About the Webinar
Minimum Qualifications for Road Safety Auditors
Road safety audits are effective and efficient tools to help road authorities reduce the number of accidents and casualties, because design standards alone cannot guarantee road safety in all conditions. IRF strongly supports the extended and expanded use of road safety audits and inspections at all stages of road design and operations.
This webinar will place particular emphasis on the qualifications of the individuals conducting road safety audits. The ultimate goal is to use locally-drawn expertise to conduct these audits wherever possible. This in turn requires road authorities to have a clear definition detailing who can conduct audits and inspections. Conversely, unqualified personnel could miss obvious safety concerns resulting in an unsafe road. Worse yet, the road authority would be using its limited financial resources to conduct these audits with less than acceptable results.
Executive Vice President, International Road Federation
Michael G. Dreznes assumed his current position of executive vice president of the International Road Federation in February of 2012.
Prior to accepting his position at the IRF, Dreznes was vice president of Barrier Systems Inc. for four years. Dreznes served as the deputy director general of the International Road Federation from July 2006 to February 2008. He worked as vice president of marketing and international operations at Quixote Corporation (Energy Absorption Systems, Inc.) for 20 years, starting in 1986.
Dreznes has spent the last 30 years working to make the roads safer around the world. He is recognized as one of the world’s leading experts on roadside safety promoting the concept of “Forgiving Highways,” and has conducted multiple road safety training seminars in more than 60 countries around the world.
Dreznes is the co-chairman of the Transportation Research Board AFB20 (2) Roadside Safety Sub-Committee on International Research Activities; a member of the PIARC Road Safety Technical Committee 3.2 Design and Operation of Safer Road Infrastructure; co-chairman of Pillar II, Safer Roads and Mobility of the United Nations Road Safety Collaboration; staff liaison to the IRF Road Safety Working Group; and former chairman of the International Road Educational Foundation.
|Hi and Thanks, As hazar perception skills should be improved among the auditors, I recommend standard tests (to be planned and being conducted) at least for those wishing to start as auditors. Do you have any ideas?||Are you referring to driver hazard perception skills? This is more of a Driver Behavior issue and addressed by our IRF Road Safety Subcommittee on Driver Behavior Education and Training. The Road Safety Auditor should take into account site distance considerations to ensure the driver has the ability to stop before a collision.|
|In addition to the statement of policy, are the global survey results available online?||They will be in the PDF copy of the presentation|
|WHY THE EMPHASIS ON LOWER SPEED LIMITS? MAKING VEHICLES TRAVEL SLOWER THAN THE 85TH % ACHIEVES NOTHING IN ROAD SAFETY TERMS||The Safe System Approach takes into consideration human's ability to withstand certain impact forces. The appropriate speed limits are based on the conditions at the site, i.e. pedestrians close to the road, intersections, adequate medians, rigid roadside hazards, etc. A lower speed limit could reduce the number of road "incidents" thereby increasing mobility and flow.|
|Why is there no distinction for audits and requirements for audit team leaders for HIC and LIC??? It's like using dynamite to catch fish instead of using a fishing rod and worms!||This was covered in the presentation. A Road Safety Audit Team Leader needs to understand countermeasures as well as the local conditions. We often use the "State of the Possible," which is the potential countermeasure, the conditions at the site and the budget. A Road Safety Audit team leader needs to understand all of these to make appropriate recommendaitons.|
|Conducting a road safety audit often is done to tick another box in the list. Road owners and developers are ignoring the findings by accepting the exceptions and go on with projects just because of the programme requirements. Do you share the experience and what is Your suggestion in this case?||As discussed in the presentation, this is a huge issue and a major reason the Project Owner must have a written response to the audit report. If the Project Owner does not plan to use the findings, then he should not conduct the audit.|
