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Road Safety

Reports related to road and traffic safety.

2023 - Pakistan - Road Safety and Pavement Distress
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The pavement distress issue
is reported as an elementary road entity causing accidents. According to the statistics
of the Road Traffic Injury Research and Prevention Centre (RTIR&PC) in Karachi,
more than 50% of serious injuries occur due to road faults. This paper aims to develop
a mechanism for the exploration of blackspots by inspecting the traffic accidents in
Karachi city caused by road distresses. The mathematical analysis involved the Lagrange polynomial method while the screening of blackspots was carried out based on safety inspections. As of lack of technicalities and improved documentation, the paper presented an initiative of complete guidelines for safety audits and investigations specifically for developing countries like Pakistan. According to findings, around 87% locations are pertained with the ranking of blackspots highlighting the pavement problems of the city.

2023 - NZ - Role of Speed in Serious Crash Injury
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Multiple sources of evidence address the contribution of speed and speeding in crashes: police crash reports, in-depth crash investigations, studies of speed and serious crash risk, assessments of survival and injury rates for various impact speeds, and evaluations of the safety outcomes of speed management interventions. These sources of evidence all indicate that speed is a major factor in crash trauma, but appear to differ in estimates of the extent of the role of speed. This paper employs New Zealand as a country case study, undertaking a targeted assessment of data from the different sources to better determine the roles of speed and speeding in serious crashes. We find that apparent mismatches of estimates of the role of speed from different sources largely arise for two reasons. First, the studies vary in methodology and thus validity, and second the data from the different sources provide answers to fundamentally different questions, which are then incorrectly subsumed into the general question of the role of speed. Finally, we answer the question: ‘What is the extent of the role of speed in crashes, and particularly deaths and serious injuries?’ by providing answers to the different ways of couching these questions. Depending on the question, correct answers range from 20% to 100% of serious crashes. By combining evidence from different sources, we estimate that speeding is involved in around 60% of fatal crashes in New Zealand, and that speeds above New Zealand’s Safe and Appropriate Speeds are involved in around 71% of injury crashes.

2022 - NZ - Speed Management Guide
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The Speed management guide: Road to Zero edition supports regional transport committees (RTCs), regional councils and road controlling authorities
(RCAs) to develop high-quality speed management plans that will deliver safe and appropriate speed limits in line with Te Ara ki te Ora – Road to Zero (New Zealand’s road safety strategy to 2030) and the Land Transport Rule: Setting of Speed Limits 2022 (the Rule).

This guide sets out an approach to speed management planning for Aotearoa New Zealand that draws together the Rule and the main elements of Road to Zero with Toitū te Taiao (the Waka Kotahi sustainability action plan) and the One Network
Framework (the national classification system for streets and roads). The result is a principles-based approach to setting speed limits and managing speeds.

2022 - International - Safe Bicycle Lane Design Principles
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A design guide of options to rapidly implement safe cycling.

he iRAP Star Ratings of NACTO-GDCI’s Global Street Design Guide is a valuable resource for designing safe streets in your community, helping to save lives and improve sustainable mobility for all road users.

High quality road design takes the needs of all road users into account. This supplement to the Global Street Design Guide—which gives the iRAP Star Rating for the existing and improved designs—will allow road designers everywhere to understand the scale of the safety benefit that good road design can deliver. This resource, free to all, will provide ideas to those wanting to make safety upgrades to their streets, and will help those making upgrades understand the safety benefits.

2020 - World Bank - Indicators for Road Safety
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A draft technical note presenting a hierarchy and set of indicators for monitoring road safety. It complements the World Bank's 'Good Practice Note on Road Safety'.

NCHRP Research Report 926 provides a succinct process for selecting intersection designs and operational treatments that provide safety benefits for pedestrians and bicyclists, and the most appropriate situation for their application. The report draws from and builds on the strengths of key countermeasures and safety resources, tying these together in a systematic process for transportation practitioners to use to improve bicycle and pedestrian safety at intersections

2020 - Road Safety in New Zealand

Presentation on road safety in New Zealand, with a particular focus on issues facing Golden Bay.

