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AustroadsNews | September 2016 

Welcome to the September edition of AustroadsNews. This newsletter provides run-down on our latest publications, links to other relevant work in Australasia, and links to upcoming seminars and conferences.

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Governments told to be ready for start of driverless revolution by 2020

The driverless vehicle revolution will test the value of private car ownership and road-based public transport, and have a dramatic impact on everything from motor vehicle registration revenues to city planning and health spending, according to the key players in Australia’s land transport sector.

Leaders from federal and state road and transport agencies, motoring clubs, local government and engineering and industry groups met in Brisbane in late August to consider how government and industry can better collaborate to ensure a smooth transition to the world of connected and automated vehicles.

The Summit was convened by Austroads, Roads Australia and Queensland Transport and Main Roads, and came on the back of this month’s Transport and Infrastructure Council (TIC) meeting of state, territory and federal transport ministers that agreed to a National Policy Framework for Land Transport Technology.

Participants at the Summit were told Australian states and territories had to be ready to support the safe deployment of partially automated vehicles on public roads before 2020, and highly automated and driverless vehicles within the ensuing decade.

They agreed on a way forward that addressed three key principles:

  • achieve national consistency around the regulation and operation of connected and automated vehicles,
  • lay down the ground rules early, before the horse bolts, and
  • understand the value chain created by automated vehicles, and how it will be captured.

Austroads Deputy Chair, Neil Scales, said the National Policy Framework agreed to by TIC ministers demonstrated that government’s already recognised the imperative for a co-ordinated policy and regulatory response.

 “What is clear after yesterday’s Summit is that this process needs to embrace a far broader range of stakeholders than just transport. It potentially reaches into every area of government and business spending and service delivery.

AV’s will change our lives, as well as our businesses.”

Roads Australia President, David Stuart-Watt, said existing concepts of vehicle ownership and road-based public transport would likely be challenged by the arrival of AVs.

“Vehicle manufacturers are already taking steps to adjust to the likely changes to the traditional car ownership model,” he said.

“Only this month, it was reported that Ford in the United States was planning to build a fleet of driverless cars for ride-sharing services by 2021, which it (Ford) would potentially own and maintain on their behalf.

“If we have a fleet of connected and automated vehicles running continuously on our road networks and offering economical fares, why would you want to own a car yourself? And why would you drive your own car to a car park to jump on a train when an AV could take you to the station and probably negate the need to own that car?

 “If that is the case, what happens to the revenues governments have traditionally collected from these sources?”

Mr Stuart-Watt said automated vehicle technology also promised to significantly reduce, if not eliminate, road deaths and injuries.

“This will free up the nearly $30 billion we spend each year on road trauma for other areas of health research and treatment.  It will also change how we deliver health services to the aged, for example.”


Assessing Fitness to Drive 2016 now available

The 2016 edition of Assessing Fitness to Drive was published on 1 September. The standards come into effect  on 1 October 2016, from which date all assessments conducted for the purpose of driver licensing should be undertaken according to the updated edition.

A summary of the changes in the new edition and other support materials are available on the Austroads website.

The PDF can be downloaded for no charge. Hard copies can be ordered for $25 inc postage and handling.


ACENZ Merit award for pedestrian facility selection tool

In early September the Association of Consulting Engineers New Zealand (ACENZ) recognised the Pedestrian Facility Selection Tool with a Merit award in the 2016 Awards fo Excellence. This was reflective of the “…great solution that Abley Transportation Consultants provided given the scale and complexity of the project”. This was only one of two non-infrastructure transport projects in the awards and the highest ranking. Congratulations to all finalists and to the Austroads Network Task Force and Abley Transportation Consultants.

The tool can be accessed via the Austroads website.


Northern Territory Indigenous Road Safety Program takes out Premier Australasian Road Safety Award

A program to enable Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to obtain their drivers licence has taken out Australasia’s premier road safety award recognising exemplary innovation and effectiveness to save lives and injuries on roads. The DriveSafe NT Remote project, led by Team Leader Wayne Buckley, is being delivered by the Northern Territory Government to expedite road trauma reductions among indigenous communities. 

