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Welcome to the October 2015 issue of AustroadsNews

This edition has information about Austroads' automated vehicles projects, calls for EOI to develop safe system solutions on mixed use arterials, the Australasian World Congress delegation, the 2015 3M-ACRS Diamond Road Safety Award Finalists, RMS's project to digitalise its film archive as well as a run-down on our latest publications, and links to upcoming seminars and conferences.

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Preparing for our automated future

Austroads has commissioned a pivotal study to assess key issues road operators will face with the introduction of automated vehicles (AV) on Australian roads.

The project will draw on international and local expertise according to Austroads ‎Program Director Cooperative and Automated Systems, Stuart Ballingall:

‘This project is intended to review both international and local literature and initiatives, and seek the input of key stakeholders regarding the emerging requirements for AVs to operate on public and private road networks in urban and rural environments.

The key deliverable from this project will be guidance to road agencies, private road operators and other key stakeholders on what changes may be required to the way road networks are managed, so there is a consistent approach towards supporting and optimising the outcomes from the introduction and use of automated vehicles.’

WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff has been awarded the contract for the project. 

‘It’s not a matter of if but when automated vehicles will operate on our roads. Estimates vary between five and twenty years for the introduction of AV on our roads,’ says WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff Section Executive Scot Coleman.

‘Governments, road agencies and private road operators throughout the world will need to be ready to deal with the significant operational, social and economic ramifications of AV.’

The project will involve a literature study, national and international stakeholder discussions and development of a guidance document to better understand key issues and how best to guide the introduction of AV.

This week Mr Ballingall and Scott Benjamin, WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff Principal ITS Engineer will join Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss to meet with colleagues and key stakeholders from around the globe to gain insights on industry best practice for the introduction of AV.

Austroads is also undertaking separate projects to investigate the potential registration and licensing issues with the introduction of AV and the safety benefits of Cooperative ITS and AV.


EOI to Workshop Safe System Infrastructure on Mixed Use Arterials

Austroads is calling for Expressions of Interest (EOI) to bring together a panel of safe systems infrastructure experts to run road agency workshops that explore safe system interventions on mixed use arterials in Australia and New Zealand; and then  develop indicative solutions and model their impact in terms of road safety and traffic. 

Urban arterials and intersections account for a large proportion of high severity crashes, particularly involving active (vulnerable) road users. Safety improvements and gains appear to be slower in this environment than in other areas.

While there is considerable research and knowledge of individual elements such as midblock pedestrian facilities, there are few examples outlining or demonstrating how to apply a coordinated Safe System approach to an entire corridor or sub-network.

An additional challenge to implementing a Safe Systems approach at this level is to improve safety outcomes while recognising and maintaining mobility demand.

The project is being administered by the Austroads Safety Program which aims to prevent death and serious injuries using a safe system approach. The Program has been designed to support delivery of the National Road Safety Strategy 2011-2020. The Strategy sets a target of reducing the annual number of deaths and serious injuries on Australian roads by at least 30%.

EOI closing date and time:  Monday 26 October 2015 at 5pm (AEST).

Download the EOI requirements and submit expressions of interest on

You will need to register with to download the documentation and submit expressions of interest. 


Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss to lead Australasian Delegation to World Road Congress 

The 40+ Australasian delegation to the 25th World Road Congress in Seoul will be led by the Deputy Prime Minister of Australia, The Hon Warren Truss. The Congress, which will run from 2 – 6 November has the theme “Roads and Mobility – Creating New Value from Transport”.  

If you are attending the Congress and have not as yet advised the Austroads national office, please email Judi Sorbie soon as possible so you are included in the arrangements for the Australasian delegates including a welcome breakfast function on Tuesday 3 November.

Warren Truss will be participating in the Ministers’ Session on the opening day.  Austroads Technical Committee Representatives will take part in the technical sessions, and award winners from Australia and New Zealand have also been asked to present their papers at technical sessions.