This report summarises activities undertaken to produce guidance on road cross-section design for road stereotypes during stage 1 and 2 of this project. The guidance enables road managers, planners and designers to achieve improved safety outcomes by applying consistent standards along a road corridor. Thirteen road stereotypes were identified covering rural and urban roads ranging from freeways/motorways to local access roads. For each stereotype, a range of cross-sections was developed with appropriate attributes. Each cross-section was assessed for crash risk using the International Road Assessment Program (iRAP) and the Australian National Risk Assessment Model (ANRAM). The tables provide guidance on the expected safety performance, or crash risk, of appropriate cross-section options for each stereotype. Note that the range of attribute dimensions in the assessment was very limited, so assessment results should be considered as an indication of the safety benefits for the nominated attributes. This information can be used to develop safety improvement plans on a network/corridor, to reduce crash risk on the network. Network/corridor plans can then inform project scoping decisions.

2020 - Australia - Network Design for Road Safety
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This user guide provides guidance to road managers, planners and designers on achieving improved safety outcomes by applying consistent standards along a road corridor. Thirteen road stereotype tables were identified covering the road network from rural freeways to urban local access roads. For each road stereotype, a range of cross-sections was developed with appropriate attributes. Each cross-section was assessed for crash risk using the International Road Assessment Program (iRAP) and the Australian National Risk Assessment Model (ANRAM). The tables provide guidance on the expected safety performance, or crash risk, of appropriate cross-section options for each stereotype. Table users should note that the range of attribute dimensions in the assessment was very limited, so assessment results should be considered as an indication of the safety benefits for the nominated attributes. This information can be used to develop safety improvement plans on a network/corridor, to achieve overall reductions in crash risk along the network. Network/c

This is a detailed 3 h training course on road safety developed as part of the release of the World Bank's 'Good Practice Note' (GPN) on road safety.

There are two parts to the course: (1) covers the scale of the road safety crisis that we are facing, and how it can be adderssed through the 'Safe System' approach; (2) gives an introduction to the GPN and how its principles are to be applied on different types of World Bank financed projects.

2019 - World Bank - Good Practice Note on Road Safety
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This 'Good Practice Note' (GPN) presents the approach for the World Bank to implement the requirement that its projects consider road safety. It describes in detail how to implement the 'Safe System' approach to road safety for the four different types of projects where road safety needs to be considered:

  • Type A - Transport: Transport projects with road construction or rehabilitation (e.g., highways, rural roads); urban transport projects (e.g., Bus Rapid Transit (BRT), metro); any project which leads to new or changed road infrastructure (e.g. through access roads) such as ports, railways and aviation infrastructure.
  • Type B - Other: Transport (non-road infrastructure improvement related) and non-transport projects which change speeds, traffic mix or volume, vulnerable road user (pedestrians, bicyclists, motorcyclists) mix, volume, routes or facilities. Examples may include policy changes on speed limits or vehicle import regulations, or the opening of a facility which draws trucks or pedestrians, etc.;
  • Type C – Construction Only: Projects with road safety impacts during construction only; and,
  • Type D – Vehicle Procurements: Projects with vehicle procurements as the only influence on road safety (e.g. fleets or even project vehicles).


Road trauma in regional and remote areas of Australia and New Zealand are a major road safety problem. Drivers and riders in regional and remote areas are at an unacceptably greater risk of road deaths and injuries than those living in major cities.

This edition of the Austroads Guide to Road Safety Part 5: Road Safety for Rural and Remote Areas provides practical guidance on the most effective responses to reduce road trauma in regional and remote areas in Australia and New Zealand.

The guide examines the characteristics of crashes on regional and remote roads through analyses of casualty crash data and identifies causes and risks associated with regional and remote crashes in the existing literature. Closely aligned with the Safe Systems holistic approach to eliminating harm on the road network, the guide concludes with a discussion of evidence-based countermeasures and new initiatives that are urgently needed to eliminate fatalities and serious injuries in regional and remote areas.

