Australia, Roadworks, Transport News

Australia to introduce star ratings for arterial roads

Austroads is combining with plenty of stakeholders to ensure the star ratings are available for major arterials from next year

Austroads has announced that Australia’s states and territories will commence publishing updated AusRAP star ratings in 2024 while committing to publishing ratings for all major arterial roads by 2025.

In a bid to improve road safety nationally, the recent release of a new AusRAP strategy and business plan by Ausroads members outlines 12 targets geared towards supporting the national road safety objective of ensuring that at least 80 per cent of travel occurs on roads with a three-star rating or higher by 2030.

As custodian of the AusRAP, Austroads will be responsible for coordinating the program and supporting its delivery, with Austroads set to coordinate AusRAP activity such as reporting, data analysis and road manager training across Australia.

“Road star ratings are a robust tool for communicating road safety information to the public,” Austroads chief executive Geoff Allan says.

“The process of collecting and processing the road rating data takes time and effort and the commitment by Austroads member organisations to publish the data is an important step forward.”

The Australian Automobile Association (AAA) introduced AusRAP to Australia in 2001 and has been a strong promoter of the value of road safety data and road star ratings.

Leadership of AusRAP was passed from the AAA to Austroads in 2021.

AusRAP star ratings are measured on a scale from one to five stars and provide a clear indication of a road’s safety performance, with the level of risk halving with each additional star.

A five-star rating represents the highest level of safety, while a one-star rating indicates a higher risk. Analysis of AusRAP data will contribute to an overall improvement in road safety by supporting the optimisation of investment in the safety of roads.

Austroads says the commitment to publish star ratings and achieve the 2030 minimum three-star target represents a critical step in enabling Australia’s long-term vision of zero deaths and serious injuries in road crashes by 2050.

Austroads, as the lead for AusRAP, will collaborate with a diverse array of stakeholders, including the AAA, the Australasian College of Road Safety, the Australian Local Government Association, the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, Communications and the Arts, iRAP, the National Transport Research Organisation, state and territory governments and local governments.

“Sharing data across industry and government can lead to better outcomes for communities, especially when it comes to the planning and designing of our nation’s major road infrastructure and ensuring they are safer, more sustainable, and resilient,” Infrastructure Australia chief or project advisory and evaluation David Tucker says.

“Infrastructure Australia looks forward to collaborating with AusRAP and Austroads to achieve these outcomes.”

Roads Australia CEO Ehssan Veiszadeh says: “Road safety ratings help to lift the standards of our roads.

“Roads Australia welcomes this collaboration between industry and government to share insights and data and publish assessments nationwide. With the road toll on the rise, road safety is a shared responsibility.

“This is a practical step towards improving transparency of safety standards of major arterial roads, in the hope this informs future planning and investment.”

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