U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20590
A road safety audit (RSA) is a formal safety performance examination of an existing or future road or intersection by an independent, multidisciplinary team. Just as crime scene investigators focus their attention on the various aspects of a specific locale, RSA teams study a section of road or an intersection from a variety of perspectives. Essentially, the goal is the same: to uncover the root causes of a situation and then suggest actions.
The answer is simple – to save lives and reduce injuries on your roads. RSAs are a comprehensive and effective tool for proactively improving the safety performance of a road while it is still in the planning or design stage, or for identifying and mitigating safety concerns on existing roads and intersections.
RSAs are an excellent tool to identify remedies to locations on public roads that are exhibiting the most severe safety needs. State and local agencies and tribal governments have successfully used RSAs to improve safety. Transportation professionals experienced with RSAs are available to share their experiences, answer questions, and help another agency or Tribal Government conduct an RSA through the FHWA RSA Peer-to-Peer program.
"States must now annually report 5% of their most severe safety locales, and how they intend to remedy those problems. RSAs offer a credible response to such challenges."
– Thomas M. Welch, P.E.
Recently compiled statistics show that RSAs are working and showing measurable results.
In South Carolina after improvements were implemented at one site, the DOT showed a 60% reduction in fatalities in one year at that location.
In Michigan, the Road Improvement Demonstration Program conducted intersection RSAs and implemented improvements. Evaluation of 80 sites showed a 40% reduction in injury crashes collectively and a cost to benefit ratio of 16:1 over ten years.
Other benefits can be found online at http://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/rsa/.
"Much of the traffic in this country is on local roads, and we're finding that we can make a big difference in how we handle that traffic safely with RSAs in city and county transportation agencies."
– Bill Wright
"If folks keep to their mission to provide safe roads, then part of that would be having audits and checks to make sure that if we have problems, we can identify them and address them."
– Steven LaMar
___ Schedule RSA Training
___ Use RSA Peer-to-Peer program (To contact the RSA Peer-to-Peer program, e-mail SafetyP2P@dot.gov or call 866-P2P-FHWA.)
___ Use RSA guidelines (http://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/rsa/guidelines/)
___ Implement suggestions and evaluate resultsFor more information visit the RSA Website: http://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/rsa/
Publication # FHWA-SA-07-009