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iRAP’s Global Technical Committee (GTC) met last week as part of their important function to govern the iRAP model development and technical integrity of iRAP protocols worldwide. Key topics of discussion were the development of a shunt / rear end crash type for the iRAP Star Rating model and understanding the performance of High-Speed High-class Roads.

The GTC reports directly to the iRAP Board and is comprised of experts from the world’s leading road safety and research agencies including the Mexican Institute of Transportation, ARRB NTRO (Australia), Beijing Zhongjiaohuaan Technology (China), Malaysian Institute of Road Safety Research (MIROS), TRL (UK), SWOV Institute for Road Safety Research (The Netherlands), Global Road Safety Facility (GRSF), Labtrans (Brazil), Seoul National University (Korea), Chulalongkorn University (Thailand), and Iowa State University (USA).

iRAP Global Technical Director James Bradford said, “The GTC is important because they provide the governance of the iRAP protocols, ensuring that they are robust, scientifically based, and fit for purpose.

“The meeting was really beneficial because it provided a deep insight into the intense research that TRL is doing to understand the relationship between shunt / rear-end crashes and road infrastructure. This work that National Highways in England has supported is important to the ongoing development of the iRAP Protocols and Tools,” he said.

Dr John Fletcher, Practice Lead, International Safety at TRL said, “TRL has been assessing the operation of the Star Rating models and protocols in detail. The results and insights have been fed back to the GTC to benefit the wider iRAP community and model performance. This has been possible thanks to support from National Highways.

“TRL is also currently expanding the Star Rating model reach by developing a shunt / rear-end casualty module. The relevant countermeasures are ITS related (variable speed management and queue protection systems) rather than classic engineering, which is also expanding the model significantly.

“Relationships between the new model and casualty patterns have proven to be ‘complex’, i.e. not entirely as expected, but very in-depth analyses of the inter-relationships is providing really valuable insights to help with the development; these results will also assist greatly with the High-Speed High-class Roads Initiative,” Dr Fletcher said.

“Building a deeper understanding of the performance of High-Speed High-class Roads is a challenge,” Mr Bradford said, “and will see iRAP form an iRAP Innovation Partnership to extend the knowledge in this area.”

Zach Hans, Director of the Center for Weather Impacts on Mobility and Safety, and a Senior Research Scientist from Iowa State University, was welcomed to the GTC. He brings a deep knowledge in road infrastructure safety and years of experience in the application of iRAP tools in the US.

For more information

  • Learn more about iRAP’s Global Technical Committee here
  • Explore iRAP Infrastructure Safety Management Tools (RAPTools) here
  • Read about iRAP’s Innovation Partnerships here
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