The Australian Road Assessment Program (AusRAP) has examined 21,921 kilometres of national highway with a speed limit of 90 kilometres per hour or above, awarding Star Ratings based on their level of safety. 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.
For the first time in 2013, AusRAP has developed Safer Roads Investment Plans (SRIPs) for Australia’s national highways. These plans draw on more than 50 countermeasures to generate costed* road upgrade proposals which can prevent tens of thousands of fatalities and serious injuries over a 20-year period. The plans use estimates of reductions in fatalities and serious injuries to quantify safety benefits.
Only countermeasures with a benefit cost ratio (BCR) greater than one are considered by the SRIP, indicating a positive economic return on investing in road improvements. Implementing these plans would reduce the proportion of 1 and 2-star sections of national highway and prevent casualties on Australian roads each year.