University of Western Australia’s (UWA) Western Australian Centre for Road Safety Research, and WALGA’s RoadWise are collaborating to identify a suitable safety ratings tool for Local Government roads, to prioritise investment and support.
The Safety Ratings for Local Roads project will be using funding from the Federal Government Office of Road Safety’s Road Safety Innovation Fund, and will be reviewed in consultation with local governments following an extensive literature review.
The project represents a unique opportunity to provide local governments with a tool that can be quickly and effectively implemented by local government officers without the need for specialised skills, whilst providing valuable decision-making information for Elected Members and advice for the community.
WALGA President Mayor, Tracey Roberts, said the opportunity to work with UWA’s Western Australian Centre for Road Safety Research on this new project was exciting, because it would provide an evidence base for assessing the safety of local roads, and support local governments to prioritise infrastructure projects which can reduce death and serious injuries.
“Local Governments also manage 87 per cent of the road network,” Mayor Roberts said.
“The role of local governments as system designers is important when it comes to road safety.
“Local governments have a strategic and operational role as road managers, planning authorities and fleet managers – in addition to their community development and leadership roles.”
UWA’s Western Australian Centre for Road Safety Research, Professor Lynn Meuleners and Associate Professor, Paul Roberts, said they were looking forward to working with WALGA’s RoadWise to progress the Safety Ratings for Local Roads project.
“Implementing a safety rating tool will provide local governments with high level information about their road network, which will help support strategic decision-making to improve the safety performance of their road network,” Mr Roberts said.
Finding a safety ratings tool that is suitable for local government roads aligns closely with the WALGA RoadWise Demonstration Project, which seeks to embed road safety within local governments’ business, using a management framework to assist local governments to prioritise effort and resources.