The target of the project is the performance of a "project pilot" on two lane rural roads.
Road safety evaluations on two-lane rural roads with low/medium traffic flows can raise concerns both due to the general deficiency of reliable data on road accidents and to the circumstance that few crashs are due to low traffic. There is not always enough information on accidents distribution and causes.
Based on these considerations, the project "Identification of Hazard Locations and Ranking of Measures to Improve Safety on Local Rural Roads" (Italian acronym IASP), funded by the European Commission (DG TREN) and the Province of Catania (Italy), aims to define a methodological approach purposely designed for the safety evaluation of two-lane local rural highways.
The proposed model uses both procedures referring to the geometric design consistency of road alignment and to the Safety Inspection process of road features. The IASP methodology integrates the results of design consistency models with those deriving from the safety issues evaluation made during Safety Inspection processes. A Safety Index (SI) is formulated by combining three components of risk: the exposure of road users to road hazards, the probability of becoming involved in a accident and the resulting consequences should an accident occur. The SI model was verified comparing the ranking of risk carried out by the model with the actual number of accident on the same road sections.
The research activity was concluded monitoring of the safety benefits of road interventions. In particular, the following monitoring methodologies were applied:
- Before-After Accident Analyses.
- Monitoring of vehicle spot speed.
- Monitoring of vehicle trajectory and speed profile.
The project will be able to define methodologies and procedures for the analysis of actual road safety conditions and to arrange maintenance or restoration projects in order to improve safety.
The proposed methodology will be applied on a sample of existing roads in order to characterize the defective elements in the different components of the system driver road- vehicle-environment which involve levels of unacceptable risk, to define and to carry out appropriate interventions and then to monitor their effectiveness during time.