When using the services of a highway design consultant, it can be difficult to understand and navigate every stage of the process. This blog outlines how a road safety audit is done and what it should tell you.
There are four stages to a road safety audit, all of which produce a report with references to the previous stages.
The first stage is undertaken at the preliminary design stage before planning consent is granted. It is usually the final point at which land requirements can be increased, and the basic design principles can be amended.
At Stage 1, every member of the team visits the site together and examines the existing highway layout or features. They will also see where the new highway improvement scheme ties into the existing system.
The second stage is begun at the completion of the detailed design of the works. The team will be able to consider issues such as the positioning of junctions, sign locations, carriageway markings and necessary lighting provisions as well as a range of other issues. At stage 2, all members of the team make a second visit to the site to examine the existing highway layout or features for a second time as well as, again, how the new highway improvement scheme is integrated into the existing system.
The third stage should be undertaken when the Highway Improvement Scheme is substantially complete and ideally before the works are open to road users. The team will examine the scheme site during daylight and during the hours of darkness so hazards particular to night operation can be identified.
During Stage 3 Road Safety Audits, it is mandatory for the team leader to invite representatives of the Police and Maintaining Authority to accompany the team on the site visit. This allows them to offer their views and expertise.
Following the first year in which a Highway Improvement Scheme is open to traffic, it is important to check the personal injury incidents that have occurred. This means any trends that could be associated with the works are identified and actions taken where necessary.
Stage 4 monitoring reports need to be prepared using 12 months of incident data from the time the scheme became operational.
The collision records will be analysed in detail to assess whether the rate of incidents is within normal bounds, locations where those incidents occurred and incidents that indicate trends.
If incident records are not sufficiently comprehensive for detailed analysis, the police may be contacted to ascertain whether additional information can be provided that may aid the analysis.
The Stage 4 report should identify any road safety problems indicated by the data analysis and observations during any site visits. The reports should also make recommendations for remedial action.
At Vemco Consulting we have extensive experience with road safety audits and can help smooth the process for you and your organisation at a fair and competitive rate.