Safe System Assessments are taking off as the best-practice for assessing a road or project’s alignment with Safe System principles. To aid consistency in scoring across industry, we’re releasing a series of Safe System Assessment Scoring Fact Sheets.
Here is our fifth dealing with the topic: scoring route projects/lengths

How to assess projects with multiple distinct sections

When assessing long lengths of road where one section looks very different from another (say a pocket of urban development on an otherwise rural road) it can be difficultto be sure that you have accurately factored in the risks in each section.
Another common scenario is a length of road with very different intersections along it. How do we deal with these situations?

There is no definitely right or wrong answer here, but there are some  techniques that can help you, and generally they are:

  • Adjust the scores within the matrix based on the impact that the sections would have on the overall project.
    In the first scenario, if the built-up area was only 100 m long compared to a total length of 5 km, the influence of the town on the overall score would be very small.
  • Produce separate matrices for each logical section.
    in the first scenario, this would mean one matrix for the town and another for the rest of the route. In the second scenario, this would mean one matrix for the mid-block sections and separate matrices for each intersection type. For example, if there were two signalised intersections, five priority-controlled intersections and one roundabout, you should probably do three matrices: one for each intersection type.

Additional guidance is given in the VicRoads Safe System Assessment Guidelines, version 1.1, April 2019.

What is a Safe System Assessment?

A Safe System Assessment is a process to measure road infrastructure’s alignment with Safe System principles and the ultimate objective of eliminating fatal and serious injuries from crashes on the road network.The process is documented in Austroads Report AP-R509-16, VicRoads’ and DPTI’s Safe System Assessment Guidelines. This Fact Sheet provides supplementary information and clarification.