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Road Safety Audits: An Evaluation of RSA Programs and Projects

Cover - Road Safety Audits: An Evaluation of RSA Programs and Projects

October 2012

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This document is disseminated under the sponsorship of the U.S. Department of Transportation in the interest of information exchange. The U.S. Government assumes no liability for the use of the information contained in this document. This report does not constitute a standard, specification, or regulation.

The U.S. Government does not endorse products or manufacturers. Trademarks or manufacturers' names appear in this report only because they are considered essential to the objective of this document.


Information obtained for this document involved transportation agencies at the State, county, and city levels. FHWA and the authors greatly appreciate the participation and cooperation of the following agencies for their willingness to provide the information to make this document possible: Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT); Bullhead City, Arizona; Collier County, Florida; Cumberland County, Tennessee; Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT); Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT); Lee County, Florida; Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT); Montgomery County (Maryland) Department of Transportation (MCDOT); Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT); Ocean City, New Jersey; Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT); South Jersey Transportation Planning Organization (SJTPO); and Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT).

Technical Documentation Page

1. Report No. FHWA


2. Government Accession No. 3. Recipient's Catalog No.
4. Title and Subtitle

Road Safety Audits: An Evaluation of RSA Programs and Projects

5. Report Date

October 2012

6. Performing Organization Code
7. Authors

Dan Nabors, Frank Gross, Kevin Moriarty, Mike Sawyer, and Craig Lyon

8. Performing Organization Report No.
9. Performing Organization Name and Address

Vanasse Hangen Brustlin, Inc.
8300 Boone Boulevard, Suite 700
Vienna, VA 22182-2626

10. Work Unit No.
11. Contract or Grant No.


12. Sponsoring Agency Name and Address

Federal Highway Administration Office of Safety
1200 New Jersey Ave., SE
Washington, DC 20590

13. Type of Report and Period Covered

Final Report, September 2009 – October 2012

14. Sponsoring Agency Code

15. Supplementary Notes:

The Federal Highway Administration Office of Safety sponsored the study of the Road Safety Audits reported in this document. The FHWA Office of Safety Contract Task Order Manager was Becky Crowe.

16. Abstract

Road Safety Audits (RSAs) are an effective tool for proactively improving the future safety performance of a road project during the planning and design stages and for identifying safety issues in existing transportation facilities. To demonstrate the effectiveness of RSAs, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Office of Safety sponsored an evaluation of RSAs at the program and project levels. The aim of these evaluations is to provide State, local, Federal, and Tribal agencies with examples of RSA programs and quantifiable results from specific RSA projects that can help in implementing RSAs and further their growth and success.

Nine jurisdictions were reviewed for their unique ability to sustain an RSA program at the State, regional, or local level. Key strategies underpinning the success of these RSA programs are described in this document. At the project level, five RSAs were evaluated to quantify the safety benefit of specific improvements that were implemented as a result of the RSAs. Statistical analyses were conducted using observational before-after methods. Costs of conducting the RSA and of implementing countermeasures are also presented and used in conjunction with the before-after analysis to determine the benefit/cost (B/C) ratio of each project.

17. Key Words

Safety, Road Safety Audit, Road Safety Assessment, Evaluation, Benefit/Cost

18. Distribution Statement

No restrictions. This document is available to the public through the National Technical Information Service, Springfield, Virginia 2216

19. Security Classif. (of this report)


20. Security Classif. (of this page)


21. No. of Pages:


22. Price

Form DOT F 1700.7 (8-72) – Reproduction of completed pages authorized


Table of Contents

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Page last modified on January 29, 2015.
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