The road safety potential of big data: Ai-RAP and achieving the UN Road Safety Targets

With over half of the world’s population now living in cities, addressing urban road safety is becoming increasingly important to reduce road fatalities and serious injuries. Vulnerable road users—pedestrians, motorcyclists and bicyclists—account for a high proportion of fatalities and serious injuries in cities. This is particularly true for low- and middle-income countries, where pedestrians typically account for an average of 45% of road traffic fatalities compared to 18% in high income countries.
A ten-year study in Accra, Ghana, showed that vulnerable road user deaths accounted for 72% of all road related deaths, of which 60% were pedestrians. A study of six Indian cities showed that the proportion of vulnerable road user deaths to overall road fatalities was even higher, ranging between 84% and 93%. In the Netherlands, cyclists now account for more than half of all road deaths.
Increasingly, high income countries are now recognizing the large injury burden of both reported and unreported vulnerable road user crashes. The United Nations member states have agreed on global road safety performance targets that include the goal for more than 75% of travel to be on the equivalent of 3-star or better roads for all road users. iRAP not only aims to achieve the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goal 3.6, to halve road deaths and serious injuries, but also Goal 11.2, to help create safe and sustainable cities.
Vision Zero is a strategy that aims to eliminate traffic fatalities and severe injuries, while increasing safe, healthy, equitable mobility for all. Cities around the world are joining the Vision Zero movement as a way to change how the safety of road users is considered in the planning, design, construction and operation of their streets. iRAP’s aim is to support Vision Zero cities around the world in eliminate road deaths and serious injuries. iRAP tools enable cities to track their progress toward their Vision Zero targets.
iRAP Star Ratings, which assess over 50 different road attributes, provide a simple and objective measure of the level of safety which is ‘built-in’ to the road. Star Ratings are given for each road user type: for vehicle occupants, motorcyclists, bicyclists and pedestrians. Five-star roads are the safest while one-star roads are the least safe. The road survey data is then used to identify high risk locations and prioritise road safety treatments.
iRAP has carried out assessments of existing streets, street designs and street upgrades across a range of cities to support sustainable transport, deliver safer journeys for people using mass transit and create safer, healthier and more vibrant city streets. In 2017, iRAP formally endorsed NACTO's Global Street Design Guide which help city and road authorities in planning, designing and constructing 5-Star streets.
The potential for urban road safety assessment using iRAP tools is growing. Big data and artificial intelligence can play a lead role in building the social and economic business case for safer roads and create the scale of change needed to save millions of lives. The accelerated and intelligent collection and coding of road attribute data (Ai-RAP) will reduce the time and effort required to undertake road safety assessments, reduce the costs and improve accuracy. Together with iRAP’s Star Rating models, Ai-RAP has the potential to put this road safety data at the fingertips of road authorities, policymakers, investors and road users worldwide. iRAP programmes and projects have now been undertaken by partners in more than 100 countries worldwide. The iRAP metrics have been adopted and used by national governments, state and local governments, development banks, mobility clubs and the private sector. They are recommended for use by the United Nations, World Health Organisation, FIA Foundation and other leading institutions.
EuroRAP programmes and projects have now been undertaken by 29 countries in Europe - paving the way for many roads to be upgraded and lives saved.
• 105,297 thousand kms Star Rated
• 1,2 million Crash rates mapped
• 2,318 People trained
• 24 billion USD investments made

Names and Titles of Speakers

Lina Konstantinopoulou, Secretary General, euroRAP;
Monica Olyslagers, Urban Director, iRAP;
Pedro Homem de Gouveia, Road Safety Director, POLIS

Event City and Country
Brussels, Belgium
Event Date
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