2019 - Australia - Passing Lanes Safety and Performance
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This report examines the impacts of passing lanes on safety, journey time and user experience and provides guidance to assist in the development of passing lane installation projects.

The research found that passing lanes result in safety benefits, including perceived safety by motorists, safer operational conditions, and historical crash reductions. Passing lanes were also found to improve journey times through a small increase in travel speed and a significant reduction in percentage of time spent following a slower vehicle.

This project included a

  • literature review
  • safety analysis, before-and-after analysis of crash records, speed and headway analysis, and overtaking behaviour analysis
  • journey time analysis, including development of modelling guidance and numerical experiments on the impact of passing lanes on travel speed and per cent time spent following
  • road user experience survey analysis, including an analysis of perceptions and valuation of level-of-service
  • a review and re-calibration of the TRAffic on Rural Roads (TRARR) model.

Examination of estimates of the income elasticity of the value of a statistical life based on international stated preference studies yields an average between 0.94 and 1.05 overall and 0.65 and 0.80 after controlling for covariates. Quantile regression estimates indicate that the income elasticity is about 0.55 for more affluent countries and 1.0 for lower income nations, i.e., those countries that have estimates of the value of a statistical life below $2 million or per capita income levels below $3212. The estimates distinguish the values of the income elasticity across country either by income level or by the value of a statistical life. These elasticities are similar to those found in revealed preference labor market studies. The estimates are robust, controlling for possible sample selection bias and the influence of covariates, such as the type of risk.

This report provides a compendium of knowledge on Safe System treatments and identifies real world experience in the practical application of solutions that can mitigate crash severity.

The Safe System is internationally regarded as the best practice approach to road safety. Although Australia and New Zealand have been early adopters of the approach since 2004, there has generally been a lack of clarity amongst practitioners on how best to integrate the approach into their daily activities.

Assessment frameworks and tools are also now emerging that allow the alignment with Safe System be better quantified. A hierarchy of treatments is described that provide practitioners with a basic understanding of the types of practices that should now be applied on a trajectory towards a Safe System. Primary treatments are capable of virtually eliminating death and injury and certain supporting treatments can transform the network a step closer to reducing the overall harm being caused.

This report provides best practice recommendations for the development of Road Safety Infrastructure Programs (RSIPs) that align with the safe system approach.

For many years, investment in road safety infrastructure in Australia and New Zealand has taken a bottom-up approach of targeting safety improvements at locations with an established safety problem. While this approach served Australia and New Zealand well in the past, it does not fully embrace the safe system philosophy on which the Australian and New Zealand road safety strategies are based.

The report’s recommendations provide practical information on ways to improve program design, process and implementation. When implemented by road controlling authorities, this best practice approach will effectively contribute towards an enduring and safer transport system with fewer fatalities and serious injuries.

Countries throughout the world use estimates of the value of a statistical life (VSL) to monetize fatality risks in benefit-cost analyses. However, the vast majority of countries lack reliable revealed preference or stated preference estimates of the VSL. This article proposes that the best way to calculate a populationaverage VSL for countries with insufficient or unreliable data is to transfer a base VSL from the United States calculated using labor market estimates from Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries data, coupled with adjustments for differences in income between the United States and the country of interest. This approach requires estimation of two critical inputs: a base U.S. VSL and the income elasticity of the VSL. Drawing upon previous meta-analyses that include adjustments for publication selection biases, we adopt a base VSL of $9.6 million. We utilize a sample of 953 VSL estimates from 68 labor market studies of the VSL covering fourteen lower-middle income to high income nations. We estimate the income elasticity of the VSL within the United States to be from 0.5 to 0.7 and to be just above 1.0 for non-U.S. countries. Quantile regression reveals that much of the disparity in income elasticities is attributable to income differences between the United States and other countries, as the income elasticity increases for lower income populations. Using income classifications from the World Bank, we calculate average VSLs in lower income, lower-middle income, upper-middle income, and upper income countries to be $107,000, $420,000, $1.2 million, and $6.4 million, respectively. We also present VSL estimates for all 189 countries for which World Bank income data are available, yielding a VSL range from $45,000 to $18.3 million

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.

