RACQ advocates for mass action Queensland road safety programs that will reduce fatalities by at least 50%, and serious injuries by at least 30%, by 2031. That is, to reduce fatalities from 248 (average 2018-2020) to 124 or fewer, and reduce hospitalised casualties from 6938 (average 2018-2020) to 4856 or fewer, by 2031.

See more National and State road safety data and explore how Queensland and Australia are tracking towards road safety targets by visiting the Australian Automobile Association (AAA) Road Safety Dashboard.

Australian Road Assessment Program

Since the inception of AusRAP, the Australian Automobile Association (AAA), the peak body for Australia’s motoring clubs, including RACQ, has run the AusRAP program. Austroads has now taken over the administration of AusRAP, however the Clubs will continue to utilise AusRAP and advocate for its use by state and territory road authorities as a tool to objectively quantify the safety of road infrastructure. AusRAP uses two methods of assessment:

  • Star rating maps based on levels of safety built into the road’s design, which can influence the likelihood of a crash occurring and its severity.
  • Risk mapping based on a road’s history of casualty crashes, Fatal and Serious Injury (FSI) crashes and traffic volumes.

RACQ advocates for a target in Queensland of achieving 95% of travel on the national network, and 90% of travel on the state network, at AusRAP 3-star or better by the end of 2024. Local Roads of Regional Significance should aim for >80% of travel AusRAP 3-star or better by the end of 2024.

Star Rating

Like the successful European Road Assessment Program (EuroRAP), AusRAP represents a valuable tool to explain how roads can change from being safe to unsafe along their length. It also assists road authorities in identifying and prioritising road upgrades.

Risk Mapping

The Collective, Individual and Combined Risk maps assess generally high speed sections of the highway network with speed limits of 80 km/h or higher (i.e., crashes are excluded through major townships with lower speeds) - although where there are small towns with lower speed limit located within a single section, these have typically been included.

> View AusRAP Star rating (2014-15) and latest AusRAP Crash Risk map (2018-22)

Use the interactive map to see the AusRAP risk ratings for Queensland roads. The map layers can be set to combined/collective/individual risk, Black Links (Risky Roads), Star rating for vehicle occupants (smoothed) and fatal and hospitalisation crashes (state roads with 80km/h or higher speed limits).

> Download RACQ Risk Mapping ‘Black Links’ (Risky Roads) results (2018-22)

The latest Black Links (Risky Roads) risk mapping analysis highlights a priority list of 98 State Government regional road sections where RACQ believes mass action low-cost high-benefit road safety treatments could be most effective and economical to deliver the largest Fatal and Serious Injury (FSI) crash reductions. The priority list is developed by firstly filtering out sections (of 312 total sections, approx. 21,500 km in total) with a High Combined Risk Rating (FSI), then those that also have a High Collective Risk Rating (FSI’s), and finally those that have a High or Med-high Collective Risk Rating (for Casualty crashes). The list is then sorted by road name and then by Combined Risk Score (FSI).

> Report a transport issue

What do the risk types mean?

Collective risk shows the density, or total number, of casualty crashes over a given length of road. Collective risk is calculated by dividing the number of casualty crashes per annum by the length of highway.

Individual risk shows the casualty crash rates per vehicle kilometre travelled. This effectively represents the risk of being involved in a crash faced by an individual driver, by taking traffic volumes into account. Individual risk is calculated by dividing the frequency of crashes per annum by the distance travelled on each section of highway per annum.

Combined Risk
Both the collective risk and the individual risk reveal important aspects of the safety of a road section. These two risk types have been combined with equal weighting to produce a single risk score per road section (the combined risk score). Once a section of highway has received a combined risk score, it is assigned one of five corresponding colours from Low to High. The cut-off points between colours are determined by ranking sections from worst to least risk across the Queensland roads included in this assessment, calculating the total length of road assessed and then dividing this result into the five colour bandings, each representing as close as possible to 20 per cent of the network assessed. The ‘Combined Risk’ map layer provides clear targets for those roads requiring infrastructure upgrades: governments should focus on roads coloured in red and black as a priority, especially higher volume roads that also have an AusRAP 1 or 2-Star road infrastructure rating.

Black Links (Risky Roads)
Riskier roads are roads where low-cost high-benefit safety treatments may have the most impact in reducing Fatal and Serious Injury (FSI) crashes and are roads that are filtered by High Combined Risk Rating (FSI), High Collective Risk Rating (FSI), and High or Medium-high Collective Risk Rating (Casualty Crashes).

Persistently Higher Risk (PHR) are roads that have recorded Medium-high or High ratings for Collective and Individual Risk (Casualty Crashes) in both 5-year analysis periods, i.e., they have continued to record higher risk ratings for many years and are worthy candidates for further investigation and investment in low cost improvements to address their poor crash history.

Star Rating for vehicle occupants (smoothed)
Star Ratings are based on the level of safety built into the road, i.e., how safe the road infrastructure is. Sections of road are rated on a scale of 1 to 5-stars, with 1-star being the least safe and 5-star being the safest. Safe roads with design elements such as dual-lane divided carriageways, good line marking and wide lanes have a higher star rating. Lower-rated roads are likely to have single-lanes and be undivided with poor line marking and hazards such as trees, poles and steep embankments close to the edge of the road.

More information about AusRAP can be found at the Austroads AusRAP website.

Past AusRAP Reports

Past Regional Road Inspection Tour Reports

RACQ undertakes regional road inspection tours to collect detailed safety and road quality observations and recommendations for selected major roads and highways in Queensland’s regions.


Things to note

The information in this article has been prepared for general information purposes only and is not intended as legal advice or specific advice to any particular person. Any advice contained in the document is general advice, not intended as legal advice or professional advice and does not take into account any person’s particular circumstances. Before acting on anything based on this advice you should consider its appropriateness to you, having regard to your objectives and needs.