Road safety engineering capacity building

Authors: Steve Lawson, John Mumford, Suzy Charman, Michael Tziotis, Susanna Zammataro, Jean François Corté, Mike Dreznes, Victoria Marlene Smith, Catherine Willis

1. Careers, roles and positions in road safety engineering

1.1 Building capacity

Building capacity in road safety can be successful if those who will be attracted as practitioners can see and understand the range of roles that are available to them.  Key roles or skills in many road safety engineering teams are listed below (“Roles in a mature organization”).  Often, one person may cover more than one role or skill set.

The list below is a team set-up to aspire to – the reality in many low and middle-income countries (LMICs) is that only a few people will be shouldering the burden of road safety engineering.  Often they are combining it with other duties, sometimes as varied as public transport operations or municipal drainage issues.

The role opportunities listed below can only apply to an organization when it is well developed and relatively mature in road safety activity.  Initially, it is necessary to advocate for the introduction of positions specific to road safety engineering and for these roles to be alongside and in addition to the traditional positions in road design, maintenance and operations.  Generally, the most needed positions are for engineers and technicians who can cover both:

  • road safety and road safety inspections
  • issues of crash and injury data collection and crash analysis

In many LMICs, young professionals from an engineering background are or have been taking further studies to specialize in road safety engineering.  In high-income countries, those entering the field through crash data and its analysis typically come from a wider background, often with skills and knowledge developed from the behavioral, social or physical sciences and often with a good level of numeracy.


1.2   Roles in a mature organization

This list provides a target and an aide-memoire for those seeking to cover skill areas.  A small number of individuals may together cover more than one role until the team is established and its value recognized. 

a. The road safety engineer – typically the team leader is a professional engineer, usually from a civil engineering background, although many numerate graduates and other practitioners have made a successful transition from a different background into a road safety specialist.  The road safety engineer will often be responsible for a programme of remedial measures at different locations, will contribute proposals to crash-related spending of the authority maintenance budget and will input Road Safety Audit to new schemes.  All roles in the team require a thorough understanding of the contributory factors in road crashes and the measures that may be used to counter them.  They need a good understanding of the distribution of crashes in their jurisdiction and the implications of an “accident” having qualities of rare, quasi-random events with contributions from the road, vehicle and road-user.

b. The technician engineer – supporting the road safety engineer will often be one or more technician engineers experienced in the mechanics and procedures of reducing road crashes and implementing strategy.  Their background will often be similar to that of the road safety engineer, with qualifications geared to more vocational elements of the job.           

c. The data-holder– since the 1950s, systems have been developed in those countries leading in crash reduction techniques so that records of crashes and casualties are stored and can be retrieved.  Where the information is of sufficient quality, crash reduction measures are then based on priorities determined by the type and location of these crashes.  The data-holder requires an understanding of the completeness of the data that are held and a desire to ensure that the information that is held is as accurate and as complete as it possibly can be.           

d. The programmer– extraction of crash data in a user-friendly format is essential.  The programmer will need an appreciation of the data and the outputs that are important to his safety engineering colleagues, either by the location of the crash (e.g. which sites have most crashes), type of crash (e.g. skidding crashes) or by road-user type (e.g. where are most pedestrians being injured).      

e. The crash analyst – using the historical data on crashes that are held, the analyst will help to determine priorities for countermeasure treatment, either by seeking locations where countermeasures are justified because of high crash and injury numbers, by seeking to counter common crash types or to look for patterns in the causes of crashes at particular locations.

It is important too that there are close links with others:

f. The highway design engineer– the closer that road safety engineers can work with highway design engineers, the better.  Typically, highway design engineers input to the work of safety engineers in providing technical support to road safety engineers by providing designs or recommendations for designs for crash countermeasures when necessary.  They may also refer their own work to road safety engineers for Road Safety Audit.  Designers work to tightly-defined national standards, producing designs within the constraints of local conditions.  They and road safety engineers commonly work in partnership to ensure that the safety needs of all road users are met.

g. The highway maintenance engineer/asset manager – knowing and recording what has been done to the road network, what still needs to be done and understanding the condition of its various parts is fundamental.  Good data and integration with other systems used by a road authority can ensure that priorities are determined, budgets are allocated and that spending is planned.  

h. The non-governmental organization advocate– this person has a good understanding and concern for one or more type of road user, typically a vulnerable road user such as a student, biker, motorcyclist, disabled pedestrians or older pedestrian, etc.