The award was presented by the Hon Darren Chester MP, Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Mr Lauchlan McIntosh AM, President of the Australasian College of Road Safety, and Mr Cade Turner representing 3M Australasia.  The award ceremony was attended by over 550 of Australasia’s foremost road safety professionals and advocates at Australia’s Parliament House.

Minister Chester congratulated this year’s award winners on their contribution to improving driver safety around the nation.  “This year’s winners and finalists are doing an incredible job of reducing the national road toll and deserve our sincere congratulations on the valuable work they are doing every day,” Mr Chester said.
“There are many elements which must be brought together if we are to achieve a reduction in our national road toll – everything from new vehicle technology and improved driver education and skills, through to better road design and more investment in our infrastructure.
“Each of this year’s finalists and winners demonstrate the personal commitment we so badly need to help bring down the rate of death and injury happening on our roads every year. Their contribution is valuable – and above all – valued.”

ACRS President, Mr Lauchlan McIntosh AM, said “Our 2016 winner, represented by Wayne Buckley from the Northern Territory Government, demonstrates an effective and innovative approach to a complex issue – in this specific case road trauma reduction among our indigenous communities. 

“The program was set up by the Northern Territory (NT) Government in 2012 across 23 remote communities to address the barriers that prevent Aboriginal people living in remote communities from accessing the licensing system.
“In the NT, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people make up 84 per cent of the prison population. Driving and vehicle regulatory offences account for a quarter of the entire population being in jail.

“DriveSafe NT Remote is a fresh policy perspective on driver education. The program provides an innovative and sustainable solution to the complex, multi-causal and interdependent barriers to getting a driver licence in the bush.
“Since the inception of the program in 2012, the small team of five dedicated officers from the Department of Transport has delivered 3433 learner licences, 1086 provisional licences, 1164 birth certificates and 2103 driving lessons. Over the past year alone the service delivery footprint increased from 42 remote communities to 74 remote and dispersed communities receiving driver education and licensing services.

As the winning team leader, Wayne Buckley will travel to the USA to attend the 47th ATSSA Annual Convention & Traffic Expo in 2017, and will also visit 3M Global Headquarters in Minnesota.

Pictured clockwise from top:
Grand Prize winner Mr Wayne Buckley with Highly Commended winners; 
Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Hon Darren Chester MP;
Mr Lauchlan McIntosh AM (ACRS), Mr Wayne Buckley (Grand Prize Winner),
Mr Cade Turner (3M),  Hon Darren Chester MP 


Network management guidance updated

Austroads has published the fourth edition of the Guide to Traffic Management Part 4: Network Management.

The Guide addresses the network needs of different users, the characteristics of types of networks and, describes a planning process for balancing or prioritising the competing user needs based on a movement and place framework view of the road network.

The road network is the primary infrastructure for the movement of people and goods and for personal mobility. Most people need to travel to get to work or to conduct business, or to attend education or leisure activities. Carriage of goods includes both large freight consignments and lighter distribution loads, and the efficiency of their movement affects the cost of goods.

The Guide embraces the concept that traffic management needs to address all transportation needs across all transport modes and across an extended geographical area. Network management aims to optimise the existing road network infrastructure to service the developed land use and road users’ needs. It does this by using a ‘toolkit’ of transport improvement options to ensure the movement of people and goods is effective and optimal for all users. 

Major updates to this edition of the Guide include: providing linkages to asset management and Safe Systems; introducing the movement and place framework; and improving the guidance on Network Operational Planning.

The new edition was prepared by David Green, ARRB and project managed by Andrew Wall, VicRoads. 

The hard copy can be purchased for $55 (+postage and handling) and the the PDF for $44.

Austroads members can download PDF versions of the Guides for free. This includes all state and territory road agencies and local councils in Australia and New Zealand.

To request your user login and password for free access please send an email from your work email address to


Traffic control and communication devices guidance updated

Austroads has published the second edition of the Guide to Traffic Management Part 10: Traffic Control and Communication Devices.

