The Thai Department of Rural Roads (DRR) has been awarded the International Road Federation (IRF) 2020 Global Achievement Award in the Safety Category for its Integrated Road Safety Management System.

DRR’s iRAP-endorsed Road Safety Audit System (RSAS) has analysed the risk scores for over 48,000km of rural road segments based on the iRAP Star Rating methodology.

See the award video below or here.

DRR adopted Road Safety Audit as a proactive measure, coupled with Road Accident Investigation as a reactive measure to enhance the safety on rural road networks in Thailand.

Their programme has had several key stages:

  • Capacity building across the DRR community with the development of a road safety manual and training programme.
  • Development of an integrated road safety management system:
    a. The Rural Road Network Management System (RM) is a web-based information system that provides rural road asset data. It can be used to conduct desktop road safety audit before visiting the site.
    b. RSAS is a computerized system that can analyse the risk scores for rural road segments based on the iRAP Star Rating method.
  • Crash tracking in the Road Accident Investigation Dashboard which allows for searching and monitoring of crash data on the rural road network.
  • The execution and evaluation of road safety improvement projects.

The programme has achieved:

  • For the proactive measure, the total of 1,309 risk spots treated achieving a 75 per cent reduction in crashes and 52 per cent reduction in fatalities.
  • For the reactive measure, the results showed a 91 per cent reduction in crashes and 90 per cent reduction in fatalities.
  • The estimated benefits from lives saved using both proactive and reactive measures is 62 lives saved and an economic saving of USD$130 million – a benefit equal to 20 times the improvement investment.

DRR’s Road Safety Audit System is supported under the iRAP Innovation Framework.

Thai Minister of Transport SakSiam Chitchop said of the award, “Technological innovation is essential in overcoming road safety problems under limited resource and inadequate solutions. It is believed that close to Vision Zero is possible but will require a clear shift in road safety philosophy and technological advance.”

IRF’s Global Road Achievement Awards (GRAA) recognize innovative road projects and exemplary people that place the road industry at the forefront of worldwide social and economic development.

In addition to 48,000km of RSAS assessments, ThaiRAP, the local road assessment programme for Thailand has Star Rated 1,350km, trained 1,035 local engineers and influenced more than US$1.5million of safer rural road infrastructure investment. The country has a policy requiring all new roads to be built to a 3-star or better standard, announced by the Ministry of Interior in August 2019.

ThaiRAP is led by Chulalongkorn University, an iRAP Centre of Excellence.

For information on ThaiRAP, please contact Professor Kasem Choocharukul, Professor of the Chula Faculty of Engineering on email kasem.choo@chula.ac.th

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