The world’s largest ever iRAP assessment of 72,000km has kicked off in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia with first training for 45 engineers yesterday.
The Roads General Authority project, being led by Euro Group Engineering Consultancy and supported by iRAP Strategic Projects will assess the safety of the Kingdom’s network using the iRAP Methodology to produce Star Ratings and Safer Road Investment Plans. Training and accreditation of up to 60 staff will also be included, along with support to establish a Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Road Assessment Programme (KSARAP).
KSARAP will bring together road safety stakeholders across the Kingdom in a coordinated effort to eliminate high-risk roads beyond the year-long project aligned to achieving UN Targets 3 and 4, for all new roads to be built to a 3-star or better standard for all road users (Target 3), and more than 75% of travel to be on the equivalent of 3-star or better roads for all road users by 2030 (Target 4).
Saudi Arabia’s 2030 National Road Safety Strategy sets targets for 70 per cent of highways to be 3-star or better by 2022 and 100 per cent by 2030.
According to iRAP’s Safety Insights Explorer and World Health Organisation data, it is estimated that Kingdom roads claim over 9,300 lives each year and 102,400 fatalities and serious injuries at a cost of USD$46.3 billion to the economy.
Achieving more than 75% of travel on 3-star or better roads for all road users by 2030 stands to save more than 451,707 fatalities and serious injuries over the 20 year life of road treatments with an economic benefit of USD$156.4 billion – a benefit of $13.60 for every $1 spent.