NTRO was engaged to undertake a Safe System Assessment for a series of proposed design options for a development surrounding Dural Public School.
The development involved changes to the street scape and road layout around the school, including the introduction of a collector road with a bypass corridor, ultimately changing the access to the school for students and parents.
High level discussion of objectives
The project scope involved undertaking a Safe System Assessment based on design plans and information provided to NTRO, comparing with existing facilities that accessed the school.
Assessments were undertaken over a series of workshops, based on guidelines outlined in Safe System Assessment Framework report (Austroads 2016) and Safe System Assessment Guidelines Version 1.0 (VicRoads 2018).
The Safe System approach for road safety seeks to ensure all elements of a road transport system support a public health focus to minimise harm to road users. The Safe System is typically considered in terms of four key pillars - Safer Vehicles, Safer Speeds, Safer Road users and Safer Roads.
The Safe System Assessment Framework is a practitioner assessment tool to assist in the methodical consideration of Safe System objectives in road infrastructure projects. The tool was developed by NTRO and contributing partners for Austroads (Austroads 2016) to ensure Safe System objectives are being met for road infrastructure projects.
The framework has seen its primary application in the assessment of road infrastructure designs and design options with base scenarios (such as existing conditions). This allows for relative safety of the various design options to be factored into the optioneering process, as well as highlighting the key areas of road safety risk so as that they may be addressed.
The major output from the undertaking of a Safe System Assessment is the Safe System Matrix. This includes the quantitative assessment of the three components that form risk (exposure, likelihood and severity) against seven key crash types — run-off-road, head-on, intersection, other (primarily rear-ends and side swipes), pedestrian, cyclist and motorcyclist.
Future works / outcomes
This Safe System Assessment analysed the crash risk associated with the road environment surrounding the Dural Public School as currently constructed (base case). This crash risk was then compared against two proposed development options which include a new collector road to the north of the school, intersecting with Old Northern Road.
These crash risks were used to inform decision makers as to which of the proposed development options provided the greatest mitigation against risk to road users by way of scoring each of the available options.
The framework has seen significant uptake in Victoria, with the VicRoads (now Department of Transport) mandating that all projects over $5M have a Safe System Assessment (SSA) undertaken (with the undertaking of a SSA recommended for all projects). VicRoads has produced supplementary guidelines for the undertaking of assessments (VicRoads 2018) that provide valuable additional guidance on the undertaking and reporting of SSAs.