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AustroadsNews | June 2016 

Welcome to the June edition of AustroadsNews. This newsletter provides updates on Austroads' national data standard project and connected and automated vehicles workstream, a run-down on our latest publications, links to other relevant work in Australasia and elsewhere, and links to upcoming seminars and conferences.

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National data standard for road management and investment

In 2015 Austroads set a strategic priority to harmonise road asset data across Australia and New Zealand.  It did so seeking to achieve a range of benefits including improved decision-making across networks, sustainable service delivery, efficient road transport, and delivering cost savings to road managers and the associated industry sector. Further, the data standard was seen as a critical building block for development and implementation of national policies and reform agendas.

The road asset data harmonisation project commenced in September last year and to date a draft data standard has been produced and enhanced through extensive stakeholder feedback. A revised business case has also been developed to inform decisions regarding the benefits and costs related to national adoption of the standard.

It is expected that implementation of the data standard will be staged across a number of years and possibly supported by software tools that assist in importing and exporting the data in the agreed formats. Austroads is investigating opportunities to promote collaboration and innovation in the collection and analysis of road data using leading edge technologies and processes that leverage the standard.

Further information on the road data harmonisation project can be found at:


Micahel Sutton recognised for outstanding service 

In May Deputy Secretary, Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development, Judith Zielke presented Michael Sutton with the Austroads ‘Outstanding Service Award.

Michael led the Austroads Freight Program in 2013 and was an outstanding contributor to Austroads and its activities as a Program Manager, alternate board member and Commonwealth representative. Michael's work and enthusiastic support has ensured that Austroads continues to be valued and highly regarded by its members and the broader road and transport industry of Australia and New Zealand. We wish him all the best in his retirement.


Overcoming barriers to off-peak movement of urban freight

Off-peak deliveries in urban areas have the potential to reduce congestion, improve air quality, improve road safety, and assist with freight and logistics operations.

Austroads latest report examines successful examples of off-peak freight movement around the world and identifies obstacles which are limiting the uptake of off-peak delivery in Australia.

The project was conducted in three phases and involved an international literature review and discussions with more than 60 people across 40 organisations including international experts, Australian retailers and jurisdictions.

Off-peak freight movement initiatives, such as re‑timing consortiums and out-of-hours delivery pilot trials, are being successfully implemented around the world. While examples from New York City and London may not seem transferable to urban Australia due to the differences in density of the cities and transport system, the principles and processes can be applied to the Australian urban environment, particularly our inner cities.

The research found that while quiet off-peak or out-of-hours deliveries are beneficial to society on numerous fronts, the obstacles to Australian implementation can vary significantly from organisation to organisation, and jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Some of the obstacles are legacy issues, some are cost related, others are a reluctance to change and some are perceived (such as nervousness about resident complaints). Furthermore, sometimes it is a matter of simply not knowing who to contact to initiate change.

In freight transport generally, small changes in the supply chain can produce major benefits, which means that research, trials and collaboration in the area of freight demand management and off-peak deliveries can lead to efficiency gains.

The report findings suggest that moving to off-peak or out-of-hours deliveries requires a lot of buy-in at all levels and is not generally a quick process. The report recommends a number of steps which can be taken to both prepare and encourage change in urban freight deliveries. These include working together in a partnership approach, having discussions around the use of new technology to assist in off-peak deliveries, and demonstrating benefits from trials.


Reducing head-on casualties

Austroads has published a compendium of local and overseas practice and experience in minimising the risk and severity of head-on crashes. 

In an average year, there are about 74 fatal head-on crashes in urban environments and 264 in rural environments in Australia and New Zealand combined.

Head-on crashes in rural areas are generally high-speed crashes that result in serious injury outcomes. The high severity of this crash type is demonstrated by their high fatality rate with 19% of head-on crashes occurring on rural roads in Australia and New Zealand resulting in a fatality.

This report provides guidance to practitioners on effective actions that can be taken to reduce the incidence and severity of head-on crashes, with a focus on road engineering measures, particularly median and centreline treatments.

Median and centreline treatments are generally effective by providing:

  • a visual separation of vehicles (e.g. centreline markings)
  • a kinetic deterrent to vehicles crossing the median (e.g. raised profile linemarkings)
  • a physical deterrent to discourage vehicles from crossing the median (e.g. raised median)
  • a physical obstruction to prevent vehicles crossing the median (e.g. median barriers).

While the report focusses on road engineering measures that address the safe roads and speeds pillars of the Safe System framework, some details on methods to address the safe vehicles and road users pillars are also included.

In addition to discussing well-proven methods to address head-on crashes, the report also presents some innovative treatments for which there is currently insufficient data to confirm their benefits. Nonetheless, these methods are expected to be effective in reducing head-on crashes, and may be of benefit in situations where the site crash history does not justify the expense associated with more established treatments. Opportunities for further research to confirm benefits of specific treatments have been highlighted.


