Road Safety Inspection, Riyadh

TMS recently took part in a programme of Road Safety Inspections (RSI) encompassing 10 sites within the City of Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.  The RSI was jointly commissioned by the International Road Federation (IRF) and the Municipality of Riyadh Region.

The 10 selected sites represented a full range of typical road facilities including links and interchanges on major and minor arterial routes, freeways, and a multi-lane roundabout.

The RSI Team consisted of three representatives from the IRF (Steve Proctor and Andy Paul from TMS Consultancy, and Mark Taylor, Independent Road Safety Consultant, from the USA), together with five highway engineers from the Municipality of Riyadh Region.

Field activities consisted of a detailed inspection of each of the 10 sites, which included a drive-through of the entire site followed by a walk-through examination at selected locations within the site.  A night time drive-through inspection was conducted at three sites to examine safety aspects of the facilities during darkness.

Outcomes from the exercise were that approximately 150 issues were documented, and recommended actions or countermeasures for specific safety concerns were provided for each of the 10 sites where clearly evident and applicable.

A brief summary of the crash data for some of the sites was provided to the team which indicated general trends. The main conclusions drawn from this data were that high speed collisions were an issue, that night-time collisions formed 52% of the total, and that pedestrians formed 40% of the total.

Principal safety concerns were summarised in three key areas

  • Work zones - with much on-going construction; ad-hoc concrete barriers with gaps could lead to serious injury in loss of control incidents
  • Vulnerable users - pedestrians are at greatest risk from high speed traffic; there was a lack of crossing facilities in general and a lack of facilities at signals
  • Level of crash damage observed on barriers - this indicates a high level of occurrence of loss of control collisions especially on divided high speed roads

In addition, there was concern for the safety effects to motorists resulting from high-risk traffic maneuvers and operations, particularly at certain locations on the high-speed, high-volume freeways which were investigated.  At the sites on arterial streets, vulnerable road users are typically the most at risk, and this was often reflected in the summaries of crash data and fatalities that were provided.

It is likely that implementation of the findings and recommendations will result in significant progress toward achievement of a reduction of traffic injuries and fatalities and a reduction in the frequency and severity of all crashes. This in turn should allow progress toward achieving the UN Decade of Action for Road Safety goals in the City of Riyadh.       

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