SWOV Catalogus


Road Safety Inspections RSI : best practice and implementation plan. Deliverable D5 of the RiPCORD-iSEREST project (Road Infrastructure Safety Protection - Core-Research and Development for Road Safety in Europe; Increasing safety and reliability of secondary roads for a sustainable Surface Transport).
20090182 ST [electronic version only]
Cardoso, J.L. Stefan, C. Elvik, R. & Sørensen, M.
[Brussels, European Commission, Directorate-General for Transport and Energy (TREN)], 2007, 51 p., 17 ref.

Samenvatting The main objective of RiPCORD-iSEREST Workpackage 5 (WP5) was to formulate good practice guidelines for implementing road safety inspections (RSI) in the European context. Conclusions from activities carried out to this end are presented in this report, with an overview on relevant issues for the implementation of RSI in any country where such tool is not yet applied. According to the common understanding agreed by RIPCORD-iSEREST WP5 participants, RSI is defined as a preventive tool for detecting safety issues, consisting of a regular, systematic, on-site inspection of existing roads, covering the whole road network, carried out by trained safety expert teams. Road hazards and safety issues detected with this activity are described in a written report, for which a formal response by the relevant road authority is required. The responses to a questionnaire sent to European countries showed that RSI is recognized as a relevant infrastructure safety management tool in several countries; however, procedures for its practical implementation differ from country to country. It was also concluded that the designation RSI is not extensively associated with the concept outlined above; rather, descriptions of current RSI activities consisted of a mixture of road safety audit, ordinary road maintenance inspection and black spot intervention. Due to the administrative, regulatory legal and policy specificities of each country, detailed procedures for RSI are better defined by national road authorities. However, some general items are presented as an overall background for the definition of good practice to national procedures for each country's RSI. The elements to be addressed in RSI should be known risk factors for accidents or injuries. Inspections should be standardised and designed to ensure that all elements included are assessed in an objective manner. The RSI report should be standardized; its contents should include a description of detected safety issues and of proposed corrective measures. Follow-up activities should be carried out to check if the proposed measures are implemented. Check lists for RSI should include the following core important elements: the quality of traffic signs, road markings and road surface characteristics, the adequacy of sight distances, the presence of roadside traffic hazards and consistency between road function and key aspects of traffic operation (ex. speeds). Furthermore, inspectors should be formally qualified for their job. The proposed good practice guidelines were benchmarked against current practice in Austria, Portugal and Norway, by the execution of four pilot RSI tests. Six of the seven proposed items for best RSl practice are partially fulfilled. Only the requirement for a standardized formal report is completely fulfilled. Follow-up of RSI is the best practice item least fulfilled in the tested procedures; nevertheless, there are no factual indications that this occurs because it would be impractical to fulfil. Relevant administrative, regulatory, technical, legal and financial issues related to RSI implementation are also discussed in this report. (Author/publisher)
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