The World Road Association presents awards in eight categories. Austroads has sponsored the award for the best paper submitted in the category of "Safety of Road Users and Road Workers". Neil Scales, DTMR Qld, will present Canadians Paul De Leur and David Hill the award for their paper “Justifying Road Safety Investments for Locations without Collisions by Quantifying Road Safety Risk”.

The award for "Road Maintenance and Operation” category, sponsored by the USA, will be presented to David Hinds, DTMR Qld for his paper “Transport Network Reconstruction-Recovering from Multiple Natural Disasters”. Miles Vass, General Manager (Branch and Program Risk Management), DTMR Qld will present the paper at the Technical Committee 1.5 – Risk Management on Thursday 5 November and they will both present at Poster Session on Tuesday 3 November. PIARC will sponsor David’s attendance at the Congress.

Austroads also conducted a national competition for the best paper from a young professional from Australia or New Zealand. The winner, Catherine Roh, NZTA,  will present her paper at the Technical Committee 1.5 – Risk Management on Thursday 5 November.

Congratulations to all the of the award winners. We will report on the congress outcomes in our December newsletter. 


New Guide to Road Design Parts 1 and 2 incorporate safe systems

Austroads has released updated editions of Guide to Road Design Part 1 and Part 2.

Guide to Road Design Part 1: Introduction to Road Design provides an introduction to the road design process, defining its status, purpose and areas of application. It describes the functions and content of the 15 parts in the Guide to Road Design. The context of the road design process, its philosophy and principles are discussed. The use of each Part of the Guide and the relationship between them and the design process are covered. Part 1 of the Guide is particularly useful for designers who are new to road design or are using the Guide to Road Design for the first time.

Changes in this fourth edition of the Guide include additional linkage of road design with Safe System principles and updating of terminology, figures and references.

The PDF version of Part 1 is free to download. Hard copies are $22 + postage and handling. 

Guide to Road Design Part 2: Design Considerations provides a detailed description of the three critical aspects of road design: the design objectives that apply to a road design project; context-sensitive design; and the factors that influence the road design, including road design in the context of the Safe System philosophy.

Guidance is provided to practitioners on the range of influences, information, data, criteria and other considerations that may have to be assessed in developing a road project. The Guide also describes the basis of the guidelines and the context in which they should be applied. It also provides links to other Austroads Guides and the resources that give further guidance on design inputs.

Changes contained in this second edition of the Guide include updates that discuss how the Safe System approach can be incorporated into the road design process. Updates to references and cross-references to other Austroads Guides have also been made, along with changes to the commentaries section.

The PDF version of Part 2 is $26.40 to download. Hard copies are $33 + postage and handling.

Austroads members can download all 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


Improving Freight Access through Direct Private Investment   

Austroads published a generic framework for private investment in public road infrastructure.

Roads are key enablers of economic and commercial activity, most particularly for those activities that are reliant on freight.

The freight industry is constantly looking for ways to increase freight productivity to improve business profitability and competitiveness and to limit the costs passed on to consumers due to increasing freight costs. Often this requires upgrades to the existing network to accommodate different vehicles or different operations.

The framework seeks to improve access for freight vehicles through direct private investment in public road infrastructure. It is aimed specifically at providing industry and government certainty of process where industry can invest in specific projects that would improve productivity for their operations.

Key drivers of the framework are to:

  • Provide a structured process for interactions between private industry and government to enable discussion.
  • Keep the framework simple and not create potential inconsistency with other processes that exist (such as planning approvals, access approvals).
  • Enable road managers to also approach the private sector with proposals.
  • Allow enough flexibility for the full range of potential projects that could fall under this framework.



Seal Design Improvement for Low Volume Roads

Austroads has proposed a new basic voids factor for single/single seals which will require lower basic voids factors to be used for low volume roads.

The Austroads sprayed seal design method was published in 2006 and is used by practitioners to construct sprayed seals across Australia. 

In recent years a number of practitioners had indicated that the basic voids factor for single/single seals in the current Austroads sprayed seal design method was too high for low volume roads.

A questionnaire distributed to jurisdictions and local councils confirmed that concern. Issues with bleeding of seals, and concerns about the effects of high percentages or seasonal changes in heavy traffic, were also highlighted.

