As part of a new strategy released by Austroads, all of Australia’s states and territories are set to begin publishing updated AusRAP star ratings, with the intention of publishing a rating for every major arterial road by 2025. 

The release of the new AusRAP Strategy and Business Plan by Austroads members outlines 12 targets geared towards supporting the national road safety objective of ensuring that at least 80 per cent of travel occurs on roads with a three-star rating or higher by 2030.

As the custodian of AusRAP, Austroads will take on the responsibility of coordinating the program and supporting partners in its delivery. Austroads will coordinate AusRAP activity across Australia, including reporting, data analysis and training of road managers.

The Australian Automobile Association (AAA) introduced AusRAP to Australia in 2001 and has been a strong promoter of the value of road safety data and road star ratings. 

Leadership of AusRAP was passed from the AAA to Austroads in 2021. 

AusRAP star ratings are measured on a scale from one to five stars and provide an indication of a road’s safety performance, with the level of risk halving with each additional star. A five-star rating represents the highest level of safety, while a one-star rating indicates a higher risk. 

Austroads has said that the analysis of AusRAP data will contribute to an overall improvement in road safety by supporting the optimisation of investment in the safety of roads, and that the commitment to publish star ratings and achieve the 2030 minimum three-star target represents a critical step in enabling Australia’s long-term vision of zero deaths and serious injuries in road crashes by 2050.

Austroads, as the lead for AusRAP, will collaborate with a diverse array of stakeholders, including the AAA, the Australasian College of Road Safety, the Australian Local Government Association, the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, Communications and the Arts, iRAP, the National Transport Research Organisation, state and territory governments, and local governments.

Austroads CEO, Geoff Allan, said that road star ratings are a robust tool for communicating road safety information to the public. 

“The process of collecting and processing the road rating data takes time and effort and the commitment by Austroads member organisations to publish the data is an important step forward,” Mr Allan said. 

Infrastructure Australia Chief of Project Advisory and Evaluation, David Tucker, said that sharing data across industry and government can lead to better outcomes for communities, especially when it comes to the planning and designing of the nation’s major road infrastructure and ensuring they are safer, more sustainable, and resilient. 

“Infrastructure Australia looks forward to collaborating with AusRAP and Austroads to achieve these outcomes,” Mr Tucker said. 

A spokesperson for the Australasian College of Road Safety (ACRS) said that the ACRS values AusRAP’s role in knowledge sharing, both locally and globally. 

“By actively contributing insights and best practices, AusRAP facilitates a collaborative effort to improve road safety outcomes,” the spokesperson said. 

“ACRS recognises the importance of sharing expertise not only within Australia but also on the global stage, fostering a collective approach to address road safety challenges. 

“As AusRAP continues to contribute to this knowledge-sharing initiative, ACRS looks forward to supporting and participating in these efforts for the betterment of road safety practices worldwide.”

A spokesperson for the International Road Assessment Programme (iRAP) said that the iRAP commends the AusRAP partners for their pivotal role in advancing road safety in Australia. 

“Of particular note is Australia’s ambitious objective of ensuring that at least 80 per cent of travel occurs on roads with a three-star rating or higher by 2030, surpassing the international target of 75 per cent,” the spokesperson said. 

“iRAP applauds dedication by Australian road jurisdictions to exceeding global benchmarks and sees this as a commendable step towards achieving significant improvements in road safety outcomes.” 

Roads Australia CEO, Ehssan Veiszadeh, said that Roads Australia welcomes this collaboration between industry and government to share insights and data and publish assessments nationwide. 

“With the road toll on the rise, road safety is a shared responsibility. This is a practical step towards improving transparency of safety standards of major arterial roads, in the hope this informs future planning and investment.”

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