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AustroadsNews | February 2016 

Welcome to the first edition of AustroadsNews for 2016. We've had a busy start to the year having already published 10 reports.This newsletter provides a run-down on our latest publications, and links to upcoming seminars and conferences.

If you have been forwarded this email you can subscribe here to receive future updates.


Austroads Road Assets Metadata Standard
Workshop Invitation

Do you collect, utilise and share road asset data?

Workshop session are being held across Australia and New Zealand to allow practitioners to contribute to the development of a Road Assets Metadata Standard.

The standard covers eight key areas: inventory; infrastructure performance; works and costs; access; demand; classification; condition; and customer levels of service.

The purpose of the workshops are to:

  • identify the key data fields for common asset reporting;
  • obtain information to harmonise these fields; and
  • evaluate the impacts and benefits of harmonising fields.

Who should attend

This workshops are intended for the people who collect, utilise and share road asset data. This includes road management agencies, government agencies that use that information and private industry practitioners that either support road agencies or use road data.  It is specifically targeted at technical staff.

Full day workshops are planned in the following locations.  Please follow the link to register.

Melbourne, Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Hobart, Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Canberra, Thursday, 25 February 2016   

Auckland, Tuesday, 1 March 2016

Sydney, Tuesday, 1 March 2016  

Christchurch, Wednesday, 2 March 2016 

 Brisbane, Thursday, 3 March 2016      

Wellington, Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Darwin, Tuesday, 8 March 2016 

Adelaide, Thursday, 10 March 2016 

Perth, Wednesday, 16 March 2016            

For more information and project updates please visit and register your interest.  


Safe System Infrastructure on Mixed Use Urban Arterials - Expression of Interest for Candidate Sites

A large proportion of fatal and serious road crashes in Australia and New Zealand occur on urban arterial roads. These higher volume roads often include a mixture of different road users including pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists, and cars, buses, delivery vehicles.

There are few examples demonstrating how to improve safety, consistent with the Safe System vision, on an entire corridor whilst maintaining mobility. This new project from Austroads is aimed at addressing existing gaps in effective Safe System solutions, including emerging solutions, which may be implemented on urban arterials.

Austroads is seeking sites on state- and local government-managed roads for inclusion in this project. These sites are expected to be around 200 m-2 km in length and have a demonstrated safety problem.

Routes may include:

  • strip shopping centre, entertainment precincts
  • roads with a mix of pedestrians, cyclists, public transport, cars, delivery vehicles, emergency vehicles
  • higher volume roads with pedestrian and cyclist activity.

The project team would work with successful road agencies to identify Safe System solutions, and determine the expected impact on safety and mobility from these. The project does not include the preliminary or detailed design or construction of these solutions. Detailed case studies will be prepared and published based on the selected sites.

Interested in participating in this project?
If you are interested in participating in this project, or would like further information, please contact the Project Manager for this work: Blair Turner, phone 03-9881-1661, or email:


Safe System Assessment Framework

Austroads has published an assessment framework designed to help road agencies methodically consider Safe System objectives in road infrastructure projects.

The Safe System approach involves different elements of the system working together to help eliminate death and serious injury. It involves shared responsibility in reaching this objective, including road users and road managers each taking a role. A key objective for road managers is to ensure that when driver errors do occur, they do not result in high severity outcomes.

The framework will be useful in assessing how closely road design and operation align with the Safe System objectives, and in clarifying which elements need to be modified to achieve closer alignment with Safe System objectives.

Inputs to the development of the framework involved a review of literature (including an assessment of previous attempts at developing such a framework), contact with local and international Safe System experts, inputs from a national workshop involving road safety infrastructure experts, and workshops with the project working group including trials of the proposed framework.

This report provides a summary of the development of the framework. The approach captured within the framework involves identifying the key crash types that result in death and serious injury, and using a risk assessment approach, identifying elements that might contribute to severe outcomes. These key crash types include run-off-road, head-on, intersection, other (including rear end) and vulnerable road user (pedestrian, cyclist and motorcyclist) crashes. The risk elements considered include road user exposure to risk (e.g. traffic volumes), likelihood of a crash, and the likely severity outcome in the event of a crash.

The framework includes all ‘pillars’ of the system, including an assessment of issues relating to the road and travel speeds. It also ensures consideration of other pillars which are typically included less often in infrastructure projects. These include road user issues and vehicle-related issues. Post crash care is also considered.

A treatment hierarchy is presented highlighting examples of Safe System solutions addressing each of the key crash problem types. Case studies are also provided illustrating how the framework might be applied. 


NEVDIS becomes sole Australian administrator of World Manufacturer Identifier 

Since 1981, global automotive manufacturers have used a complex numbering system called a Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) that uniquely describes a vehicle. The VIN provides a coded description of the vehicle including: manufacturer, year of production, place of production and vehicle characteristics.