2016 - NZ - Road Safety Crash Rates
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This manual presents methods for estimating (police) reported injury crash predictions for various road and site elements in New Zealand.  A full list of road and site types currently covered by this manual are outlined, including the transport modes covered by these models and factors. This is the first version of the manual and there are known gaps in the crash models, rates and crash reduction factors that are currently available for use in New Zealand.  The intention is to address these gaps in future versions of the manual.

2015 - NZ - Valuing Injury and Mortality Risk in Transport
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Report 571. This report describes a review of literature on approaches to valuing injury and mortality risk in transport assessments. It provides background on why injury and fatality risk need to be valued in transport risk, and how New Zealand has arrived at its current practices in using a value of statistical life (VOSL) in transport policy and project appraisals. It examines theoretical and empirical literature on the scope of valuations and what methods are used for application in both transport and other safety contexts, and the policy implications of the current state of methods. Drawing on the literature and some recent metaanalyses of values, this review makes recommendation on the updating of the current value and what additional information would be a priority for supplementing the basic VOSL.  

2014 - World Bank - Making Roads Safer
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A review of the World Bank's efforts with road safety, in particular with regard to the 'Safe Systems' approach. Proposes how to further enhance the road safety agenda.

2014 - Australia - Reducing Speeds on Rural Roads
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This compendium presents information on speed as a contributor to rural road crashes. It provides information on treatments that can be used to address speed, either at key locations (curves, intersections or the approach to towns) or for routes in general. The main focus is on road-engineering-based treatments, but information is also provided on other approaches that may be used (e.g. enforcement and in-vehicle devices).

The International Road Assessment Program (iRAP) has developed an approach to inspect and rate high accident risk roads and develop investment plans. This report describes the methodology.

2008 - IRAP - Vaccines for Roads
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iRAP ia an interntional effort to develop tools to help low and middle income countries find the high social and economic returns possible through the provision of safer roads. The major Road Assessment Programmes in developed countries (AusRAP, EuroRAP and USRAP) worked in partnership with global road safety research organisations and local experts to develop and test these tools.

Safe roads are designed to be self-explaining and forgiving. Self-explaining roads show all road users where they should be and how to use the road safely. Clear road layouts not only explain where road users are expected to be, but they also take into account the road user’s ability to process information and make decisions.

An inexpensive, simple pedestrian refuge island not only shows where to cross but makes safe crossing much easier – the pedestrian has to check only one stream of oncoming traffic at a time. The refuge also calms drivers’ speed and restricts overtaking at the crossing point.

Forgiving roads are designed to protect road users in the event of a crash. The design of the road must recognise that crashes can occur and ensure that fatalities and injuries are minimised by protecting road users from hazards. Engineering features, such as safety barriers can be used to separate fast moving traffic from people and cushion crashes when they happen. Crashes are less likely to occur on self explaining roads and injuries are less severe on forgiving roads.

This report describes the principles behind creating safer roads. For more details visit www.irap.net.

2008 - IRAP - The True Cost of Road Crashes
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In order to evaluate the benefits of programmes of engineering safety countermeasures through economic appraisal, the iRAP methodology needs to include a way of valuing the cost of a life and a serious injury. Experience in high income countries has shown that empirical estimation of values for the prevention of injury requires considerable care in order to avoid bias, and usually costly survey methods. Since such empirical estimation for every country that iRAP works in would be impractical, the purpose of this paper is to explore whether values sufficiently robust for the purposes of iRAP can be derived by consideration of results from existing studies.

