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Life-saving improvements to the Bruce Highway

Life-saving improvements to the Bruce Highway

An AusRAP assessment by RACQ shows that the improvements made to a 12km section of the Bruce Highway in Queensland, Australia have lifted it from just 2-stars to 4- and 5-stars for safety.

Previously, the section of road had a speed limit of 90km/h, was undivided and had hazardous roadsides and ‘at-grade’ intersections. The new section has two lanes in each direction which are separated by median safety barriers that reduce the risk of head-on crashes. Roadside safety barriers, which are specially designed to protect motorcyclists, help to reduce the risk of injury in run-off road crashes. A ‘grade-separated’ interchange significantly reduces the risk of intersection crashes.

As a result of the engineering improvements, the speed limit was able to be lifted to 110km/h yet the risk of death and serious injury has more than halved.

The improvements were an initiative of the Australian and Queensland Governments.

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EuroRAP is seeking a CEO

EuroRAP is seeking to appoint a CEO

The current CEO, the Managing Director of the Association, is retiring.  You will lead the European Road Assessment Association’s activities and enable your Members to deliver RAP programmes. You will conceive or develop practical programmes of research, implementation, legislation or communications that will lead to safer roads. 

In addition to a core grant from the FIA Foundation and membership fees, you must raise funds from a wide variety of sources to help enable the Association’s and your Members’ programmes. 

You will work closely with other partners and RAP programmes worldwide including iRAP, a charity established by EuroRAP to act as a global umbrella for road assessment and develop key software tools for global use.

You will be responsible for a team of UK based staff who are jointly employed by EuroRAP and iRAP so they can move easily between the work of European and global programmes.  You will be responsible for overseeing iRAP’s programmes in the Middle East and Africa as and when may be agreed between iRAP and EuroRAP.

For more information on this role and to apply please click here.

Closing date 7th September 2014. 

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ChinaRAP wins Star Performer award

ChinaRAP wins Star Performer award

The Research Institute of Highway (RIOH), Ministry of Transport, China, has received the iRAP Asia Pacific Star Performer award for their leadership of ChinaRAP.

The China Road Assessment Program (ChinaRAP), which Star Rates roads for crash risk and develops safety countermeasure plans, is now being used in 14 city and highway projects across China, helping to shape development bank projects worth more than CNY 9 billion (USD 1.5 billion).

A few examples of ChinaRAP projects are:

  • In Yunnan, the team assessed city roads and made recommendations for safety improvements, such as footpaths, speed limit reclassification and bicycle lanes, in the World Bank financed Yunnan Honghe Prefecture Urban Transport Project.
  • In Shaanxi, the team is working closely with designers to lift safety star ratings on almost 1,000km of roads as part of the Asian Development Bank financed Shaanxi Mountains Road Safety Demonstration Project.
  • In Anhui, the team worked closely with designers of the G316 to lift star ratings of a new class 1 road. These upgrades are funded by the Wuhu Local Government.

 

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Death of peoples’ champion should be a catalyst for action

Death of peoples’ champion should be a catalyst for action

The last rites are being held today for Gopinath Munde, India’s Rural Development Minister who was tragically killed this week in a car crash.  Although a very high profile case which has seen much coverage in the Indian press and further afield, he is by no means the only road victim this week in a country struggling to cope with the burden of road crashes. With around 380 reported road deaths each and every day on India’s roads the country is at crisis point and figures show that many of the victims will be the from lower-income rural families, the lives of whom Mr Munde worked so hard to improve, that are the hardest hit.

Fortunately there are positive efforts being made, among them the work being led by Public Works Departments and the World Bank in States such as Kerala, Gujarat, Assam and Karnataka. In major road upgrade projects, ambitious targets to lift road safety star ratings have been set. It’s the first time that this approach, which is lifting designs above basic standards, has been adopted in a developing country on a large scale. Importantly, the targets are aimed at making roads safer for everyone: vehicle occupants, motorcyclists, pedestrians and bicyclists. 

The road safety challenge in India is large; but many of the solutions are already well known. Building features such as footpaths, safe crossings, safety barriers and roundabouts around the country will save lives. The death of Gopinath Munde is truly upsetting; we must ensure that thousands more deaths like his are avoided.

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IRF Regional Congresses and World Road Statistics

IRF Regional Congresses and World Road Statistics

The International Road Federation (IRF) will hold a series of regional congresses, in Africa, Latin America and Asia this year.