The World Manufacturer Identifier (WMI) forms the first 3 characters of the 17-character VIN.

WMIs are structured differently depending on the manufacturer’s volume. In Australia, less than 500 vehicles per annum is designated as a Low Volume Manufacturer and more than 500 vehicles is designated as High Volume.

On a global scale, WMIs are administered by the US based company Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE). Locally in Australia, low volume WMIs were managed by NEVDIS, while high volume WMIs were managed by SAI Global.

From January 1 2016, NEVDIS became the sole administrator of all WMIs issued to Australian Vehicle Manufacturers. The consolidation of WMI administration will tighten management and make it easier for manufacturers.

This decision to make NEVDIS the Australian WMI administrator has been endorsed by SAI Global and SAE.


Development Priorities Identified for PBS Route Assessment Tool 

Austroads has released a report which investigates expansion options and priorities for the Performance Based Standards Route Assessment Tool (PBS RAT).

The PBS RAT is an online tool designed to help local government road managers determine the most appropriate heavy vehicle configurations for operation on local road assets.

Federal, state and local road managers, as well as industry experts, were consulted to prioritise system development directions.

The report identifies and ranks system expansion priorities based on factors such as demand, importance, impact, usability and development feasibility.

The proposed draft development priorities are:

  • Classification of non-PBS vehicles module
  • Bridge data collection module for local government
  • A swept path analysis support tool for intersection assessment
  • A safety module (to be determined).

The report also proposes undertaking a more focused investigation using the priorities identified in this initial investigation. 


Optimum Steer Axle Mass Limits

An optimum steer axle mass limit is defined as one that will accommodate the needs of the transport industry into the future while ensuring road network sustainability.

In Australia the maximum legal steer axle limits are 6.0 t, with a concession of 0.5 t for vehicles fitted with specified technologies. Road trains are permitted to operate with 6.7 t on the steer axle if fitted with tyres wider than 375 mm. The Northern Territory allows further increases, in increments of 100 kg, up to 7.0 t, under a permit process. 

Austroads has released a report that examines issues associated with potential changes to mass limits for steer axles on heavy vehicles in Australia.

The project aimed to establish optimum steer axle mass limits, with a particular focus on suitability for road trains, to accommodate the needs of the transport industry into the future. The practical engineering issues associated with a heavier load on the steer axle and the fitments of wider tyres were investigated via industry consultation.

The study concluded that an optimum steer axle mass limit of 7.0 t, with a wider (greater than 375 mm) tyre size requirement, can be considered. This has been determined based on tests on sealed unbound granular pavements, at a standard tyre pressure of 760 kPa. This increase in steer axle mass limit can be applied to road train operators with confidence that there will be minimal change in operation.

The findings suggest that it is possible to increase steer axle mass above to a value between 7.0 t and 7.2 t, however an increase to 7.0 t allows a margin of safety for the limitations of testing on which the reference loads were based. An increase to 7.0 t will also be consistent with current limits in the Northern Territory for road trains.


Improving HPV Access through Charging Regimes

Austroads has released the results of an assessment of charging regimes and their capacity to increase high productivity vehicle (HPV) access.

Four charging regimes were identified and assessed: the National Transport Commission’s Heavy Vehicle Charging Regime (PAYGO); New Zealand’s Road User Charging (NZRUC) Regime; a Mass Distance Location (MDL) Charging Model; and a Corridor or Area Charging Model.

The analysis found that:

  • PAYGO delivers stability and underlying support for increasing HPV access. Its national approach cannot recompense road managers for freight upgrade investment, and within category subsidies exist.
  • NZRUC aligns HPV road use impacts with a corresponding mass distance charge for road cost recovery. Charge levels are derived from the extensive information from its distance licence sales. NZRUC delivers a fairer charging, more flexible but higher resource cost system, while facilitating HPV use.
  • MDL remains a conceptual road charging approach, without any trials to establish its viability and practicality. Its potential to recover HPV road impact costs by route segment rather than nationally at reasonable costs is not known. A trial to prove MDL practicality and effect on increased HPV access could be progressed.
  • A road, corridor or area charging regime could be introduced to complement the PAYGO or NZRUC regime, but not the MDL model. Progressing this concept requires significant matters being addressed.

It was found that A-doubles are the most efficient form of HPV, with logistics constraining about 40 percent of long distance HPVs from using the major case study inland freight route. Four types of related research are suggested, including for the effect of increasing HPV access on freight contestable rail corridors.


ITS Performance and Benchmarking

Austroads has released a consistent methodology to evaluate and report intelligent transport systems (ITS) asset performance from a road user perspective.

ITS assets are being installed throughout the road environment to manage and control the road network.

Over time, faults in ITS assets can have significant impacts upon the throughput, productivity and reliability of the network.