Austroads connected and automated vehicles workstream

The next generation of motor vehicles are planned to include an increased level of wireless connectivity and automated driving capability. The convergence of these technologies has given rise to the term Connected and Automated Vehicles (CAV). 

The potential societal benefits from these emerging technologies are significant, particularly with regard to road safety, transport efficiency and productivity, and environmental outcomes. To support deployment and optimise the benefits from these technologies, there is a need for regulatory and operational frameworks to be in place. 

The Austroads CAV program is working closely with key government and industry stakeholders towards establishing the required supporting frameworks.

Key focus areas in scope of the CAV program include:

  • Automated Vehicles (AV): vehicles that have one or more of the primary driving controls (steering, acceleration, braking) that are automated for a sustained period of time.  Classification of automated driving levels, which consider what role the human driver has and whether the human is ‘in-the-loop’ or not, are often used to define the level of automation in motor vehicles.  Levels of automation range from no automation of driving controls, through automated applications that assist the human with the driving task, through to fully and highly automated vehicles that can drive themselves.
  • Cooperative Intelligent Transport Systems (C-ITS): a connected vehicle ecosystem in which vehicles will share data wirelessly with other vehicles, with infrastructure, with transport management systems, and with mobile devices. This ecosystem will enable a wide range of vehicle and transport applications to be deployed that cooperatively work together to deliver safety, mobility and environmental outcomes that are in addition to what many standalone systems can achieve.  

Read more about the stream's projects, publications and governance on the Austroads website.


Strengthening identity management in driver licensing

Identity crime and misuse is one of Australia’s most prevalent crimes with an estimated 750,000 to 937,000 people experiencing financial loss as a result, and a total economic impact estimated to exceed $1.6 billion each year.

Australian driver licensing authorities (DLAs) have for many years had systems in place to check the identity of a person who wishes to be granted a driver licence. These systems together with the physical driver licence product have become increasingly sophisticated over time in the interests of maintaining positive road safety outcomes, including effective on-road enforcement.

Today, because a driver’s licence is the most widely accepted identity credential in our community, DLAs recognise the need to strengthen name based checking processes to protect the community from the risk of potential identity crime created through the production of a fraudulent driver’s licence.

While driver licensing is managed at a jurisdictional level, there are no borders in identity management, and Austroads’ well established one driver, one licence philosophy is consistent with the national approach to identity proofing sought in the e Commonwealth Government's National Identity Proofing Guidelines.

Identity management is a significant contributor to reducing identity crime and strengthening national security. At a special meeting on counter-terrorism in September 2005 the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) agreed to develop and implement a National Identity Security Strategy which was published by COAG in 2007, and then updated in 2012.

One of the most notable initiatives of the National Identity Security Strategy is the Commonwealth Document Verification Service (DVS) which is managed by the Attorney-General’s Department in partnership with participating agencies such as Austroads and the Department of Immigration and Border Protection.

The DVS is a secure, national, online system that enables automated checks of the information included on key government documents commonly presented as proof of identity. The DVS helps organisations build greater confidence in the identity of their clients, and so helps protect governments, businesses and Australians from identity crime. The checking available through the DVS is currently being integrated into driver licensing processes throughout Australia.

You can read more about identity security on the Austroads website or download the new policy statements:


NZ Safer Journeys Action Plan

The New Zealand Ministry for Transport has released the Safer Journeys Action Plan 2016 – 2020 and the Why do People Die in Road Crashes report.

Safer Journeys is the third and final Action Plan for New Zealand’s road safety strategy for 2010 to 2020. Significant progress has been made under the two previous Action Plans across all key areas of the Safe System. However, there are still areas where progress towards a safe road system needs more momentum. The third Action Plan will renew focus on areas of greatest risk and disproportionate harm, and present opportunities for the use of current and emerging technologies.

In particular, this Action Plan’s focus is to:

  • enable smart and safe choices on the road
  • make motorcycling safer
  • ensure roads and roadsides support safer travel
  • encourage safe vehicles.

The Why do People Die in Road Crashes report, in part, informs the Safer Journeys Action Plan.

The report analyses a sample of road crashes to get a better understanding of why people die in crashes, rather than looking at the cause of the crash.

Wearing seatbelts and helmets, the age and weight of vehicles, and speed are among the crucial factors in whether or not someone survives a crash.


Shared Mobility: Innovation for Liveable Cities

Urban authorities face numerous challenges as they try to manage the access and mobility needs of their citizens. Some of these are related to uncertainty about how new services, technologies and emerging social trends affect citizens’ mobility choices.

The OECD's International Transport Forum has released a report that looks at the combined impact of two major new developments: ubiquitous computing and shared mobility services.

