Austroads has published a research report to guide local governments in developing and implementing road safety management frameworks.
The report includes incorporating Safe System practices into road safety management systems and plans.
The report comes after findings showed local governments manage approximately 82% of Australian and 88% of New Zealand road networks. It was found that these roads accommodate around 36% of travel in Australia and half of all travel in New Zealand.
Austroads found more than half of all crashes were shown to happen on local roads with a crash rate nearly double that of state-managed roads.
Author of the report Paul Durdin said local government roads typically have lower traffic volumes than state roads and more dispersed crashes.
Local roads were also found to have a wider variety of road environments from high speed rural and remote roads to local streets with houses, shops, bars and schools and a greater mix of road users including pedestrians and cyclists.
“All these factors make managing road safety on local roads challenging and this is compounded when local councils have few if any dedicated road safety staff,” Mr. Durdin said.
“The Local Government Road Safety Management Guidance provides guidance specifically for local councils, and in a simple efficient way to support local government responsibilities.”
The report includes information on road safety treatments for regional and remote roads, some of which include low speed limits, one-way traffic, flexible roadside and median barriers, off-road shared cycleways and walkways, and curve chevron markers.
Guidance in the report includes forming strategic partnerships, managing shared responsibilities, capacity building, program development and delivery and funding.
The final section includes useful tools and resources and explains monitoring and evaluation principles.
“Local government road safety and engineering teams will benefit from having a concise reference to help their future-decision making,” Mr. Durdin said.
“This project will improve access to key road safety information for all local council employees and help them better communicate with their communities about road safety.”