The Australian road death toll is rising, more than 1,160 people died on our roads last year.
The Victorian Government has reinforced its focus on reducing road trauma in the new year, after the number of people killed on Victoria’s roads increased in 2022.
As the year ended, tragically 240 people lost their lives on Victorian roads – an increase on the 233 deaths last year, but the fourth lowest since TAC records began, including the pandemic-effected record low of 211 in 2020.
The Victorian Department of Transport in December 2020 established the Victorian Road Safety Strategy 2021 – 2030 which aims to halve road deaths and reduce serious injuries by 2030 and put Victoria on a path to eliminating road deaths by 2050.
Through this Strategy, the government is providing increased focus on safety performance across road networks.
Road safety is of paramount importance to any government, and the Victorian Government has taken a big step forward in this regard with its latest Five road pilot study.
In 2022 The Victorian Department of Transport commissioned Anditi to explore the use of remote sensing data such as off-the-shelf mobile LiDAR and 360-degree imagery combined with aerial imagery in identifying road safety attributes and road assets along 5 of the 20 high-risk roads in Victoria that were upgraded as part of the $1.4 billion Safer Roads Program.
The five roads studied as part of this pilot included:
• Geelong - Bacchus Marsh Road
• Melbourne – Lancefield Road
• Paynesville Road
• Midland Highway Shepparton to Stanhope
• Princes Highway East – Sale to Bairnsdale
This Pilot study is consistent with and employs several of the Strategy’s focus areas and levers of change one of which primarily focuses on data, research, innovation and technology.
The Pilot Study aligned with the UN National Road Safety Strategy for 3-Star or better roads by 2030 by preparing iRAP/AusRAP Star Ratings for 5 of the 20 Safer Roads Program high risk roads .as shown Figure 1.
One of the key initiatives trialled as part of the strategy was AiRAP accredited RoadViewer accelerated and intelligent feature extraction system, which uses remote sensing data to identify and assess road safety attributes and road assets along the 5 roads.
The remote sensing data used for this project included off the shelf mobile LiDAR and 360 degree imagery (MoMa data) from TomTom combined with aerial imagery and satellite imagery.
The Pilot study successfully coded 72 Road safety attributes for each of these five roads for every 100m required segments, generating shape files, and iRAP VIDA compatible spread sheets to further value.
But the Victorian Government has only just begun its wealth of road safety programs from investigating the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in road safety to identifying high-risk locations for crashes and near-misses automated speed camera system and in-vehicle telematics.
In summary the possibilities for the future of road safety are endless, and we are proud to be contributing to the change.