To date, Safer Roads Investment Plans have been used to identify improvements in low-income and middle-income countries that could prevent more than 50,000 deaths and serious injuries per year, saving around $1.2 billion per year in crash costs avoided. The countermeasures identified are often relatively low cost yet they can last for decades
Where Star Ratings provide a measure of risk on a road, Safer Roads Investment Plans identify ways in which the Star Ratings can be improved in a cost-effective way.
The evidence that well-targeted road safety improvements save lives, at both individual locations and across networks, is unassailable. On a section of the A4128 in the United Kingdom, for example, speed reductions, improved signs and markings, intelligent road studs, traffic calming and upgraded pedestrian crossings helped cut the number of fatal and serious crashes from 19 in 2004-06 to two in 2007-09—an 89% reduction.
In Victoria, Australia—a jurisdiction that has already made substantial reductions in crash rates—an initial $130 million investment in simple but strategic improvements across 113 projects resulted in a 22% reduction in run-off road, head-on and intersection casualty crashes. As a result, the program was expanded to $650 million over 10 years.
Safer Roads Investment Plans draw on this type of international experience. The plans include extensive planning and engineering information such as road attribute records, countermeasure proposals and economic assessments for 100m sections of road. They are supported by the iRAP online software which makes this information highly accessible.
The table below shows a snapshot of recommendations that have been made. For example, by investing in 1,600km of safety barriers on important national roads in Tanzania that have poor vehicle occupant Star Ratings, an estimated 30,000 deaths and serious injuries could be prevented. Similarly, sections of road in Chile which have a poor pedestrian Star Rating and significant pedestrian activity are likely to benefit from the installation of footpaths (or sidewalks).