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Safe System Infrastructure– From theory to practice.

Hall, K

General

ACRS conference 2011

The Safe System has now been a key concept in Victoria’s road safety strategy for a number of years. There is now a growing amount of infrastructure in Victoria which is consistent with the Safe System philosophy of designing the road system to be more forgiving of human error and attempting to manage crash forces to survivable levels. The infrastructure includes such things as wire rope safety barriers and roundabouts and the speed limits school and strip shopping centre speed zones.

Work has been undertaken to reach an understanding of what a Safe System philosophy means in practice. This thinking is now being utilised in road safety project designs and considered as part of broader policy decisions such as road safety performance measures for major projects.

However, there are still major challenges to overcome before the full potential of the Safe System concept is realised. These challenges include a shared understanding of what Safe System means in practice, the requirement for a significant change process to redevelop processes and standards and the high capital and maintenance costs of some Safe System infrastructure treatments.