State and Federal Governments in Australia have fast-tracked major infrastructure projects to support jobs during COVID-19.
Unfortunately, I am not aware of any changes to the requirements for road safety audit teams, or site visit protocols, to enable Road Safety Audits to be undertaken in a different manner to that prescribed by the relevant road safety audit administrators in each State and Territory.
I first raised this issue with the WA Road Safety Audit Panel on 23 March 2020, with a reminder on 6 April. There has not been any change to the process in this time.
It is important that the Road Safety Audit process continues as this will allow for audits to be undertaken for the fast-tracked major infrastructure projects. It is also important that the Audits are undertaken in a safe manner.
In recognition of the above, I recommend the following:
Site Visit Changes
Auditors are currently required to visit the site for all road safety audit stages, i.e. Stage 1: Feasibility, Stage 2: Preliminary Design, Stage 3: Detailed Design, Stage 4: Pre-opening and Stage 5: Roadworks.
I recommend that the requirement for a physical site inspection is removed for Stage 1 and 2 audits, except for those circumstances where the Audit Team Leader has determined that it is critical. The Audit Team can use on-line aerial and satellite photographs and software to assist with Stage 1 and 2 Audits.
I also recommend that the requirement for the Audit Team to visit the site for Stages 3, 4 and 5, is relaxed to allow for the Audit Team Leader to visit the site and provide the audit team members with Dash-cam video when driving, body-cam video when walking or riding and GPS coded photographs taken during the site visit. The video should include narrative from the Audit Team Leader.
Where it is deemed essential for an Audit Team to inspect the site, the team should be limited to the Audit Team Leader (an accredited Senior Auditor) and an accredited Auditor.
All Senior Road Safety Auditors should be classified as “Specialist required for Industry” and permitted to travel to and from sites on this basis.
Request the change
I urge all Road Safety Auditors to contact the relevant authorities in their Sate or Territory, or local member of Parliament, to get these changes through as soon as possible so that we can continue to work together to provide a safer road network.
David Wilkins, Principal & Senior Traffic Engineer.