Targeted road safety guidance for local government: Report

Austroads has published a research report to guide local government on developing and implementing road safety management frameworks according to Safe System principles.

Local government manages approximately 82 per cent of Australian and 88 per cent of New Zealand road networks, accommodates around 36 per cent of all travel in Australia and half of all travel in New Zealand, and has more than half of all crashes at a crash rate nearly double that of state-managed roads.

“Local government roads typically have lower traffic volumes than state roads, more dispersed crashes, a wider variety of road environments from high speed rural and remote roads to local streets with houses, shops, bars and schools, and a greater mix of road users including pedestrians and cyclists,” said Paul Durdin, report author.

“All these factors make managing road safety on local roads challenging and this is compounded when local councils have few if any dedicated road safety staff.

“The Local Government Road Safety Management Guidance provides guidance specifically for local councils, and in a simple efficient way to support local government responsibilities,” he said.

Information in the report includes incorporating Safe System practices into road safety management systems and plans. There is information on road safety treatments for regional and remote roads including low speed limits, one-way traffic, flexible roadside and median barriers, off-road shared cycleways and walkways, and curve chevron markers. Guidance includes forming strategic partnerships, managing shared responsibilities, capacity building, program development and delivery and funding. Monitoring and evaluation principles are explained, with the final section identifying useful tools and resources.

“Local government road safety and engineering teams will benefit from having a concise reference to help their future-decision making,” saud Durdin. “This project will improve access to key road safety information for all local council employees and help them better communicate with their communities about road safety.”

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