This paper:

• Discusses the background to valuation of safety benefits
• Briefly reviews the main methodologies that are in use
• Presents recommendations for values for use in economic appraisal

Valuation of the prevention of a fatality, often termed the value of statistical life, and valuation of serious injury are discussed.
It is accepted wisdom that the sustainable way to relieve poverty and poor health in developing countries is through stimulating economic growth. However it is also accepted that economic growth in developing countries leads to increased motorisation and increased road deaths. Currently 90% of the world’s 1.2 million road fatalities per annum are in low and middle income countries, and by 2020 the number of road fatalities in these countries is expected to grow by 50%. This is an unacceptable situation by any standards, but the question is can we stop it happening? This paper examines what is known about road deaths in developing countries, shows that road deaths do not rise and fall inevitably with growing income, and examines the contribution that tackling dysfunctional roads can make.
This paper discusses the differences in the estimates as produced by the different approaches and attempts to identify the factors behind these differences. The paper also discusses the need to develop the ex-ante assessment of the safety effectiveness of systems.
The objective of the study was to further enhance road safety activities that were initiated in previous projects and address the issue of vehicle overloading and heavy traffic management.

The purpose of this research was to develop a cost management tool that would assist road controlling authorities and their consultants to prioritise delineation treatments that have added safety benefits compared with standard road markings.

A spreadsheet-based cost management tool was developed and then applied to a range of typical road marking situations. It would appear that audio tactile road markings provide significant safety benefits that outweigh the treatment costs even at relatively low traffic volumes.

This report recommends that audio tactile profiled road markings be installed on a much more widespread basis where road conditions allow and policy changes should reflect this. Further research should be conducted to determine the appropriateness of their use in situations where little sealed shoulder exists, such as near residential dwellings and where the road is commonly used by cyclists.

2007 - NZ - Accident Benefits of Sealing Unsealed Roads
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Research was carried out between 2005 and 2006 to determine if there were benefits or disbenefits associated with sealing unsealed roads, and if so, to determine a procedure for calculating the accident savings (or costs). Road data and seal extension site information were obtained from various district councils in New Zealand and combined with the Ministry of Transport’s accident data to give accident rates before and after sealing.

No statistically significant change in the accident rate was found following the sealing of roads. To determine any regression to the mean effects, a background trend analysis was conducted and found no significant overall change in the accident rate during the period 1990–2005.

The research concludes that there is no statistical benefit or disbenefit associated with sealing unsealed roads and recommends that site specific before and after studies are conducted into the study outliers and a portion of flat South Island sites.

This document is a summary of the presentations and discussions at a workshop entitled “Improving Road Safety in Developing Countries: Opportunities for U.S. Cooperation and Engagement,” held on January 26–27, 2006, in Washington, D.C., and organized by the Transportation Research Board, the Policy and Global Affairs Division, and the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies. The workshop brought together administrators and professionals from U.S. government agencies, nongovernmental organizations, international organizations, and academic research institutions to discuss the effects of the worldwide problem of road traffic injuries on U.S. interests, as well as prospects for further U.S.action to address the problem.

2006 - NZ - The Safety Benefits of Brighter Road Markings
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Report describing an assessment of the safety benefits from brighter road markings.

2006 - NZ - Safety Benefits of Brighter Road Markings
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A ‘before’ and ‘after’ style of analysis was undertaken to identify whether increasing the brightness of existing roadmarkings on unlit rural state highways had resulted in improved safety, measured as the incidence of mid-block injury-causing crashes.

Comparisons were made of average crash rates, crash rates in light conditions to dark conditions, and crashes on curves compared to crashes on straight in light and dark conditions. No evidence of altered rates could be identified.

2006 - ESCAP - Road Safety Experiences in Nepal
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This paper tries to present the experiences in developing policies and implementing the road safety management in Nepal and recommends for road safety management in Asian Highway.
The results of a study that examined the safety of pedestrians at uncontrolled crosswalks and provides recommended guidelines for pedestrian crossings.
Paper on study that explored and tested the capability of existing web-based geographical information system (Web-GIS) technologies to personalize and disseminate traffic safety information to the public in a cost-effective manner.

Low-volume road handbook to assist local government officials in Kansas in providing traffic control and guidance for drivers on low-volume roads.

