Austroads has just released an update to the Guide to Road Safety (AGRS) Part 6 (2019), which is now called Managing Road Safety Audits. The current guide remains for now as Part 6A, but where there is any contradiction, the new Part 6 takes precedence.

What does the update to the AGRS Part 6 mean for you?

Those engaging auditors: you must now:

  • Ensure that the Auditors have adjusted their approach to reflect this new guidance
  • Be absolutely sure that the Auditors are completely independent of the project (Section 4.1.2)
  • Be sure the Auditors you engage understand the Safe System approach (Section 4.1.1)
  • Ensure your audits are comprehensively considering Safe System principles (Section 3.3 and 3.4). This should be done by either:
  1. Getting a Safe System Assessment undertaken at an early stage of a project and providing that to the Audit team; or
  2. Ensuring the Auditors are following a process whereby they clearly demonstrate how findings and recommendations align with Safe System principles.
  • Ensure there is a process for closing out audit findings and recommendations (Section 4.5).

Those undertaking Road Safety Audits: you must now:

  • Make sure you understand the Safe System approach to road safety and how it relates to infrastructure (Section 4.1.1)
  • Apply Safe System principles in your audit (Section 3.3). This should be done by:
  1. Relating possible crash forces to tolerable kinetic energy levels, regardless of the likelihood, when identifying hazards and assessing Fatal and Serious Injury risks; and
  2. Categorising RSA findings and treatment options, if provided, by their alignment with the Safe System (Primary, Step-Towards, Supporting or Non-Safe System).

Road Authorities: you should:

  • Have a documented Road Safety Audit policy (Section 2.4)
  • Be absolutely sure that Auditors are completely independent of the project and have no potential conflict of interest (Section 4.1.2)
  • Put in place systems to record and monitor Road Safety Audit outcomes (Section 4.6 and 4.7)
  • Embed Safe System thinking into your organisation (Section 4.8)

If you need advice on updating your practices to reflect the new Austroads Guidelines, contact Kenn Beer on 0401 345 461, or email