Quantifying the cost to the community of signal faults allows jurisdictions to prioritise and initiate action to reduce the occurrence.

This report reviews current ITS performance evaluation practices amongst Austroads and road agencies. VicRoads methodology was adopted and generalised, and a five-step framework was established to retrieve, analyse and report on asset performance.

User availability estimated from major alarms was used as the key performance indicator. Asset alarm data from SCATS signals, motorway electronic variable speed limit signs and lane use management systems, and school zone electronic speed limit signs were collected from various Austroads jurisdictions to demonstrate the processes of the methodology.

The methodology could form the basis of a national process for Austroads jurisdictions to collect, analyse and report the performance of critical ITS assets consistently across all jurisdictions. 


Long Term Pavement Performance Project 2014-15 Summary

Austroads has released a summary of activities completed during 2014–15 for the Austroads long term pavement performance monitoring project.

Austroads has funded the long-term pavement performance study since late 1994. The project monitors the structural and functional performance of 19 in‑service pavement test sites across Australia.

The report includes a summary of the LTPP/LTPPM current conditions and performance trends over the monitoring period, a brief summary of the latest development of the probabilistic RD modelling with SIPs, and an overview of the proposed 2015-16 work program.


Incorporating Uncertainty in Pavement Management System Modelling

Austroads has published a proof of concept study using the data condensation technology of stochastic information packets (SIPs) in MS Excel to allow complete storage of all collected data. This approach, when connected to a pavement management system (PMS), was able to use the measured uncertainties of the variables employed in predicting pavement performance to accurately quantify the risks, in percentile probabilities, of achieving the target level of service and of meeting annual targeted maintenance costs.

The SIPs used in this study open opportunities in data collection, storage and analysis. Because large quantities of data can be stored in a relative small space, the full data set can easily be stored, transported and used. Cost estimates, project management, quality control, quality assurance and in general all engineering calculations where currently averages are used as input, can be replaced with the techniques described in this study.


Public Demand for Safer Speeds

Austroads has published research which aims to identify a range of potential interventions for future trial and evaluation aimed at creating, increasing, and/or sustaining public demand for safer speeds.

Speeding is a major contributor to road injuries and fatalities and remains prevalent. Changing community perceptions about speeding is an important priority.

The project had three phases: a literature review; consultations with key stakeholders regarding intervention options (including feasibility, and likely benefits and costs of identified interventions); and providing research results, including recommendations for future phases of the program of work.

The literature review led to the development of a draft Campaign Strategy targeting nine aims across three themes underpinning this research: 1) creating, 2) increasing, and 3) sustaining public demand for safer speeds on the road. Twenty-one stakeholders commented on the suitability and feasibility of, and likely barriers to, countermeasures within the draft Campaign Strategy and its applicability to the Australian and New Zealand context. There was overwhelming positive support for the proposed Campaign Strategy by most respondents; many, noting that it addressed key misperceptions and complemented many existing approaches. A small number of respondents expressed some concerns with various aspects. Stakeholder feedback was incorporated into the final proposed Campaign Strategy to enhance its potential effectiveness.

Wide diversity across jurisdictions makes the recommendation of individual interventions for specific areas problematic. Individual jurisdictions should consider a range of costs and benefits of the proposed Campaign Strategy to determine the likely feasibility from their unique perspective. Issues to be addressed when considering implementation of the proposed Campaign Strategy include speed limit setting policies, resourcing, messaging and advertising strategies, and political will associated with promoting safer speeds.


Updated Freight Axle Mass Limits Investigation Tool Released

Austroads has published a hands-on user guide for the Freight Axle Mass Limits Investigation Tool (FAMLIT) and made the tool available to download.

FAMLIT is a Microsoft Excel-based pavement life-cycle costing analysis tool that takes road and traffic inputs and produces equivalent annual uniform cost outputs. These costs are based on the present value of the road agency maintenance and rehabilitation works costs over the life of each road segment.

FAMLIT can be used to understand and quantify the marginal cost of road wear caused by increased heavy vehicle traffic loads to inform road asset managers of the potential increases in maintenance and rehabilitation costs on their network.

This is increasingly important as freight companies are seeking to run heavier axle loads to increase productivity, while road agencies in response to increased road wear need to be able to rigorously and transparently demonstrate the need for increased road funding to retain existing levels of service for heavy vehicle users. Due to these factors, the marginal cost of road wear has been used as a means of quantifying road wear costs associated with specific axle load increases above the current axle load limits.

FAMLIT has been simplified and expanded to make it more user-friendly, which allows it to be easily applied to more tasks. The underlying code has also been overhauled to make it more stable and efficient, which will make future maintenance and modifications to the code easier.

The user guide describes the tool's data inputs, data outputs and performance models. 


WA autonomous vehicle trial the first of its kind Australia

Western Australia will trial a driverless and fully electric shuttle bus this year.