Report on study to explore some of the issues raised in recent roadway safety studies regarding ranking methodologies in light of the recent statistical development in space-time generalized linear mixed models (GLMM).

2005 - USA - AASHTO Strategit Highway Safety Plan
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This Strategic Highway Safety Plan (SHSP) and the tools developed to facilitate its implementation offer state and local transportation and safety agencies a life-saving blueprint ready for application in developing comprehensive highway safety plans.
Report on benefits and costs relating to the following initiatives: 1. Improving enforcement with respect to three important contributors to fatalities in road crashes – speeding, drunk driving and non-use of seat belts 2. Improving enforcement of existing European Commission road safety laws relating to commercial road transport
This paper presents the results of a first attempt to combine detailed information on road geometry (horizontal curvature, gradient and cross-fall), road surface condition (roughness, rut depth, texture depth and skid resistance), carriageway characteristics (region, urban/rural environment, and traffic flow) and crashes.

2005 - Azerbaijan - Road Safety Study
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Detailed study undertaken by Finnroad looking at all aspects of road safety in Azerbaijan

NCHRP Report 336. This synthesis report provides a review of the state of the practice of road safety audit (RSA) and road safety audit review (RSAR) applications for U.S. states and Canadian provinces. Transportation safety professionals with these agencies and with local and re-gional entities, as well as others in both the public and private sectors, may be interested in this documentation of international, state, and some local agency approaches to the use of these tools in comprehensive safety programs. This synthesis of the Transportation Research Board places emphasis on North American applications. However, this document also dis-cusses international practice as RSAs were first introduced in the United Kingdom more than 20 years ago, and RSAs have been extensively applied in New Zealand and Austra-lia since the 1990s. This document promotes the use of RSAs and RSARs. The increased use of these applications may help reduce roadway crashes and fatalities.

This synthesis will be of interest to local government agencies as they select tools and develop programs to implement road and street safety improvements. It recognizes the wide variation in the operations and responsibilities of local agencies and acknowledges that the level of expertise in transportation safety analysis also varies greatly. The guiding principle of this synthesis was to examine the tools and procedures that are practical, relatively easy to apply, and can be implemented by agencies with limited financial support and personnel.

Tool kit is intended to assist road authorities and their consultants involved in road and highway projects, and has been prepared to provide general advice, a source of reference on the road safety audits (RSAs), and a tool kit of information and checklists to facilitate the application of RSAs on all ADB road and highway projects. Its contents are:


  1. Introduction and Background
    1. Introduction
    2. Road Safety is a Multidisciplinary Problem
    3. Important Role of Roads Authorities
    4. Content and Structure of this Tool Kit
  2. Road Safety Audit: An Overview
    1. What Is Road Safety Audit?
    2. Where Is Road Safety Used Around the World?
    3. In Which Situations Can Road Safety Audit Be Used?
    4. What Are the Benefits and Costs of Conducting Road Safety Audits?
    5. How Much Will Road Safety Audit Add to the Cost of the Scheme?
    6. How Can a Road Be Unsafe When High Design Standards Are Used?
    7. The Road Safety Audit Does Not Solve All Problems
  3. Conducting Road Safety Audits
    1. Introduction
    2. Institutional Framework for the Road Safety Audit
    3. Arrangements for Undertaking the Audit
    4. Audit Stages
    5. Audit Process
  4. Opportunities for Intervention during the Project Cycle
    1. Introduction
    2. Opportunities During Sector Reviews
    3. Project Preparation
    4. Project Processing
    5. Project Implementation
    6. Project Completion
    7. Postevaluation
  5. Recommendations and the Way Ahead
    1. Introduction
    2. Summary of Main Findings
    3. The Way Ahead


Report on how to address road safety prepared by the Asian Development Bank.

Report on the project to gather information about the different friction methods in use and about published quantitive relations between road friction and accident risk.

1995 - UK - Costing Road Accidents in Developing Countries
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Overseas Road Note 10. The objective of this Note is to advise economists, planners and engineers in developing countries on a workable method that can be used to cost road accidents.