This thesis discusses road safety, the development of standards, asset management processes and legalities. Critical characteristics of the road are identified and standards proposed. The maintenance of such standards will provide a strong defence against claims of negligence. The thesis further analyses case studies of decided claims and investigated accidents to determine principles and norms that have evolved in law.
The thesis proposes a set of standards, threshold values, inspection cycles, reaction times and decision triggers to inform the maintenance of road infrastructure for safer roads. These standards include threshold values for the dimensions of potholes, edge breaks and drop-off, rutting, skid resistance, the affirmation of sight distances through the control of vegetation and location of trees. It lists trigger values for maintenance actions that must be performed to mitigate hazardous conditions, including drainage, signs and guardrails. The research forms a foundation for industry practice guidelines on maintenance for safer roads in the context of the road authorities’ legal duties towards road safety.