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Targeting high risk intersections
The New Zealand Transport Agency has recently published the High-Risk Intersections Guide. The guide introduces new assessment techniques that enable intersections with a high-risk of someone dying or being seriously injured in the future to be identified. The assessment techniques have been developing using industry knowledge of the inter-relationships between speed environment, the intersection form and control type and crash movements to estimate risk. The departure from a wholly reactive approach to road safety allows high-risk intersections to be identified before people are killed or seriously injured, which is a positive step for promoting and providing a safer road environment in New Zealand.
Given the finite resources available to improve road safety it is imperative that road safety investigations and investments are targeted at the highest risk parts of the network to maximise the likelihood that projects will deliver the greatest road safety benefits. The High-Risk Intersections Guide is already being used by the New Zealand Transport Agency and Road Controlling Authorities to target road safety efforts and investment. To address high risk rural intersections in a cost effective manner the NZ Transport Agency is trialling vehicle activated speed limit reduction signs. The initial results of these are promising. This paper will be of interest to everyone involved with the targeted identification, prioritisation and funding of road safety projects.