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The free RAP methodology tools and resources are evidence-based and  designed to be integrated within agency road operations and investment planning, and support the implementation of  the European Road Infrastructure Safety Management Directive (RISM).


How the RAP tools can be integrated in your agency

RAP tools and resources can be embedded in road policy, planning, design and operations to both proactively and reactively manage risk for pedestrians, bicyclists, motorcyclists and vehicle occupants.

Fit-for-purpose tools include:

  • Crash Risk Maps which use detailed crash data to capture the combined risk and safe system performance arising from the interaction of road users, vehicles and the road environment.
  • Star Ratings which are an objective evidence-based measure of the level of safety which is ‘built-in’ to the road infrastructure for all road users. They can be used with existing roads and new road designs. 5-Star roads have the lowest risk, and 1-Star roads have the highest risk.
  • Fatal and Serious Injury (FSI) Estimates which draw on Star Rating data, flow data for each road user and local network-level crash data to generate an estimation of FSIs on each segment of road.
  • Safer Roads Investment Plans (SRIP) which draw on data underpinning Star Ratings and FSI Estimates to identify cost-effective road improvements that can maximise the prevention of deaths and serious injuries. Agencies can also adapt investment plans to meet local needs and priorities.

RAP tools and resources also support implementation of the Road Infrastructure Safety Management (RISM) DirectiveAn iRAP Centre of Excellence is currently developing a tool that will enable iRAP Star Rating data to be converted to align with outputs of EU-wide guidelines to assess safety of road infrastructure.

RAP tools also support implementation of Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans (SUMPs) and are highly complementary with Road Safety Inspections (RSI), Road Safety Impact Assessments (RSIA), and Road Safety Audits (RSA).

RAP methodologies and tools governed by the iRAP Global Technical Committee (GTC), fully published in the public domain and are supported by free specifications and software, with training and programme support to help ensure assessments can be applied with the same, high level of quality worldwide and experience is shared for the mutual benefit of all.

Assessments using RAP tools can be completed with in-house resources, through local partnerships (e.g. EuroRAP National Schemes), or tendered in accordance with local procurement requirements to experienced partners, experts and supplier networks.

Did you know?

  • The Road Assessment Programme, RAP, began in Europe in 1999 as a partnership involving road authority and mobility club partners in Sweden, Spain, the Netherlands and UK.
  • The evidence-based free tools have now been used by development bank, road agency and NGO partners in over 100 countries with more than 3 million kilometres of motorways, primary roads, secondary roads, and urban roads assessed, and over €90 billion of agency investment made safer.
  • The Global Plan for the Decade of Action for Road Safety 2021- 2030 includes targets for 3-star and better roads and bringing 75% of travel to the same minimum safety standard for all road users.
  • Partners share knowledge and experience, and innovate for the mutual benefit of all. Partnerships include PHOEBESABRINASLAINRADAR and SENSoR. Global partnerships are supporting CycleRAPAiRAPStar Rating for Designs (SR4D)Star Rating for Schools (SR4S), the Youth Engagement App (YEA), Route Review Tool, and impact investment for safety.
  • Local leadership and ownership is encouraged in every country and region (e.g. EuroRAP, usRAP, AusRAP, ChinaRAP, BrazilRAP, IndiaRAP, ThaiRAP, MyRAP).
  • The Saving Lives Assessing and Improving TEN-T Road Network Safety Project (SLAIN) including countries such as ItalyCroatiaGreece and Spain provides evidence-based examples of how these techniques have been applied to understand and measure individual and collective network risk.

Case Studies

The following are case studies that illustrate how RAP tools and resources have and can be  used to support agency road operation and investment planning in Europe.

How RAP tools and resources can support implementation of RISM

How RAP tools and resources can support RISM

There are several ways in which RAP tools and resources may be used to support the implementation of RISM. The SLAIN project, for example, showed how reactive Risk Mapping can be used to guide selective Star Ratings in order to prioritize a safety response.

