactively and more accurately identify and prioritise road safety investment to target resources to those routes and features where the greatest road safety gains can be achieved. The KiwiRAP Star Ratings were developed following a trial application of the Australian star ratings model, AusRAP, in late 2007. This study determined that the AusRAP model would be unsuitable for direct application to New Zealand. This led to a decision to develop a New Zealand based star ratings model, KiwiRAP, which resulted in an extensive programme of research and development. This paper outlines the three KiwiRAP protocols: – risk mapping, star rating and performance tracking, and focuses on the star rating protocol explaining how it was developed and how it is now being applied and embedded, as well as introducing the interactive KiwiRAP Analysis Tool (KAT), which is being used by practitioners nationwide to assess potential improvements and track performance across the state highway network. Specific attention is given to modifications to the star rating models and the impact these have had in achieving a strong relationship between the infrastructure rating and crash risk.