KeyACCIDENT & Road Safety

KeyACCIDENT & Road Safety

Written by: Will Baron

One of the road safety partnerships in the UK successfully using KeyACCIDENT is the Ayrshire Roads Alliance, which has been using our software for the past seven years to carry out accident cluster analysis, helping it to identify trends in East Ayrshire. Using the software, engineers at Ayrshire Road Alliance were able to identify a cluster of incidents at a location on the A719 Waterside road, where there had been four slight injury related accidents in the previous three years, predominantly involving inexperienced drivers or drivers travelling too fast for the road conditions.

The site had already been treated with the traditional methods of bend warning signs, chevrons and bollards to assist drivers through this tricky section of road. So East Ayrshire Council decided to trial an innovative method, not previously used in the UK. They worked closely with Rennicks to fit solar powered active road studs to help inexperienced drivers to read the road conditions and negotiate them safely. The project won a Highways Excellence Award for demonstrating substantial improvement in road safety by using road lining and studs.

KeyACCIDENT has also enabled the road safety partnership to monitor the effectiveness of the engineering methods used to mitigate accident cluster sites throughout East Ayrshire, including the solar active studs. It was therefore easy for them to report that the scheme has been 100% successful, with no more injury related accidents to date since the solar active studs were deployed.

The Ayrshire Roads Alliance uses the software to carry out an annual review of accident clusters, including those involving pedestrians and this enables us to improve on road design. Teams in both the traffic and road safety education teams also use the software to assess walking routes for school children and report on accidents involving young pedestrians to help identify where improvements can be made, new pedestrian facilities can be introduced or restrictions put in place to help reduce pedestrian casualties.

This type of casualty data analysis software also enables authorities and planners to take a more proactive approach to road design and shared use. For example, if they have a budget for cycle paths, an authority can use the system to help prioritise the best locations. They can easily search to find out which stretches of roads have the most cycling injuries and would benefit from a new cycle path. It also allows them to monitor the success of existing cycle schemes and analyse which type is most successful in reducing collisions, i.e. some just have white lines painted on the roads to denote a cycle lane, whereas others are fully segregated lanes. In some cases, the decision could be taken to move the cycle path away from the road completely as a result of analysing accident evidence.