Context The Safe System, an internationally recognised philosophy for planning, design and operation of a transport system forms the basis of the Vision Zero movement. Safe System Assessments (SSAs) are a process for quantifying transport projects’ alignment with Safe System principles. Austroads documented the process in AP-R509–16 SSA Framework.
Process When applied to infrastructure SSAs score existing and proposed infrastructure on alignment with Safe System principles. Scores are based on key crash types and risk so that full Safe System would achieve a score of zero. After scoring, recommendations are provided to further reduce the score.
Analysis In Victoria, 327 SSAs have been completed on projects including road upgrades, road duplications, route upgrade projects and new town bypasses. Taking one example, the SSA process was used to analyse a freeway upgrade.
Outcomes Analysis of the widening of the Tullamarine Freeway (Melbourne) indicates that for run-off-road crashes the Safe System score before the widening was 30, the original widening design was 24, but a formal SSA reduced the score to 16.
Learning Outcomes Reviewing the first 50 SSAs in different road environments identified common issues of planning and road design that have less than desirable alignment with Safe System principles. These include unprotected roadside areas of interest, intersections with high potential kinetic energy crashes, mixing of high-speed traffic with vulnerable road users and designs that cause maintenance and/or emergency vehicle access difficult and dangerous.
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