|Is there a optimal roughness value for low volume roads, that are designed for low speeds (due to geometric constraints), since smoother paved roads with sharp curves etc may lead to accidents||I asked Gordon Keller, who is a specialist on Low Volume Roads, this question and he said "I think the answer is somewhere between IRI of 5 and 10 m/Km. I know USAID shoots for IRI of 5-6 on their farm-to-market reconstruction projects. They say, “Plan for affordable maintenance to achieve an IRI <6 m/Km to maximize Net Present Value for transport and agricultural services”. This is looking at it from economics, not safety, but they are not wanting to build unsafe roads. Actually I have not worked much with IRI in the context of the optimum roughness for low-volume roads with safety in mind, but the above figures seem reasonable. " Here is a second response from another pavement specialist "The person asking should not confuse road roughness with frictional characteristics of the surface. You can still (and should) have a smooth road at any area of concern, but meeting also adequate surface friction. Surface friction traditionally relied on measuring skid resistance of the surface to assess the relative safety of the pavement. Influencing factors include tire geometry/condition, traveling speed, and others like contamination on the surface. In recent years, surface texture was shown to play equally an important role. The degree of polishing of the aggregates (micro-texture) is a major factor in determining the wet skid resistance of the pavement surface at low to moderate speeds. In addition, the surface texture of the pavement (macrotexture) is determined by the shape and layout of the aggregates (think about it as the asphalt pavement mixture type or finishing / tinning on Portland cement concrete pavements). The macrotexture is a dominant factor at higher speeds and allows rapid drainage routes between the tire and the pavement surface."
|According to you, which the best country/agency to follow a road safety audit certification course?||SoRSA in the UK|
|I belive that safety is as important as the environment, both of them might not be on 2 different sides of the justice scale,becaue some measures that target better environment do achieve safer roads safer roads as well. Don't U think so?||I am not sure I understand the question. However, the goal is to use Road Safety Audit to ensure Safety for All Road Users gets elevated to a higher level in the design and planning stage of a road project.|
|If you've been doing audits for many years without formal certification or refreshment training do you still qualify as an auditor||This will be dependent on the governing body in the country/state/city. A waiver program may make sense when a Minimum Requirement Level is first implemented.|
|What do you do if at the U-turn accidents take place, but the design is OK||Better "No U Turn" Signage and Enforcement|
|Why there are lot of accidents on a new paved road?||I do not know this answer. I will check with others to get an answer. It could be because drivers tend to drive faster on a nice smooth road.|
|Mike, do you know where can i get a certifedi in road safety audits in Mexico?||To my knowledge, Mexico does not have a certifying body for RSA Team Leaders|
|At what level of detail do you provide solutions to improve road safety?||Great question. In too many situations the RSA does not provide enough detail in the recommendations. Depending on the crash history at the site, the Road Safety Audit Team Leader may bring in expertise on his/her team that can go into detail on the type of countermeasure to be used. For example if there are multiple cross over head on accidents, although a "barrier" is in the median, the RSATL may bring in a specialist to recommend the proper barrier, end treatments and transitions to provide the adequate containment based on speed and the types of vehicles on the road.|
|My name is Rogerio Ribeiro.Were the IRF went to Brazil?||Yes, Rogerio and we will be back for BRE. Check out www.IRF.global under "Events" for more details. We hope to see you there."|
|Comment: There has been no mention of Crash Reduction Study (CRS) This is used for existing roads that have been identifed as having road safety issues //waf||Crash Reduction Studies can be very effective. They are popular in New Zealand and other countries. Crash Reduction Studies may include data collection, assessment of crash sites, desktop assessment, site visits and determination of crash causing factors and potential solutions. These Crash Reduction Studies will often include an evaluation process to determine if the corrective action was effective. This can be very important.|
|When there isn't a legal obligation for the highway inspection performing what would be the best way to begin this process?||This has to start at the top of the country/state/city or toll road. One person can make this happen.|
|How does one determine whether a non compliance is not acceptable or mitigation action is acceptable?||Accident history would be a good guideline.|
|In case a road safety auidt measuer conflicts with an existing design standards which one will prevail a road audit or a standard||This is dependent on the road authority. The RSA recommendation should be followed. The Road Authority should have a "Departure from Standards"|