The following table summarises how RAP tools and resources may be used to support specific articles of RISM.

RISM Directive Article/Paragraph Description iRAP tools and resources
Art. 5 Network-wide road safety assessment  
5/2 Ability to evaluate accident and impact severity risk Star Ratings and Risk Mapping may be used at the network level. A tool is under development to convert Star Ratings into NWRSA outputs.
5/2a Involves visual examination, either on site or by electronic means, of the design characteristics of the road (in-built safety) RAP Star Ratings involve visual assessment of the level of safety that is ‘built-in’ to roads.
5/3 Repeatability – enables periodic inspections and comparability of results Star Ratings and Risk Mapping use a standardised methodologies that are used to track performance over time
5/6 Classification of all sections of the road network in no fewer than three categories according to their level of safety Star Ratings and RIsk Mapping involves categorising road segments into one of 5 risk categories.
Art. 6 Periodic road safety inspections  
6/1 Periodic road safety inspections are undertaken with sufficient frequency to safeguard adequate safety levels for the road infrastructure in question Star Ratings and Risk Mapping may be performed periodically as part of performance tracking
Art. 6a Follow-up of procedures for roads in operation  
6a/1 Network-wide road safety assessments are followed up either by targeted road safety inspections or by direct remedial action Fatality and Serious Injury (FSI) estimates and  Safer Road Investment Plans (SRIP) may be used to assist in identifying and implementing priority countermeasures on  priority road segments
6a/2 Indicative elements (Annex IIa) for targeted road safety inspections. See table below
6a/3 Targeted road safety inspections shall be carried out by expert teams RAP tools and resources are supported by Training and a network of Accredited suppliers and practitioners

Findings of targeted road safety inspections are followed up by reasoned decisions determining if remedial action is necessary, and

Identification of road sections where road infrastructure safety improvements are necessary and define actions to be prioritised for improving the safety of those road sections

Fatality and Serious Injury (FSI) estimates and Safer Road Investment Plans (SRIP) may be used to assist in identifying and implementing priority countermeasures on  priority road segments

Ensure remedial action is targeted primarily at road sections with low safety levels, and

Which offer the opportunity for the implementation of measures with high potential for safety development and accident cost savings.

Fatality and Serious Injury (FSI) estimates and Safer Road Investment Plans (SRIP) may be used to assist in identifying and implementing priority countermeasures on  priority road segments
6a/6 Prepare and regularly update a risk-based prioritised action plan to track the implementation of identified remedial action. RAP assessments may be performed at periodic intervals
Art. 6b Protection of vulnerable road users  
6b Needs of vulnerable road users are taken into account in the implementation of the procedures set out in Articles 3 to 6a. Star Ratings, FSI estimations, SRIPs and Risk Mapping account for vulnerable road users, including pedestrians, bicyclists and motorcyclists.
Using Star Ratings to support targeted road safety inspections

The following table summarises how the RAP Star Rating methodology aligns with  indicative elements of targeted road safety inspections listed in RISM Annex IIa.