The Guide is concerned with the tools that are required for traffic management and traffic control within a network. It covers the various control devices used to regulate and guide traffic, including signs, traffic signals, pavement markings, delineators, and traffic islands. Other devices and technologies that convey information and guidance to road users while they are active in traffic are also included.

Part 10 provides guidance on the design and use of particular traffic control devices that are applied to achieve or implement traffic management and control measures. It provides advice on the functions, suitability and correct use of devices to create a more efficient and safer road traffic environment for all users in permanent or temporary situations.

Major changes to this edition include: linking guidance on traffic control and communication devices to the Safe System framework, updating guidance on variable message signs and electronic speed limit signs including collocation, updating guidance on traffic signals in accordance with the latest revision of AS 1742.14, providing guidance on radio and CB radio break-in, and providing detailed guidance on route planning and directional and wayfinding signage for bicyclists.

This edition was prepared by David Green, ARRB and project managed by Fergus Tate, NZ Transport Agency.

The hard copy can be purchased for $154 (+postage and handling) and the PDF for $123.20.

Austroads members can download PDF versions of the Guides for free. This includes all state and territory road agencies and local councils in Australia and New Zealand.

To request your user login and password for free access please send an email from your work email address to



Tool released to help evaluate small intersection projects

Austroads has published an Excel tool and user guide, to help practitioners undertake a quick economic evaluation of small intersection projects including: give-ways/stops, roundabouts and traffic signals.

The tool can be used by practitioners working with basic traffic data to estimate road user cost impacts, primarily delay and fuel costs, as well as crash costs.

The Small Intersection Evaluation (SIE) Tool does not aim to replicate sophisticated intersection analysis software or the packages developed by various jurisdictions to undertake detailed analysis of large intersection projects. Rather, the objective is to facilitate the economic evaluation of a number of small intersection projects which could provide an indication of the most promising projects which can then be subject to further detailed analysis thereafter.

The report, Development of the Traffic Impact Estimation Tool for Small Intersection Projects, describes the development of the tool.

The report includes the tool's overall design, methodology and data requirements (base case and project case) for the estimation of traffic impacts at signed intersections, roundabouts and signalised intersections. The estimation of crash costs across intersection types is also presented, including appropriate crash rates and crash modification factors (CMFs) incorporated into the SIE Tool. Results of the intersection evaluation in terms of economic decision rules, i.e. net present value (NPV) and benefit cost ratio (BCR) are provided.

The report also sets out the process used to review and test the SIE Tool against available case studies. This includes feedback received from jurisdictions on testing the tool and the appropriate adjustments made to the tool in response to the comments. Finally, it must be noted that the coefficients used to estimate delay and vehicle operating costs in the SIE Tool are updated periodically via a separate, off-line process as new unit values (e.g. travel time and fuel costs) become available.


Reforming remote and regional road funding

Austroads has published a report that examines the current funding and financing arrangements for regional and remote roads in Australia and considers the implications of road funding reforms.

The project, which sought to identify alternative funding and financing options for remote and regional roads, was undertaken in three stages:

  • Stage 1 developed a snap shot of current and historic road related revenue, expenditure and funding
  • Stage 2 assessed the limitations of current funding arrangements for remote and regional roads, highlighted by a number of case studies
  • Stage 3 analysed a number of alternative remote and regional road funding options.

The project considered the practice of economic evaluations as applied to remote and regional roads, and the implications of possible heavy vehicle charging reform for regional and remote road funding.

Two broad categories of alternative funding options were considered: improving the targeting of road charging to the ultimate beneficiaries of remote and regional roads; and introducing dedicated funding for remote and regional roads. Policy options that could be introduced as part of a direct user charging reform, to address likely revenue insufficiency problems for remote and regional roads.

The project found that:

  • Remote and regional roads will always have a large Community Service Obligation element and therefore pure economic pricing of roads alone will not work in these areas.
  • Road funding and pricing reform can be achieved in these areas, although direct road user charging will require application of postage stamp pricing principles or a universal service obligation to ensure adequate ongoing funding for remote and regional roads.
  • More research needs to be done to incorporate the social benefits of road infrastructure into the project assessment framework.
  • Developer contributions could provide an additional source of private funding.
  • A dedicated remote and regional funding pool could provide ongoing funding certainty to improve asset management.