Specifically, the report examines the effect of replacing all car and bus trips in a mid-sized European city with automatically dispatched door-to-door services. It finds that such systems can massively reduce the number of cars on city streets while maintaining similar service levels as today. They also result in significant reductions of distances travelled, congestion and negative environmental impacts. Not least, automatically dispatched, door-to-door services also improve access and reduce costs to consumers


Lengthy commutes in Australia

BITRE have published a research report focussing on the link between the social and economic characteristics of commuters and their travel patterns. It concentrates particularly on those who undertake lengthy commutes; those longer than 45 minutes one way.

The average commuting time in Australia is 29 minutes. Nearly a quarter of commuters, more that 2 million people, travel for 45 minutes or more one way.

The research found that lengthy commutes are mainly an urban phenomenon and in general terms, the larger the city the longer the commute. Seventy seven per cent of lengthy commuters are in the five largest cities.

Commuting times rise with income and skills. Twenty six percent of employed people with a bachelor degree or higher are lengthy commuters compared to 16 per cent of those with year 11 or below qualifications. Those earning more than $150,000 a year have an average commuting time of 36 minutes while those earning between $20-30,000 commute for an average of 26 minutes.

Lengthy commuting has a significant negative impact on subjective overall life satisfaction, controlling for other relevant factors. Higher levels of overall job satisfaction, higher levels of satisfaction with the amount of free time a person has and higher levels of satisfaction with job flexibility are also associated with a lower probability of being a lengthy commuter.

The research provides a solid evidence-base to understand who is undertaking lengthy commutes, their prevalence and trends. It also explores whether some individuals undertake lengthy commutes for long periods or whether it tends to be temporary.


Risk assessment of road stormwater runoff

Road runoff can have potentially significant adverse effects on the ecological, cultural and human-use values associated with aquatic receiving environments. Contaminants in stormwater discharges from the road network are complex and include fuels, additives, oil, grease and brake and tyre residues containing a variety of toxic and ecotoxic components, including heavy metals and organic compounds.

A recent report published by the New Zealand Transport Agency provides a consistent method for assessing relative risks to receiving waterbodies using estimates of copper and zinc from road traffic and non-road (urban) sources.

The GIS-based road stormwater screening (RSS) model was developed to upgrade and widen application of the NZ Transport Agency’s 2007 vehicle kilometres travelled screening tool.  

Risk levels are evaluated using contaminant strength and receiving environment sensitivity scores with streams/rivers assessed by sub-catchment reach and coasts/estuaries at their catchment outlets. The model uses nationally consistent datasets and takes account of traffic congestion, load attenuation in the road corridor and land use type.

The report includes the results of a case study risk assessment of Te Awarua-o-Porirua Harbour catchment including risk profiling, sensitivity analysis, validation against field data and example applications.

The model is expected to help road controlling authorities and network operators screen new developments, prioritise areas of the existing network for improved management of road runoff and develop supporting catchment management plans for consenting purposes.


Road Safety Reports

Road Deaths Australia—Monthly Bulletins
Released mid month - Latest May 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.


Austroads Bridge Conference 2017: Super earlybird registrations close 30 June

Registrations are now open for the Austroads Bridge Conference, Australia's premier bridge conference. ABC2017 will provide great opportunities for local and international bridge engineering specialists to share experiences, innovations, achievements and knowledge.

Submissions are warmly invited for presentations at ABC2017 which address the conference theme of Bridges: Connecting Communities and one or more of the following sub themes:

  • 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

For more information visit the website


Upcoming Workshops + Conferences

NEW ARRB Overcoming Barriers to the Off-Peak Movement of Freight in Urban Areas | 14 June 2016, online

NEW VIC Transport Infrastructure Conference | 15-16 June 2016, Melbourne, Victoria

NEW ARRB Roadside Environments Webinar | 23 June 2016, Online 

2 Walk and Cycle Conference | 6-8 July 2016, Auckland, New Zealand

NEW ARRB Spray Sealing Initial Treatments: A New Austroads Design Approach | 12 July 2016, online

NEW ARRB Cost Benefit Analysis in Road Transport Projects | 4 part online series starting 14 July 2016

NEW ARRB Level 2 Bridge Inspection Workshop | 19-20 July 2016, Parramatta, NSW

NEW ARRB Basic Geometric Road Design | 21-22 July 2016, Darwin, Northern Territory  

Sixth International Conference on Traffic and Transport Psychology | 2-5 August 2016, Brisbane, Queensland

IPWEA Sustainability in Public Works Conference 2016 | 24-26 August 2016, Melbourne, Victoria

NEW ARRB Local Area Traffic Management Workshop24-25 August 2016, Brisbane, QLD

International Transportation Geotechnics Conference 2016  | 4-7 September 2016, Guimarães, Portugal

2016 Australasian Road Safety Conference 2016 (ARSC2016) 6-8 September 2016, Canberra, ACT

NEW ARRB Local Area Traffic Management Workshop | 13-14 September 2016, Sydney, NSW

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

NEW ARRB Level 2 Bridge Inspection Workshop | 11-12 October 2016, Brisbane, QLD

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

NEW 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

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