Road Safety Audit Definitions

Within this page we have put together several definitions of key words relating to a Road Safety Audit and the Road Safety Audit Team.

Collision Investigation

The collection and examination of historical collision data over a period of time in order to identify patterns, common trends and factors which may have contributed to the incidents. This could also include the detailed forensic investigation of single collisions.

Audit Brief

The instructions to the Road Safety Audit Team defining the scope and details of the Highway Improvement Scheme to be audited, including sufficient information for the audit to be undertaken.

Audit Report

The report produced by the Audit Team describing the road safety related problems identified by the team and the recommended solutions to those problems.

Audit Team

A team that works together on all aspects of the audit, independent of the Design Team and approved for a particular audit by the Project Sponsor on behalf of the Overseeing Organisation. The team shall comprise a minimum of two persons with appropriate levels of training, skills and experience in Road Safety Engineering work and/or Collision Investigation. The members of the Audit Team may be drawn from within the Design Organisation or from another body.

Audit Team Leader

A person with the appropriate training, skills and experience who is approved for a particular audit by the Project Sponsor on behalf of the Overseeing Organisation. The Audit Team Leader has overall responsibility for carrying out the audit and managing the Audit Team.

Audit Team Member

A member of the Audit Team with the appropriate training, skills and experience necessary for the audit of a specific scheme reporting to the Audit Team Leader.

Audit Team Observer

A person with the appropriate training, skills and experience accompanying the Audit Team to observe and gain experience of the audit procedure. The Audit Team Observer is encouraged to contribute actively to the audit process.

Designers Response Report

A report from the Design Team Leader to the Project Sponsor in response to the recommendations made in the Road Safety Audit. This may include proposed exceptions to recommendations made in the Audit Report for consideration by the Project Sponsor.

Design Organisation

The organisation(s) commissioned to undertake the various phases of scheme preparation.

Design Team

The group within the Design Organisation undertaking the various phases of scheme preparation.

Design Team Leader

A person within the Design Team responsible for managing the scheme design and coordinating the input of the various design disciplines.


The Director in the Overseeing Organisation with overall responsibility for the Highway Improvement Scheme.

Exception Report

A report from the Project Sponsor to the Director on each recommendation in the Audit Report that the Project Sponsor proposes should not be implemented.

Highway Improvement Schemes

All works that involve construction of new highway or permanent change to the existing highway layout or features. This includes changes to road layout, kerbs, signs and markings, lighting, signalling, drainage, landscaping and installation of roadside equipment.

Interim Road Safety Audit

The application of Road Safety Audit to the whole or part of a Highway Improvement Scheme at any time during the preliminary and detailed design stages. Interim Road Safety Audit is not mandatory or a substitute for the formal Stage 1, 2 and 3 Safety Audits.

Interim Road Safety Audit File

A file containing copies of all communications between the Design Team and Audit Team and the Project Sponsor and the Audit Team. The file is only required for Highway Improvement Schemes where the Audit Team undertakes ‘Interim Road Safety Audit’

Overseeing Organisation

The Highway Authority responsible for the Highway Improvement Scheme to be audited.

Project Sponsor

Normally a person within the Overseeing Organisation responsible for ensuring the progression of a scheme in accordance with policy and procedures of the Overseeing Organisation, and ensuring compliance with Standards. It should be noted that the Project Sponsor may not always be from the same organisation as those promoting the scheme, as the scheme may be proposed by a third party organisation.

Road Safety Audit

The evaluation of Highway Improvement Schemes during design and at the end of construction (preferably before the scheme is open to traffic) to identify potential road safety problems that may affect any users of the highway and to suggest measures to eliminate or mitigate those problems. The audit process includes the collision monitoring of Highway Improvement Schemes to identify any road safety problems that may occur after opening. This Stage 4 Audit will include the analysis and reporting of 12 and 36 months of completed personal injury collision data from when the scheme became operational.

Road Safety Engineering

The design and implementation of physical changes to the road network intended to reduce the number and severity of incidents involving road users, drawing on the results of Collision Investigations.

Specialist Advisor

A person approved by the Project Sponsor, to provide specialist independent advice to the Audit Team should the scheme include complex features outside the experience of the Audit Team Members, e.g. a complex traffic signal controlled junction.

Require Assistance with a Road Safety Audit?

Sanderson Associates have extensive experience in providing Road Safety Audits for a wide variety of major and minor developments throughout the whole of the UK, Isle of Man and Ireland.

One of our Road Safety Auditors holds the Road Safety Audit, Highways England Approved Certificate of Competency, we are therefore able to carry out Road Safety Audits on the Trunk Road Network that comply with the detailed requirements of GG119 (formerly HD19/15) of the Design Manual for Roads and Bridges Volume 5 Section 2.

We would be pleased to provide you with our competitive fee proposal to provide you with our Road Safety Audit Services, please call us on 01924 844080 or click here to complete our secure online form.

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