The project helps support road agencies to ensure that future road reforms address the funding issues of regional and remote areas.


Release of the ATAP Guidelines website 

On 4 August 2016, the Transport and Infrastructure Council approved the release of updated guidance on transport assessment and planning. The new guidance will be referred to as the ATAP (Australian Transport Assessment and Planning) Guidelines and will replace the previous National Guidelines for Transport System Management. The Council’s Communique stated:

“The Council welcomed the release of the Australian Transport Assessment and Planning (ATAP) Guidelines as part of the completion of the review and update of the National Guidelines for Transport System Management in Australia.

Council agreed to the public release of the ATAP Guidelines, recognising that they will form the single, definitive national source of guidance on transport planning and evaluation.  The release of the website is the culmination of three years’ work to align processes associated with transport planning and evaluation with global best practice, and includes new sections such as active travel and integrated transport and land use planning. The ATAP Guidelines will continue to be updated iteratively, recognising, amongst other things, that updated parameter values and the provision of worked examples are still to be included.”

The ATAP Guidelines will be a living document, and will continue to evolve as new research is undertaken. An ATAP Working Group has been established to ensure the Guidelines remain up to date and relevant. This will include continued engagement with relevant stakeholders over time.


National Cycling Strategy Implementation Report 2015

In September 2016 the Australian Bicycle Council published the National Cycling Strategy: Implementation Report 2015 which outlines the progress made on the National Cycling Strategy in 2015. 

In this, the fifth year of the National Cycling Strategy 2011-16:

  • Australian states and territories invested $125.4 million in cycling related infrastructure, education and promotion in 2014-15.
  • Programs that encouraged short trips include Good Move (NSW), Ride2School (Vic, Tas), TravelSMART(SA), way2go (SA), Your Move (WA), Safe Active Streets (WA), Short Trips are Bikeable (NT) and Active Streets (ACT).
  • A number of jurisdictions have changed the regulations that govern where cycling is permitted. Cycling is now permitted on footpaths in Queensland, South Australia, the Northern Territory and the ACT.
  • A number of jurisdictions have introduced minimum passing distance legislation that requires drivers to provide a lateral distance of at least 1m (up to and including 60 km/h) and 1.5m (over 60 km/h) between their vehicle and a cyclist. Drivers in New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia and the ACT are now required to comply with minimum passing distance laws.  Although Tasmania has not changed its legislation, it uses advisory signs and advertising to deliver the same message.
  • The third National Cycling Participation Survey was carried out in 2015, with the results indicating that cycling participation has not increased or decreased significantly over the life of the current National Cycling Strategy. These results do not meet the target set in the National Cycling Strategy to double cycling participation over the life of the Strategy.

NTC seeks input on National Land Transport Productivity Framework

Transport operators, associations and government bodies have been given the opportunity to help the NTC develop a new framework that will help define and measure Australia’s land transport productivity.

Chief Executive of the NTC Paul Retter said the framework would help governments and industry keep track of Australia’s land transport productivity performance and help governments make better laws and regulations, infrastructure investment decisions and operational improvements to Australia’s transport network.

He said the framework will also give industry decision-makers better information to help them make the best possible operational and business investment decisions.

“There is an old saying that you can’t really improve what you don’t measure,” Mr Retter said.

“This project will help us define and measure land transport productivity so we can ensure Australia’s strategies, action plans and future decisions deliver the benefits we need.”

The NTC is asking relevant stakeholders to answer a range of questions to help develop the framework including:

  •  What factors should be included?
  • Can current productivity measures be applied and do we need to supplement them?
  • How should the information be collected and presented?
  •  How would you use the productivity framework?

The National Land Transport Productivity Framework Issues Paper is available here.

Stakeholders can make a submission via the NTC’s website before 5pm, Thursday 6 October 2016.

The framework will be presented to transport ministers at the Transport and Infrastructure Council meeting scheduled for November 2017.