A literature review indicated that the Austroads basic voids factor has developed empirically over time based on observations by sealing experts and practitioners. In comparison the New Zealand equivalent factor is based on quantitative measurements obtained during an extensive series of road trials. The New Zealand approach informed the propose changes to the Austroads factor.

The revised Austroads basic voids factor was compared with recent Australian seal data/observations and it appears its use would not result in issues with sprayed seals. 


Signal Management Techniques to Support Network Operations

Austroads has published guidance on how signal management and operation should be undertaken to realise the intent of network operation planning and achieve the desired performance outcomes for road users.

The guidance is in the form of a Signal Management Toolkit which will assist signal operators to identify and assess appropriate treatments as part of a network fit assessment for Stage 5 of the network operation plan process.

The Toolkit provides indicative impacts of a range of techniques used to afford priority to a particular user, including emergency vehicles, public transport (trams and buses), pedestrians, cyclists, freight and private motorists (general traffic). The impact assessment framework is aligned with the Austroads Level of Service metrics for network operations planning and considers the impacts of each technique on other road users in relation to their key needs of relevance to signal operations (i.e. mobility, safety and access). 

The impact assessment was undertaken in collaboration with road agency and industry practitioners to ensure it reflects operational experience.

The Toolkit is also delivered in Excel spreadsheet.


Options to Extend Coverage of Alcohol Interlock Programs

Despite high levels of community education and sustained enforcement, alcohol-related crashes and drink-driving offences continue to pose a threat to road safety.

Alcohol interlock programs are one element of enforcement. High-range, repeat or other serious drink-driving offenders can be required to fit alcohol interlocks to their vehicles. The interlock is an electronic breath-testing device that prevents the car from starting if alcohol is detected.

Today Austroads published a report examining options to extend the coverage of alcohol interlock programs to: a wider segment of drink-driving offenders and other high-risk groups; corporate fleets; and, if appropriate, the broader driving population on a voluntary basis.

The report:

  • assesses where additional road safety benefit could be gained over and above existing strategies to mitigate the frequency and consequences of drink-driving
  • presents an overview of current Australasian drink-driving legislation and alcohol interlock program requirements
  • identifies gaps in current alcohol interlock programs in Australasia and overseas
  • identifies opportunities to expand alcohol interlock programs and assesses whether evidence shows a need to expand their coverage given rates of alcohol-related crashes and blood alcohol concentration (BAC) offences
  • examines published evaluations of alcohol interlock programs so as to understand their effectiveness and to assist in making recommendations as to how current programs could be modified, expanded, or tailored to specific driver/rider groups
  • reviews current and future alcohol interlock technology
  • examines community attitudes to the expansion of alcohol interlock devices.

The report recommends a harmonised national mandatory approach for both existing offender-based programs and non-offender programs. 


Harmonising Bicycle Wayfinding Systems

Directional and wayfinding signs are critical elements of any transport system.

Wayfinding for bicycle riders helps people find their way around the network and make full use of cycle infrastructure.

Signs can indicate the legal status of a facility (bike lane signs, shared path signs), regulate safe use (Stop, Give Way and parking signs), warn of potential hazards (steep descent, slippery when wet, road ahead signs), and guide cyclists to their destinations (cycle route directional and wayfinding signs). 

In the past directional and wayfinding sign projects have been carried out on a per-route basis. Bicycle routes can be located on-road in lanes or mixed traffic streets, off-road on bicycle paths or shared paths, or on a mixture of the two. The signing of complex routes is particularly important to facilitate connections between on- and off-road cycle facilities improving overall route cohesion.

As road authorities and local councils develop their bicycle facilities into region-wide networks, signs become an essential element in facilitating trips across a whole city, town or urban region. Signs for cycling networks can also inform bicycle riders of routes which are more direct or less heavily trafficked. Cycling network signs can help raise community awareness of the many route possibilities for bicycle travel other than single routes or the general street system. 

In 2014 Austroads commissioned a project to provide guidance to practitioners on the design of bicycle wayfinding schemes.