Attendees at the conferences will have the opportunity to dialogue with government officials, developmental partners, contractors, consultants and other stakeholders who share a common interest in improving people’s lives through a sound, resilient and safe transportation system

To support road policy development and analysis, the IRF World Road Statistics is also available. To mark the 50th anniversary of the publication, includes 12 years of updated data, providing a comprehensive statistical picture of international road and inland transport from the start of the millennium.

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Pilot project underway in Japan

Pilot project underway in Japan

Facilitated by the Japan Automobile federation (JAF) and with technical support from iRAP, the National Institute for Land and Infrastructure Management (NILIM) has carried out a pilot assessment of risk on roads in Japan.

Apart from helping to build an understanding of the iRAP methodology among local partners, the project also offers the opportunity for iRAP to learn about successful safety management techniques in Japan.

Between 2001 and 2010, Japan managed to more than halve its road death rate, cutting the rate from 10 deaths per 100,000 population to 4.5 deaths per 100,000 population. 

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6% of Hungarian network achieves the best risk rating

6% of Hungarian network achieves the best risk rating

During the 12th Annual EuroRAP General Assembly, the Institute for Transport Sciences (KTI) published Risk Maps for some 3,000km of roads in Hungary.

The roads represent just 11% of the investigated part of the national road network, but carry 54% of traffic flow. Some 34% of fatal crashes occur on the roads.

The Risk Map, produced as part of SENSOR, shows that the network spans the full range of risk categories, from high risk through to low risk.

Based on the findings of the review carried out with EuroRAP methodology, a Hungarian expert group is to make proposals on low-budget safety improvements. 

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Road safety in the home of the World Cup

Road safety in the home of the World Cup

In the first application of iRAP in Brazil, crash risk on 4,250km of roads in São Paulo state was assessed.

The results, which are helping to guide the $429 million São Paulo Sustainable Transport Project, were presented as part of a training course for around 150 people.

Much of the network was rated in the highest risk 1- and 2-star categories. About two thirds (62%) of roads where pedestrians are present carry traffic 40km/h or more have no footpaths. Almost half (40%) have hazardous objects within 5 metres of the edge and limited roadside protection (such as safety barriers).

The most comprehensive plan shows that an investment of R$2.55 billion (US$1.28 billion) could reduce the number of deaths and serious injuries by 41%, preventing almost 80,000 deaths and serious injuries over 20 years.

Following the presentation of results, iRAP’s São Paulo based consultant conducted a series of workshops to train 15 engineers and planners from the São Paulo Department of Highways (DER-SP) in the use of the iRAP methodology and software.

The iRAP assessments in Brazil are supported by the World Bank GRSF and Bloomberg Philanthropies.

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Fatality-free roads of the future

Fatality-free roads of the future

Vehicle and road infrastructure experts recently explored how technologies from their fields will ‘work together’ to prevent common types of vehicle and motorcycle crashes and those involving pedestrians and bicyclists.

Participants in the workshop, which was hosted by RACV in Melbourne, Australia, also considered the challenge of preventing crashes involving the rapidly growing ‘e-bike’ fleet in many parts of the world.

Although advanced V2V and V2I technology which may lead to ‘self-driving’ cars was cited as having enormous potential, there was also a focus was on the safety gains of rapid, wide-scale deployment of already-proven technology and techniques, especially in rapidly developing countries. 

Examples considered include: emergency brake assist which helps drivers to quickly slow their car, flexible safety barriers that are highly-effective at dissipating energy and innovative forms of head-protection for bicyclists.

The workshop was developed by iRAP and GNCAP, and built on the Roads That Cars Can Read Initiative. ARRB Group is currently producing a Research Report that will document proceedings.

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Standard TOR and technical specifications

Standard TOR and technical specifications

Standard iRAP technical specifications, guides and manuals, which can be used in procurement and management of iRAP-specification activities, are available online.

The documents include a standard Terms of Reference (TOR) that can be downloaded and edited to form the basis of a project plan and/or used in the process of engaging consultants to deliver services.

The documents also include specifications on road inspections, Star Rating and Safer Roads Investment Plan analyses and Risk Map analyses using crash data.

The specifications are accompanied by a growing list of consultants and firms capable of bidding for and delivering iRAP-specification projects. The specifications also enable consultants and firms that have not previously undertaken iRAP-specific activities to gain ‘accreditation’ during project delivery.

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