NZ Transport Agency’s new ‘Speed Management Guide’ introduces a new framework for establishing safe and appropriate speeds that reflect the function, safety, design and use of the road. Abley were involved in developing and refining this framework as part of the Waikato Speed Demonstration project. To assist other road controlling authorities to understand those parts of their network where speed management represents a high-benefit opportunity, Abley were now tasked with developing a methodology to apply the framework to every road in New Zealand.
The framework is underpinned by a number of reactive and proactive road risk metrics such as Personal Risk and Infrastructure Risk Rating. The team developed a streamlined process to apply network analysis tools that calculate these risk metrics across a network. The framework assessment of every road in New Zealand formed the basis for identifying the highest benefit opportunities for speed management. A dual-pronged approach was adopted that focused not only on where safety benefits could be achieved, but also where changing speed limits better aligned with how drivers currently use roads.
A web-based tool containing the results of the technical analysis was developed and is now hosted by Abley. This tool provides road controlling authorities with the ability the consider road risk in a speed management context objectively across their network.