This project was designed to improve the guidance required to achieve a consistent approach to bicycle wayfinding schemes in Australia. This guidance would be considered in the future updates to the relevant Austroads Guides including the Guide to Traffic Management.

The project brief required the consultants to investigate all aspects of signposting, road marking and other wayfinding aids which could be used in a range of situations including urban bicycle networks and tourism routes and trails.

A key aim of the project is to provide guidance on facilitating an improved level of service by enabling bicycle users to better navigate bicycle networks. Improvement of bicycle wayfinding is considered important for practitioners as it will assist them to deliver environmentally sustainable transport objectives.

The project is documented in two reports:

Bicycle Wayfinding which applies the key findings and recommendations of the literature review and recommends changes to the current standards and guidelines for cycling directional signs

Bicycle Wayfinding: Literature Review which reviews the current guidance internationally and for Australia and New Zealand.


Austroads Office News 


Congratulations to Tim Matthews on his appointment to Manager NEVDIS. Tim has extensive experience with this essential customer service system, as he has been employed as the NEVDIS Operations Manager since 2011.  Austroads is now recruiting for the NEVDIS Operations Manager position. Applications close on Friday 9 October.

Austroads is also recruiting for three additional NEVDIS positions: Senior Business Analyst, Business Analyst and Technical Data Officer. Applications close on Friday 16 October.

We are also looking forward to welcoming Tracey Hurn to Austroads National Office. Tracey has accepted a new role as Project Support Manager. Tracey will coordinate the review of project proposals ensuring proposals are aligned to the aims and strategic goals of Austroads, prepare and negotiate contracts, and report on the overall performance of programs and projects. 


Roads and Maritime Services Film Archive goes Digital 

New South Wales' Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) is digitising its historical film archive of construction and maintenance projects.

The films will be made available through a YouTube channel as digitisation progresses. There are currently 33 films available including construction of iconic bridges such as the Sydney Harbour Bridge, road construction projects in the Northern Territory in the 1940s, and infrastructure construction and maintenance practices in NSW from the 1920s through to the 1980s..


Congratulations to the 2015 3M-ACRS Diamond Road Safety Award Finalists

A record number of finalists have been announced in this year's 3M-ACRS Diamond Road Safety Award, the premier road safety award for exemplary groups/projects across the Australasian region.  The award is now entering its 5th year and is recognised as Australasia’s ultimate road safety achievement for the region's most innovative, cost-effective road safety initiative/program which stands out from standard, everyday practice and delivers significant improvements in road safety for the community.

Finalists from Austroads member organisations include:

  • Racing Road Safety to the Mount
    Team Leader:  Ms Iris Dorsett, Bathurst Regional Council & NSW Police        
  • Moving Right Along: Obligations and Opportunities for Older Drivers
    Peer Education Approach
    Team Leader:  Ms Belinda Halling, Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure (South Australia) 
  • Gold Coast Road Safety Plan 2015-2020
    Team Leader:  Mr Matthew Tilly, City of Gold Coast 
  • Distracted...?
    Pedestrian Safety Campaign
    Team Leader:  Mr Fiona Frost, Willoughby City Council Pedestrian Distraction 
  • Queensland Government’s Bruce Highway Wide Centre Line Treatment
    Team Leader:  Mr David Bobberman, QLD Department of Transport and Main Roads 
  • ‘Learn, Drive, Survive: Drives for Learners in the Moreton Bay Region’
    A practical tool for supervisors and learner drivers
    Team Leader:  Ms Kerrie Doherty, Moreton Bay Regional Council (MBRC)
  • Oi ”Mind on the road, not the phone"
    Driver distraction campaign
    Team Leader:  Ms Claire Dixon, Auckland Transport  
  • The 'Free Cuppa for the Driver' Scheme
    Driver fatigue management
    Team Leader:  Ms Melanie Suitor, Parkes, Forbes and Lachlan Shire Councils

The winning Team Leader will be presented with their award at the inaugural 2015 Australasian Road Safety Conference (ARSC2015) Gala Dinner on Thursday 15 October 2015, in front of an anticipated audience of over 500 road safety professionals and advocates from across the region and internationally.  


