A tool to assess local road safety is under development at UWA

UWA

A tool to assess the safety of Western Australia’s local roads and reduce death and serious injuries will be designed by researchers from the University of Western Australia (UWA). 

UWA and Western Australian Local Government Association’s (WALGA) RoadWise received funding from the Australian government office of Road Safety’s Road Safety Innovation Fund. This will be used to identify a suitable safety ratings tool that could evaluate the safety performance of Western Australia’s local roads network. 

The Safety Ratings for Local Roads project will help inform decisions on the state’s infrastructure projects and prioritise investment. 

UWA’s Western Australian Centre for Road Safety Research will review existing road safety ratings tools in consultation with local governments and other stakeholders. They will establish the key criteria for a local government road safety rating tool in a new approach to road safety. 

The Centre will then develop a new tool that is simple and quick to apply, so that all local governments can benefit from road safety ratings, without requiring access to the capability and resources that current tools require. 

“Implementing a safety rating tool will provide local governments with high level information about their road network and support strategic decision-making to improve the safety performance of their road network,” UWA associate professor Paul Roberts said. 

The Centre is delighted to be working with WALGA and RoadWise on this important initiative to improve local government road safety in WA. 

“Local government roads comprise more than 80 per cent of the road network in WA and incur nearly 60 per cent of the fatalities and serious injuries,” Western Australian Centre for Road Safety research director Professor Lynn Meuleners said. 

“It is critical to develop tools that are practically applicable, with special attention to the resourcing and capability constraints often faced by local governments.” 

The project will run over three years with completion in mid-2023. 

“The new project will provide an evidence base for assessing the safety of local roads. It will support local governments in prioritising infrastructure projects which have the largest impact on reducing death and serious injuries,” WALGA president and mayor of the City of Wanneroo Tracey Roberts said. 

More information about this project is available on the RoadWise website. 

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