Australian Road Assessment Program
The Australian Road Assessment Program (AusRAP) is a program run by the Australian Automobile Association (AAA) and State and Territory motoring clubs including RACQ, dedicated to saving lives through advocating for safer 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 and traffic flow.
RACQ supports an infrastructure upgrade safety target to achieve 95% of travel on the national network and 90% on the state network at AusRAP 3-star or better by 2022.
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.
The Collective, Individual and Combined Risk maps assess generally high speed sections of the highway network with speed limits of 90 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.
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.
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.
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.
The most recent AusRAP reports and maps can be viewed at the AusRAP website. Copies of previous reports are available below.
Regional Road Inspections
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.
Past Regional Road Inspection Tour Reports
- 2016 Regional Road Inspection Tour Report – Flinders, Barkly and Landsborough Highways and Kennedy Development Road
- 2014 Regional Road Inspection Tour Report – Brisbane to Cairns along the D’Aguilar, Burnett, Leichhardt, Capricorn, Gregory and Kennedy highways and Gregory and Kennedy Developmental roads
- 2013 Regional Road Inspection Tour Report – Warrego, Landsborough and Barkly Highways from Ipswich to Mount Isa
- 2012 RACQ Regional Road Inspection Tour Report – Darling Downs including Cunningham Highway, New England Highway, Leichhardt Highway and Gore Highway
- June 2012 RACQ Regional Road Inspection Tour Report – Bruce Highway, Cairns to Caboolture
- 2011 Regional Road Inspection Tour Report – Major highways in South West and Central Queensland & the Bruce Highway
- 2010 Regional Road Inspection Tour Report – Major highways in Central / North Eastern / South Eastern Queensland & Wide Bay / Burnett District
- 2009 Regional Road Inspection Tour Report – Major highways in North, Central and Southern Queensland