RSA Road Safety Audits – What you need to know
When driving on a new road, you can appreciate the efforts of the designers and the construction crews in delivering this brilliant piece of engineering. One element of the design process that road users may not appreciate is the Road Safety Audit Team’s role in the project.
Road Safety Audits’ role is to deliver safer journeys on our ever-expanding road network.
What is a Road Safety Audit?
A Road Safety Audit is a comprehensive safety check carried out by independent, qualified auditors. The audit process that is now the status quo was developed in the United Kingdom when it was realised that safety factors were overlooked due to designers focusing on design standards. Audits have been carried out in Ireland since 1996 and were introduced into the Irish road design standards in 2000.
An important point is that a Road Safety Audit is a safety check, not a design/technical check. Equally, the auditors will not redesign the safety-related problems identified.
Road Safety Audits are carried out in accordance with Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) Publication GE-STY-01024 for projects in the Republic of Ireland and Design Manual for Roads and Bridges GG 119 for projects in Northern Ireland and the UK. In addition, the audit team personnel must be approved by TII and UK governing bodies and have the required experience and training.
Road Safety Audits are carried out on the following scheme types:
- Road Schemes are new roads or where a permanent change to an existing road or roadside layout is proposed.
- Development Scheme – this is where a development, such as a housing scheme, will change an existing road or roadside layout.
On National Roads, an audit is required for all infrastructure projects. On Regional and Local Roads, audits are considered best practice.
Road Safety Audits are carried out at the following stages of proposed schemes:
- Stage F – Feasibility Stage of the project and option selection
- Stage 1 – Preliminary Design Stage
- Stage 2 – Detailed Design Stage
- Stage 1&2 – On small schemes, one design stage audit at detailed design may be more appropriate
- Stage 3 – Completion of construction
- Stage 4 – Early Operation, usually within 2 to 4 months of opening
Is it worth doing Road Safety Audits?
It is stated that one audit saves one casualty per year per scheme. Therefore, a Stage 1, Stage 2, and Stage 3 audit carried out on a project will save three casualties per year. This presents a real saving to human life and the stress caused by collisions, regardless of the severity.
ORS has been successfully completing Road Safety Audit services for both the private and public sectors for over 15 years. TII approves our Road Safety Audit team to conduct all audits at all stages.
The ORS Infrastructure team also provides DMURS Quality Audits (QA), a defined process independent of the design team. To learn more about this, click here.
If you require any further information on the requirements and process of Road Safety Audits, please get in touch with our Transportation Team, who will be happy to assist you, or reach out to the ORS Infrastructure Team lead, Adam Price, at firstname.lastname@example.org.