There are four different stages of a Road Safety Audit each forming their own independent report but with reference to earlier stages, with each stage detailed below:-
Stage 1 Road Safety Audits are undertaken at the completion of preliminary design and normally before planning consent is granted, as this is usually the last occasion at which land requirements may be increased and the basic design principles can be altered. At the Road Safety Audit Stage 1 all team members shall visit site together and examine the existing highway layout or features and where the new highway improvement scheme ties into the existing highway.
Stage 2 Road Safety Audits are undertaken at completion of the detailed design stage of the works. The Audit Team will be able to consider issues such as the layout of junctions, position of signs, carriageway markings, lighting provision and other issues. At the Road Safety Audit Stage 2 all team members shall visit together and examine the existing highway layout or features and where the new highway improvement scheme ties into the existing highway.
The Stage 3 Road Safety Audit should be undertaken when the Highway Improvement Scheme is substantially complete and preferably before the works are open to road users. The Audit Team will examine the scheme site during daylight and during the hours of darkness so hazards particular to night operation can also be identified. For Stage 3 Road Safety Audits it is a mandatory requirement for the Audit Team Leader to invite representatives of the Police and Maintaining Authority to accompany the Audit Team on the site visit, to allow them to participate and offer their views.
For further details of some of the issues that will be considered at Audit Stages 1-3, please see Appendix B of GG119 of the Design Manual for Roads and Bridges.
Stage 4 - (Monitoring)
Following the first year a Highway Improvement Scheme is open to traffic, a check should be undertaken of the personal injury incidents that have occurred, so that any new patterns or trends that may be associated with the works are identified and remedial actions taken where necessary. Stage 4 monitoring reports shall be prepared using 12 months of incident data from the time the scheme became operational.
The collision records shall be analysed in detail to identify:
- Higher than anticipated numbers of incidents that have occurred since the scheme became operational compared to control data;
- Locations at which incidents have occurred;
- Incidents that appear to arise from similar causes or show common factors or trends.
The analysis should include identification of changes in the incident population in terms of number, types, and other incident variables, with comparisons made with control data. Where the Highway Improvement Scheme is an on-line improvement then the incident record before the scheme was built should be compared with the situation after opening.
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 Road Safety Audit report should identify any road safety problems indicated by the data analysis and observations during any site visits undertaken. The reports should make recommendations for remedial action.
Road Safety Audit (RSA) Response Report
For Stage 1-3 Road Safety Audits it is necessary to produce a RSA Response report. The Design organisation would normally produce the report, with collaboration from the Highway Authority/Overseeing Organisation.
The RSA Response Report must respond to each of the problems raised, either by:-
- accepting the RSA problem and recommendation, or
- accept the RSA problem but suggesting an alternative solution, or
- disagreeing with the RSA problem and recommendation, giving justifiable reasons for their rejection.
The responses to each problem must then be agreed with the Highway Authority/Overseeing Organisation, with the actions to be taken recorded in a decision log, which would form part of the final RSA Response report.
A Road Safety Audit Response Report Template can be found at Appendix F of GG119 of the Design Manual for Roads and Bridges.
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