Cracking in specialist surfacing systems

The NZ Transport Agency has published a draft test specification as part of research to better understand the performance of specialist surfacing systems and their underlying substrates to minimise some of the common premature failures.

Specialist surfacings such as high-friction and coloured traffic-calming surfaces have gained huge popularity since their introduction. However, the reputation of these specialist systems in New Zealand is also plagued by premature failures due to cracking and other related modes.

Many of the failure modes have in fact originated from or are at least associated with the performance of the underlying pavement substrate.

The purpose of this project was to assess test methods where the emphasis was on the performance of the underlying substrate and its interaction with the specialist surfacing systems to ensure best outcomes.

A number of commercial resin systems, namely epoxy, polyurethane and methyl methacrylate were tested using methods based on ASTM standard test methods C1583-13 and D638-10.

Thermal effects were also investigated by conducting thermal cycling experiments. The intention was to develop a test that could be implemented in the field.


BITRE Road Safety Reports

Road Deaths Australia—Monthly Bulletins
Released mid month - Latest August 2016 
This bulletin contains current counts and summaries of road crash deaths and fatal road crashes in Australia. It is produced monthly and published on BITRE's website on or around the 14th of each month. Data are sourced from the road traffic or police authorities in each jurisdiction.

Fatal Heavy Vehicle Crashes—Quarterly Bulletins
Released August 2016 - Latest data April-June 2016
This quarterly publication tracks counts of fatal crashes that involve heavy vehicles.

Road Trauma Australia—Annual Summaries
Released August 2016 - Latest data 2015
This annual bulletin contains calendar year counts of fatal road crashes and road crash deaths. It also includes rates of deaths per population, per registered vehicle and per vehicle kilometre travelled. Data are sourced from the road traffic or police authorities in each jurisdiction, the Australian Bureau of Statistics and BITRE.

Heavy truck safety: crash analysis and trends
Released August 2016
This paper analyses road traffic crashes involving heavy trucks, highlighting characteristics such as severity, location, temporarily and type of crash. A brief introduction to the regulatory environment and statistical summaries of Australia's heavy vehicle fleet are also provided.

International Road Safety Comparisons—Annual
Released September 2016
This report presents tabulations of road deaths and road death rates for Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) nations and Australian states and territories. The rates allow for a comparison of Australia's road safety performance with that of other OECD nations by accounting for the differing levels of populations, motorisation and distances travelled.


Austroads Bridge Conference 2017:
Register now for early bird rates

Early bird closes 15 December  
More than 200 abstracts are currently being reviewed for the ABC2017 program which will feature themes of:

  • Bridge Analysis, Design and Assessment
  • Innovative Bridge Construction
  • Bridge Technology
  • Bridge Asset Management
  • Bridge Management Strategies
  • Bridge Engineering Heritage
  • Sustainability and Life Cycle Cost
  • Codes and Standards
  • Material Technology
  • Field Applications and Case Studies
  • Lessons Learnt from Bridge Damages and Failures
  • Load Assessment
  • Feature Projects

ABC2017 will be held 3-6 April 2017 in Melbourne.

For more information visit the website


Upcoming Workshops + Conferences

ARRB Basic Geometric Road Design | 15-16 September 2016, Darwin, Northern Territory

23rd ITS World Congress Melbourne 2016 | 10-14 October 2016, Melbourne, Victoria

ARRB Level 1 Bridge Inspection Workshop | 25-26 October 2016, Melbourne, Victoria

ARRB Level 2 Bridge Inspection Workshop | 27-28 October 2016, Melbourne, Victoria

Construction Materials Industry Conference 2016 (CMIC16​) | 26-28 October 2016, Melbourne, Victoria

38th Australasian Transport Research Forum 16-18 November 2016, Melbourne, Victoria

27th ARRB Conference | 16-18 November 2016, Melbourne, Victoria

ARRB webinar the updated Austroads GTM Part 10: Traffic Control and Communication Devices | 1 Dec 2016, Online

10th Austroads Bridge Conference: ABC2017 | 3-6 April 2017, Melbourne, Victoria