RISM recommended elements Alignment with Star Rating methodology
1. Road alignment and cross-section:  
(a) visibility and sight distances;
(b) speed limit and speed zoning;
(c) self-explaining alignment (i.e. “readability” of the alignment by road users); Partial – uses sight distance, curvature, grade and delineation to indicate readability
(d) access to adjacent property and developments;
(e) access of emergency and service vehicles; Partial – Can be derived from paved shoulder width data
(f) treatments at bridges and culverts;
(g) roadside layout (shoulders, pavement drop-off, cut and fill slopes).
2. Intersections and interchanges:  
(a) appropriateness of intersection/interchange type;  
(b) geometry of intersection/interchange layout; Partial – provides for how many legs of an intersection (up to 4), but does not take into account angles
(c) visibility and readability (perception) of intersections; Partial – uses sight distance, curvature, grade, delineation and intersection quality
(d) visibility at the intersection; Partial – uses sight distance, curvature, grade, delineation and intersection quality
(e) layout of auxiliary lanes at intersections; Partial – indicates if turning lanes are present or not for inspected road
(f) intersection traffic control (e.g. stop controlled, traffic signals, etc.);
(g) existence of pedestrian and cycling crossings.
3. Provision for vulnerable road users:  
(a) provision for pedestrians;
(b) provision for cyclists;
(c) provision for powered-two-wheelers;
(d) public transport and infrastructures;
(e) level crossings (noting, particularly, the type of crossing and if they are manned, unmanned, manual, or automated).
4. Lighting, signs and markings:  
(a) coherent road signs, not obscuring visibility; Partial – recorded as part of delineation and sight distance
(b) readability of road signs (position, size, colour); Partial – recorded as part of delineation
(c) sign posts; Partial – recorded as part of delineation
(d) coherent road markings and delineation;
(e) readability of road markings (position, dimensions and retroreflectivity under dry and wet conditions); Partial – recorded as part of delineation
(f) appropriate contrast of road markings; Partial – recorded as part of delineation
(g) lighting of lit roads and intersections; Partial – presence of street lighting recorded
(h) appropriate roadside equipment.  
5. Traffic signals:  
(a) operation; Partial – presence for vehicles and pedestrians recorded
(b) visibility. Partial – recorded as part of intersection quality
6. Objects, clear zones and road restraint systems:  
(a) roadside environment including vegetation;
(b) roadside hazards and distance from carriageway or cycle path edge;
(c) user-friendly adaptation of road restraint systems (central reservations and crash barriers to prevent hazards to vulnerable road users);
(d) end treatments of crash barriers;
(e) appropriate road restraint systems at bridges and culverts;
(f) fences (in roads with restricted access).
7. Pavement:  
(a) pavement defects;
(b) skid resistance;
(c) loose material/gravel/stones;
(d) ponding, water drainage.
8. Bridges and tunnels:  
(a) presence and number of bridges;
(b) presence and number of tunnels;
(c) visual elements representing hazards for the safety of the infrastructure.
9. Other issues:  
(a) provision of safe parking areas and rest areas;
(b) provision for heavy vehicles;
(c) headlight glare;
(d) roadworks;
(e) unsafe roadside activities;
(f) appropriate information in ITS equipment (e.g. variable message signs);
(g) wildlife and animals;
(h) school zone warnings (if applicable).’;
Using proactive Star Ratings in conjunction with Road Safety Audits

RAP Star Ratings may be used in conjunction with Road Safety Audits to enhance safety outcomes. The Star Rating for Road Safety Audits (SR4RSA) manual provides practical examples for policy makers and practitioners. The following table summarises how Star Ratings align with  the additional elements of Road Safety Audits listed in RISM Annex II.

Indicative elements of road safety audits Alignment with Star Rating methodology
(b) in section 1, the following point is added:  
‘(n) provision for vulnerable road users:  
(i) provision for pedestrians;
(ii) provision for cyclists, including the existence of alternative routes or separations from high-speed motor traffic;
(iii) provision for powered two-wheelers;
(iv) density and location of crossings for pedestrians and cyclists; ✔  To 100m level
(v) provision for pedestrians and cyclists on affected roads in the area;
(vi) separation of pedestrians and cyclists from high-speed motor traffic or the existence of direct alternative routes on lower class roads. ✔ Existence of alternative routes requires additional assessments/review using Star Ratings and/or CycleRAP methodologies.
(c) in section 2, point (h) is replaced by the following:  
‘(h) provision for vulnerable road users:  
(i) provision for pedestrians;
(ii) provision for cyclists;
(iii) provision for powered two-wheelers;’;

For more information and support

Contact iRAP’s Safer Journeys Specialist for Europe, Samar Abouraad on email

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