The principal task within Road Safety Audit is to identify highway elements with the potential to contribute to injury, together with the road users who could be hurt in those situations. This "hazard identification" process works well in a system where the detail of a scheme has been determined, and where the client wishes to know what the safety consequences are and how to minimise them.
On that basis, for most design stage Road Safety Audits, the Safety Auditor accepts the fundamental principles presented for design and does not seek to redesign schemes. They identify the road safety issues within the design and suggest appropriate measures that will improve road safety.
Hazard identification works less well in a comparative situation. For example, at the feasibility stage of a large scheme, there may be options between routes, or between forms of junction control.
Whilst a conventional Road Safety Audit can provide a list of hazards associated with each option, it does not compare the relative risk of each of those hazards.
In this situation a Road Safety Assessment is required.
A Road Safety Assessment, sometimes known as a Road Safety Appraisal, is an independent comparative assessment of the road safety implications of different scheme options, or a comparative assessment of risks to different road users within one design option. Road Safety Assessments require, as their base, some understanding and application of risk assessment techniques.
This comparative assessment does provide an opportunity to assess the safety implications of fundamental design principles. The opportunity to make comparative assessments makes Road Safety Assessments an ideal tool for use within the early stages of design - particularly within a Transport Assessment for a development proposal.
TMS has extensive experience in carrying out Safety Assessments on a wide range of schemes for a variety of clients.
TMS can carry out a Safety Assessment in isolation or alternatively some clients request for both a Safety Assessment and Road Safety Audit to be carried out.