|Sometimes time available may not be adequate to audit the road in all conditions (e.g. wet conditions, night, etc). Any comments?||If the accident data shows that the majority of crashes occur at a certain time of day, the audit should occur at that time. However, weather cannot be controlled.|
|A global replacement term for audit is 'evaluation' - so "RSE"||Good idea, but this may only add to the terminology confusion!|
|How many details on design should be usually provided in audit reports? How to prioritize the suggestions based on the tradeoff between costs and effectiveness?||Great question. In too many situations the RSA does not provide enough detail in the recommendations. Depending on the crash history at the site, the Road Safety Audit Team Leader may bring in expertise on his/her team that can go into detail on the type of countermeasure to be used. For example if there are multiple cross over head on accidents, although a "barrier" is in the median, the RSATL may bring in a specialist to recommend the proper barrier, end treatments and transitions to provide the adequate containment based on speed and the types of vehicles on the road. Recommendatons should include short term, mid term and long term solutions.|
|Another question: Can we perform an audit of the highway just a part of it or you need to run the entire length of the highway?||An audit can be for any agreed length of road and/or number of intersections|
|Are blackspot analysis always integral to audits or done separately?||This could be done either way|
|Could the RTSM ISO39001 standard increase take up of audit as a systematic function of road authorities?||A Road Traffic Safety Management System (RTSMS) can help to manage road safety risks, evaluate their impact and develop the capacity to achieve results.|
|How to deal with emotions being bottlenecks in safety audit?||A good leader needs to be able to control his/her team and make tough decisions|
|In my experience the best auditors have the ability to visualise "vehicle" movements / dynamics (including motorcycles, trucks, bicycles & pedestrains) and predict dangerous outcomes. I'm not aware of any course that trains people in these skills.||This is a good reason to have a motorcycle, bicycle or pedestrian specialist on the RSA Team|
|In the UK get the TMS "Practical Guide to Road Safety Auditing"||This is an excellent document and TMS was a member of the Task Force for the Minimum Requirements for Road Safety Audit Team Leaders IRF Policy Statement|
|Is there any one in Hawaii that's a Road Safety Auditor? I teach MUTCD and I'm constantly informing Hawaii-DOT of the unsafe roads and raod designs.||I do not know this answer. I will check with others to get an answer.|
|Another question. Who should give responce to RSA Report? Road administration or Designer?||This should come from the Project Owner|
|Ref to Q2, lot of ADB funded low volume road development projects in Sri Lanka, RSA is not done adequately at all. e.g. asphalt concrete low volume roads with low radius curves, without any pedestrian facilites either side of the road||Interesting Comment and one of the reasons for the IRF Policy Statement|
|Excellent presentation! Does it (road audit) stand alone? Should we sensitize the population on the importance of road audit, by creating awareness?||Absolutely!|
|Is there a difference when audit is carried out on a read and a roadside development?||I do not understand this question. Does this refer to the Phases (Stages) of a Road Safety Audit?|
|I understand that the Audit Leader should be engineer with knowlege on road. The rest of the members of the team, what background should they have||There are no requirements for a Member of a RSA Team. Typically the individual will have aome area of specialzaiton|
|Speeds are impact speeds NOT travel speeds. Research shows impact speeds are much lower than travel speeds. For example 50/60 kph travel speeds and <10 kph impact speeds with pedestrains.||Good Comment|
|The liability will fall in the audit team or owner that hired them.||Thanks for the information|
|The question is being answered. Road audit goes along with education and awareness and in addition, enforcement. Thanks! Mike is one of the best presenter for road safety and an excellent advocate in this area of work!||Thanks for the comment and the nice words|
|When is consider that the professionals can be members of the RSA team, in terms of experience and academics...||There are no requirements for a Member of a RSA Team. Typically the individual will have aome area of specialzaiton|
|But, do the members have to be certified in any way to be part of the team?||There are no requirements for a Member of a RSA Team. Typically the individual will have aome area of specialzaiton|
|What if the beneficiary does not want to implement the recommendations?||As discussed in the presentation, this is a huge issue and a major reason the Project Owner must have a written response to the audit report. If the Project Owner does not plan to use the findings, then he should not conduct the audit.|