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Road Safety Audit

To ensure the new highways we build are to the highest standard in terms of maximizing road safety, the DoT requires a Road Safety Audit to be completed for all new highway projects. A Road Safety Audit is an evaluation of a highway project during design, at the end of construction and post-construction. The purpose of the audit is to identify road safety problems and to suggest measures to eliminate or mitigate any concerns. Road Safety Audits are undertaken by teams of specialists trained in the skills of accident investigation or road safety engineering. The expertise of audit teams in terms of required qualifications and experience is defined within our Road Safety Audit Procedures manual which has been developed by the renowned international Consultant in road safety, TRL. 

The completion of a Road Safety Audit on our highways is completed by an independent team who have not been involved in the design process. The independence of the audit team is important as it provides an impartial review of the scheme design. Road Safety Audits aim to identify potential road safety hazards arising from planned changes to the road layout but they are not technical checks against design standards or traffic regulations. In carrying out Road Safety Audits, the Audit team should consider road safety issues for all road users. The fundamental goal of the road safety audit is to identify areas within the highway design where there is a potential risk for an incident, and then recommend measures that may be implemented to reduce the likelihood of risk.

Road Safety Audits go through the following key phases:-

  • Stage 0  - Completion of high level concept design review
  • Stage 1 - Completion of preliminary design
  • Stage 2 - Completion of detailed design, usually before the tender documents have been submitted
  • Stage 3 - Completion of construction prior to opening to traffic if possible
  • Stage 4 -  Accident monitoring (12 & 36 months after opening of a highway project)

For smaller projects the Stage 0 Road Safety Audit may not be completed and also Stage 1 & 2 may be combined. Upon completion of the Road Safety Audit report the Designer of the scheme is required to provide their response to the report stating whether they agree, disagree, or recommend an alternative solution to the road safety recommendations raised. The DoT Project Manager completes a final review of the responses deciding whether all measures raised by the Audit Team can be incorporated within the design.

It has been proven internationally that the completion of Road Safety Audits on highway projects reduces the number of injury crashes therefore reducing social and economic costs. The completion of Road Safety Audits therefore has big benefits and yet their completion is low cost.