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Road Safety Audits

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Traffic Engineering

Introduction

The Federal Highway Administration defines a Road Safety Audit (RSA) as the formal safety examination of an existing or future road or intersection by an independent, multidisciplinary team. The purpose of an RSA is to identify potential safety issues and possible opportunities for safety improvements considering all roadway users.

History of MassDOT RSA Program

Beginning in 2007, MassDOT has embraced the RSA program as a low cost opportunity to make significant safety improvements at any number of stages ranging from project development and planning through existing operation. To formalize the process, the Department has developed guidelines for conducting an RSA.

RSA Guidelines

Road Safety Audits have also become an integral part of the Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP). In fact the HSIP guidelines specifically state, "All HSIP candidate locations will require an accompanying Road Safety Audit (RSA) report, or an engineering or planning report to determine eligibility." Additionally, if all or a portion of a project area is considered HSIP-eligible, a road safety audit shall be conducted prior to submitting the 25% design plans. Therefore, the RSA program greatly expanded to cover additional locations that have been identified as high crash locations.

The Department is also beginning to expand the RSA program to focus on individual crash types, such as pedestrian and bicycle hot spots.

Previously performed RSAs should always be considered in the development of any new or existing roadway project. These RSAs are provided through the District links under "Resources."

MassDOT's Road Safety Audit Guidelines were last updated on November 1, 2015.

Resources

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