Road crashes are the biggest killer of young people worldwide and typically cost every country 2-5% of GDP each year. Investing to save lives, reduce injuries and reduce the cost of road trauma is a win-win-win investment for all communities. The 2018-launched UN Road Safety Fund has the potential to mobilise vitally needed financial and technical resources to make roads safer globally.
The EuroRAP Risk Maps, Star Ratings and Safer Roads Investment Plans provide the foundation for discussions with Ministries of Finance about the appropriate level of investment in road infrastructure that maximizes lives saved and serious injury reductions in a country. With the business case for safer roads, government can invest with confidence and unlock the win-win benefits of safer roads that are rated 3-star or better for all road users.
The investment plans consider the existing road features, the speed and volume of traffic, the expected fatalities and injuries before and after treatment, the hierarchy of treatments, the expected economic benefits of investing in that treatment, the benefit to cost ratio and the internal rate of return. In this way the road owner can have a full appreciation of the investment business case and have confidence that the interventions will deliver results. User defined investment plans can also be developed, and road authority partners are developing bespoke countermeasure trigger sets to suit their investment priorities and institutional structures (e.g. safe system trigger set, speed management module, maintenance programme).
The SRIP is produced in 3 key stages:
Stage 1 – Fatality Estimation
Drawing on data underpinning the Star Ratings and traffic volume data, estimates of fatal and injuries throughout the network are generated;
Stage 2 – Trigger improvements
For each section of road, options for improvement are tested for their suitability and potential to reduce deaths and injuries. For example, a section of road that has a high level of risk for pedestrians might be a candidate for a pedestrian refuge, pedestrian crossing or signalised pedestrian crossing;
Stage 3 – Economic analysis
Each improvement is assessed against the project’s economic effectiveness criteria by making use of the road safety countermeasure cost data collected earlier in the project. A benefit-cost ratio of one is often set as a minimum requirement as a starting point for analysis. This ensures that the proposed programme is affordable and demonstrates responsible use of public money.