Assessing the Security of Road Infrastructure

The Word Road Association's latest paper, Road Infrastructure Security, examines potential threats to road infrastructure which have the potential to impact users and operators. 

The security of road infrastructure both safeguards the infrastructure and protects social and economic values, the environment, and the security of other transportation modes.

The paper outlines:

  • assessment of physical security
  • different methodological approaches
  • safety and security programs
  • application of knowledge in security by design
  • retrofit of existing infrastructure.

Long-Range Strategic Issues Facing the Transportation Industry

The US National Cooperative Highway Research Program has invested $7M into a project which examines the long term strategic issues facing the transport industry.

The project has delivered six reports under the NCHRP Report 750: Strategic Issues Facing Transportation series.

Volume 1: Scenario Planning for Freight Transportation Infrastructure Investment analyses the driving forces behind high-impact economic and social changes as well as sourcing patterns that may affect the U.S. freight transportation system. The report also introduces scenario planning as a tool that can be used in conjunction with other planning methods to improve the quality of long-range transportation infrastructure planning. 

Volume 2: Climate Change, Extreme Weather Events, and the Highway System: Practitioner’s Guide and Research Report provides guidance on adaptation strategies to the likely impacts of climate change through 2050 in the planning, design, construction, operation, and maintenance of infrastructure assets in the United States (and through 2100 for sea-level rise). 

 Volume 3: Expediting Future Technologies for Enhancing Transportation System Performance presents the systematic technology reconnaissance, evaluation, and adoption methodology (STREAM). 

Volume 4: Sustainability as an Organizing Principle for Transportation Agencies  includes an analytical framework and implementation approaches designed to assist US state departments of transportation and other transportation agencies evaluate their current and future capacity to support a sustainable society by delivering transportation solutions in a rapidly changing social, economic, and environmental context in the next 30 to 50 years. 

 Volume 5: Preparing State Transportation Agencies for an Uncertain Energy Future  examines how the mandate, role, funding, and operations of US state departments of transportation (DOTs) will likely be affected by changes in energy supply and demand in the next 30 to 50 years.

 Volume 6: The Effects of Socio-Demographics on Future Travel Demand presents the results of research on how socio-demographic changes over the next 30 to 50 years may impact travel demand at the regional level. It is accompanied by a software tool, Impacts 2050, designed to support the long-term planning activities of transportation agencies. 


Last chance to join 550+ at first Australasian Road Safety Conference

This is you last chance to register for the 2015 Australasian Road Safety Conference. More than 550 of Australasia’s leading road safety and injury prevention researchers, practitioners, advocates, economists, legal professionals, innovators, policy makers (and many more!) are attending this inaugural Australasian Road Safety Conference.

The three-day conference, jointly hosted by the Australasian College of Road SafetyAustroads and the Centre for Accident Research and Road Safety – Queensland (CARRS-Q), includes over 200 presentations including oral, poster, keynote and panel presentations, with an additional 15 symposium/workshop sessions contributing to this stand-out program.  


Upcoming Workshops + Conferences

Australasian Road Safety Conference 
14-16 October 2015, Gold Coast, Queensland

NEW ARRB webinar: Communicating transportation: government social media trends in the United States
20 October 2015, Online [No charge but registration essential]

NZ Transport Agency/NZIHT 16th Annual Conference
1-3 November 2015, Paihia, New Zealand

XXVth World Road Congress
2-6 November 2015, Seoul, Korea

NEW International Driverless Cars Conference
5 and 6 November 2015, Adelaide SA

4th International Conference on Driver Distraction and Inattention
9-11 November 2015, Sydney, NSW

Corrosion & Prevention 2015 
15-18 November 2015, Adelaide, South Australia

 ALGA 2015 National Local Roads and Transport Congress
17-19 November 2015, Ballarat, Victoria

World of Asphalt 2016 
22-25 March 2016, Nashville, Tennessee, United States

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

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