The Department of Transport is working with the RAC to ensure the trial complies with road and vehicle safety standards.

The shuttle bus has been developed by NAVYA SAS, a French company specialising in intelligent transport systems. It can transport up to 15 passengers and has a maximum speed of 45kmh with an average speed of 25kmh.

Initially, the trials will be conducted at RAC's driving centre, but eventually the shuttle will take to Perth roads. The Department of Transport is working with the RAC to identify the routes on Perth roads where the trials would take place. 

These types of vehicles are being tested and trialled in other countries and have autonomous features such as radar cruise control and lane detection warning systems. 

Other safety features of the shuttle bus include multi-sensor technology, providing 3D perception that allows it to map the environment, detect obstacles on the road and interpret traffic signs.


Help develop appropriate laws for Australia’s automated vehicles

The NTC have released an issues paper and called for submissions from the public on how to develop the best laws and regulations for this emerging road and rail technology.

Chief Executive of the NTC Paul Retter said Australia’s current laws and regulations weren’t written with automated vehicles in mind, but now that increasingly automated vehicles were being developed it was time to look closely at what changes may be needed.

“Automated vehicles will be safer, more productive and give senior Australians and those with a disability more independence in their lives. However the benefits offered by these vehicles will only be realised if we get Australia’s laws and regulations right,” Mr Retter said.

“Governments and industry need to work together to make sure Australians get the best laws for these new vehicles.

“While we have already identified a number of potential issues we are asking anyone with an interest in the future of transport to have their say. This feedback will help to make sure we address all of the issues associated with automated vehicles.

“For example, many road safety laws assume that there will always be a human driver, but how do automated vehicles comply with a legal requirement to hold a driver’s licence, or comply with authorised officers or give assistance if a person is injured?

“The NTC will need to look at fundamental concepts including defining the driver, what is meant by ‘control of the vehicle’ and consider how automated vehicles should interact with other road users.”

Mr Retter said the NTC would work to ensure future regulations promote innovation and competition, and continue to remain consistent with international standards and conventions whenever it is safe and appropriate to do so.

He said many different types of automated vehicles would be developed in the future and therefore the NTC will consider a flexible and performance-based regulatory approach that helps to encourage new transport technology.

Submissions to the issues paper are due by Tuesday, 8 March 2016. These submissions will help the NTC develop a discussion paper with detailed options analysis to be published in mid-2016.

More information is available at


Vehicle Emissions Discussion Paper

In February 2016, the Vehicle Emissions Ministerial Forum released a Discussion Paper for public comment to examine ways to reduce the health and environmental impacts from motor vehicle emissions.

The Vehicle Emissions Discussion Paper seeks views on measures to achieve the Australian Government's greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets, air quality objectives, and improvements in energy productivity in the context of road vehicles.

The Discussion Paper explores issues associated with:

  • mandatory noxious emissions and fuel efficiency (CO2) standards;
  • education and information for consumers;
  • alternative fuels and electric vehicles;
  • financial incentives;
  • fleet purchasing policies; and
  • emissions testing arrangements.

The closing date for submissions is 8 April 2016.


Centre for Pavement Engineering Education

There is still time to enrol for first semester subjects at the Centre for Pavement Engineering Education (CPEE).

Austroads funds the ongoing development of pavement technology units delivered by CPEE in their Graduate Certificate and Masters courses. 

CPEE also offers study options in infrastructure asset management and road engineering construction. 

Single units of study are available as well as under graduate and post graduate qualifications via distance education.  Distance education provides a convenient option to learn without the need to attend classrooms.

CPEE's qualifications are well regarded in state road agencies and in the contracting, local government and the consulting sectors.

Semester 1 commences on 22nd February 2016 so now is the perfect time to apply to study or re-enrol into one of the few specialist infrastructure professional programs available.

For more information visit


2016 Australasian Road Safety Conference Abstract Extension


The deadline for abstract submission for the 2016 Australasian Road Safety Conference has been extended until 26 February 2016.

The conference organisers have received many abstract and symposia submissions but have decided to extend the abstract submission deadline for those who have been unable to finalise their abstract by the original deadline date.
If you are yet to submit your abstract, you are encouraged to share your expertise, and join us in Canberra in September 2016.  We encourage abstract submissions from the broad spectrum of stakeholders involved in reducing road trauma and look forward to your support at ARSC2016.

More information about abstract and symposia submission
Submit your abstract online


Upcoming Workshops + Conferences

NEW ARRB Webinar: Treating Crash Locations – What’s new in the Austroads Guidelines? | 25 February 2016, Online 

NEW TMAA National Traffic Management Conference: Building Traffic Management Across Australia | 10 March 2016, Sydney, NSW

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

SAVE THE DATE Austroads Bridge Conference | 3-6 April 2017, Melbourne, Victoria