Aerial view of a large housing development construction site in the country side.

What is a Road Safety Audit?

A Road Safety Audit is a systematic process for checking the road safety implications of highway improvements and new road schemes. The objective of the process is to minimise future road collision occurrence and severity once the scheme has been built and the road comes into use.

The audit takes into account all road users, particularly vulnerable users such as pedestrians and pedal cyclists. Having identified potential road safety problems, the audit then makes practical recommendations for improvement.

With these safety objectives in mind, the auditors need to ask the question “Who can be hurt here, and in what way?”

The importance of a Road Safety Audits

Road Safety Audits are often a fundamental requirement of obtaining planning permission for the development and adoption of highways. It is a specialist process that must be carried out independently of design and construction work. Road Safety Audits are intended to ensure that operational road safety experience is applied during the design and construction process in order that the number and severity of collisions are kept to a minimum. Road Safety Audits fulfil a vital role in checking that roads have been designed and built to the highest safety standards. A well-conducted Road Safety Audit adds value to a highway scheme at every level.

Various Stages of the Road Safety Audit Process

Stage 1

Completion of Preliminary Design

Stage 1 Road Safety Audits are required to be undertaken at the completion of preliminary design. They should include road safety matters which have a bearing upon land take, licence or easement before the draft orders are published or planning consent is applied for. Where preliminary design is not undertaken, a Stage 1 RSA may be combined with a Stage 2 RSA at the detailed design stage.

A slow sing on the road leading up to a new housing development.
A junction leading out on to a main road from a housing development.

Stage 2

Completion of Detailed Design

Stage 2 Road Safety Audits are required to be undertaken at the completion of detailed design. The audit team would focus on the detailed aspects of the highway scheme. They would typically consider the detailed layout, position of signs, carriageway markings, lighting provision and other issues such as drainage, pavements, surfacing, kerbing, construction details and landscaping.

Stage 3

Completion of Construction

Stage 3 Road Safety Audits should be undertaken when the highway scheme construction is complete and preferably before the works are opened to road users. All highway improvement schemes should be subjected to a Stage 3 Road Safety Audit within one month of opening.

The audit team examines the scheme from the point of view of all road users, and may decide to drive, walk and/or cycle through the scheme. A Stage 3 Road Safety Audit is carried out during daylight hours and during the hours of darkness, so that hazards particular to night operation can be identified.

A view of the traffic in Westminster at night time.
Two police cars that have closed off a road due to a collision.

Stage 4

Post-opening Monitoring

Stage 4 Road Safety Audits are an evidence-led review of road traffic collisions that have occurred in the vicinity of the highway scheme.  The Stage 4 is carried out using 12 months of validated, post highway scheme opening, road traffic collision data.

The Road Safety Audit identifies any road safety problems indicated by the data analysis and observations made during the site visits. The report makes recommendations for remedial action which are sent to the client for action.

Speak To Our Team

If you have any questions or would like to discuss your specific requirements please call Lorna Styring or Jan Alcock on 02476690900.

Alternatively, if you would like to obtain a Road Safety Audit quotation please click below.

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