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The 2012 iRAP Asia Pacific Star Performer award recognizes action by the Karnataka State Highway Improvement Program (KSHIP) and the World Bank to ensure that safety is built-in to designs for new roads and major upgrades, prior to construction.

The winners of the 2012 award were announced during the recent Global Road Safety Partnership (GRSP) Asia Seminar and International Road Assessment Programme (iRAP) Workshop in Manila, and a special ceremony will also be held during a Global Road Safety Facility engineering workshop in Bangalore in June.

Karnataka was the first jurisdiction in the region to commit to setting minimum Star Ratings for new road designs.

The commitment is consistent with the Commission for Global Road Safety recommendation that desired design speeds for new roads should be subject to achieving minimum safety ratings.

The steps taken to date include:

  • The World Bank initially set a target of three-stars for road safety demonstration corridors included in a loan package. The Government then extended this target to include more than 500km of annuity roads.
  • Road safety inspections were carried out and baseline Star Ratings calculated for the existing roads.
  • Detailed supporting data, including road crash investigation data, were collected on selected roads to help establish a full understanding of the situation.
  • Consulting engineers and road authority engineers used Star Ratings to test the safety impact and suitability of various safety options for the annuity, such as ‘raised pedestrian crossings’.
  • Designs were developed based on optimised Star Ratings and which met local design standards and budget and environmental requirements.
  • With assistance from ADB, local engineers undertook on-site reviews of countermeasures identified by iRAP for the safe demonstration corridors. This work will shape subsequent designs, but also serve as a guide for other countries implementing iRAP recommendations.

Overall, the annuity road process resulted in designs with significantly better Star Ratings than the existing roads and standard designs.

For example, the percentage of road rated one-star or two-stars for vehicle occupants would be reduced from 86% to 2%. For pedestrians, the percentage of high risk roads would drop from 100% to 12%.  It was estimated that the new designs would result in 55% fewer deaths and serious injuries than currently occur.

The work in Karnataka is part of a larger program of iRAP assessments in India, designed to help reduce the estimated 231,000 road deaths that occur each year. During the past three years, almost 6,500km of roads in seven States have been assessed and more than 100 engineers have participated in training. Star Ratings are now being used to help improve the safety of designs on numerous road corridors.

iRAP in India is being delivered in partnership with Public Works Departments and local firms, and is supported by the Global Road Safety Facility and Bloomberg Philanthropies.  iRAP’s activities are enabled by funding from the FIA Foundation and the Road Safety Fund.

The annual iRAP Asia Pacific Star Performer award is given to organizations that have embraced the iRAP vision for a world free of high-risk roads. Previous winners come from Malaysia, Vietnam, New Zealand and the Philippines.

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