Australia's National Highways Rated for Safety


The Australian Automobile Association today released its ratings of Australia’s

national road network in a further bid to highlight the state of Australia’s roads – a major factor in the national road safety results.


The Australian Road Assessment Program (AusRAP) - which rates Australia’s road network - showed that many of Australia’s national highways were “high risk” roads that could unnecessarily contribute to road trauma and death.


AAA Executive Director, Lauchlan McIntosh, launched the latest road ratings at Canberra, contained in the AusRAP Report, How Safe are our Roads – Rating Australia’s National Network for Risk.


“Five people die every day on Australian roads and often these tragedies could have been avoided if the roads were more forgiving,” Mr McIntosh said.


“All roads are not equal - some are better and safer than others.  These AusRAP ratings show us where the dangerous – and the safest – sections are on our national network.


“This report highlights the state of our major road network and shows where remedial treatments should be investigated and solutions provided.”


AusRAP rates the roads on the basis of collective risk and individual risk. 


Collective risk reports the total number of crashes on a road section (casualty crashes per kilometre), while individual risk takes into account traffic volumes (casualty crashes per vehicle kilometre travelled).  The assessments are shown in a series of State-by-State colour coded risk maps.


Mr McIntosh said that the data used to develop the AusRAP ratings was drawn from the latest government data between 1999 and 2003 – this did not include results from sections improved since that time.


“For example, the Victorian Government has installed many sections of wire barriers along the Hume Highway and improvements are occurring in other states,” he said.


“It shows that road authorities are aware of the need to upgrade road infrastructure, but obviously they need more funds to continue this work.”


AusRAP risk maps are part of an overall program to develop an Australian ratings system for roads - similar to the European Road Assessment Program (euroRAP) - to promote information about the relative safety of different roads.


The AusRAP report sets out the “best and worst” links – all on a State by State basis, with some examples in the attached summary.


Mr McIntosh also acknowledged the support of the Australian Transport Council and the contribution of the Australian Transport Safety Bureau.


“We look forward to further developing the AusRAP database to include a star rating system based on a Road Protection Score, which should be completed in 2006.  This score will be based on the inherent safety features and hazards along the road network,” he said.


“Road safety results in Australia require recognition by everyone in the community that we need safer drivers in safer cars on safer roads.


“AusRAP helps us all understand the relative safety of different roads and the potential to save lives by improvement. 


“According to research, improving roads can make the biggest contribution to reducing death and injuries on our roads.  Roads are far more important than most people realise.“


The AusRAP report can be viewed on the AusRAP website and the AAA website


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