2. Road safety engineering skills

2.1 Scientific and technical skills

A priority group of required skills for working in road safety relates to the scientific and technical areas which are necessary for the use and implementation of available tools and approaches.

They include:

  • The importance of good traffic and crash data
  • Methods of statistical analysis, quantification and communication of measures of risk
  • Descriptions and measures of risks – from hazardous location ranking to risk maps to rating systems
  • Spatial and temporal distributions of road deaths
  • Difference between urban and rural areas and different classifications of roads and crashes
  • Key causal and other epidemiological factors involved in crashes – how and why people die
  • Evaluating the effectiveness of treatments (i.e. ‘before’ and ‘after’ statistical testing)


2.2 Analysis and implementation skills

A second group of skills relates to knowledge of technical matters such as the methodologies and countermeasures themselves and their effectiveness, road safety audits and approaches to road safety inspection. 

They may include:

  • The tools available – from crash analysis, to route action to mass action plans to safety audit to network risk assessment
  • Interventions and effective crash countermeasures – their efficacy, social and economic benefits and implementation needs
  • Tracking performance of roads after interventions and other methods of monitoring and learning from successes and mistakes
  • Investing resources in local efforts to plan and implement crash countermeasures
  • The critical importance of collaborative planning, implementation and evaluation


2.3 Wider knowledge and skills

All road safety takes place within a wider context of competing priorities, and by appreciating that, it is possible to channel efforts more carefully and argue more coherently for the resources that support injury reduction. 

Among the important topics in this area are: 

  • The social, economic and human costs and impacts of road crashes
  • Legal/liability implications associated with decision-making in road safety
  • The political context:  Global road safety and the Decade of Action
  • The Safe System approach and managing energy
  • Raised risk among some road users and particular age groups and the related social inclusion factors
  • The inter-play amongst the components in the traffic network that underpin safe and unsafe road systems


2.4 Skills in implementation of crash countermeasures

Road safety engineering requires core skills in the procurement, design and implementation of countermeasures.  There are a number of good sources in this area that provide information at different levels of complexity– see for example the PIARC Road Safety Manual http://roadsafety.piarc.org/en and the iRAP Toolkit toolkit.irap.org.

There is a very limited amount of information available on the implementation of crash countermeasures specifically in LMICs, but see Turner and Smith (2013) for a discussion of some of the relevant issues.  They argue there must be an understanding of the particular to be able to justify and provide, for a variety of different road-users:  

  • Roundabouts and other junction design, taking into consideration all pertinent road users (e.g. heavy vehicle and cyclists)
  • Safety Barriers
  • Pedestrian Crossings
  • Pedestrian Footpaths
  • Traffic Calming
  • Signalized Intersections
  • Shoulder Sealing
  • Off-road Cycle/Motorcycle Paths


The measures listed above represent some of the more effective treatments that can be used to help eliminate death and serious injury, including on roads in LMICs. Other treatments are also available (see toolkit.irap.org), but may typically deliver smaller, incremental safety benefits. Greater use of all treatment types is encouraged, but this is especially so for these primary treatments.


To this list may be added a range of other countermeasure such as high-friction road surfacing, breakaway devices, work zone safety, signing and marking, lighting that all go to contribute to a high quality and safe road environment.  A series of reviews of the efficacy of crash countermeasures principally based on reviews provided by ARRB and TRL can be found at: www.irap.org/about-irap-3/methodology. Each countermeasure must be matched to the individual scenario and there must be an understanding of the complexity of this process and how this may be dependent upon the crash pattern, the type of road-users involved and the detail of the location.


Turner and Smith also note that a number of implementation issues were raised during discussion about the use of these treatments. Although some of these issues were expected (e.g. cost), others were less well known but potentially just as important. The implementation issues identified could be classified into the following groups:

  • Cost
  • Compliance issues
  • Design and implementation difficulties which include varying or multiple standards.
  • Public acceptance and familiarity with use
  • Maintenance

3. Education in road safety

Those equipped to practice and promote road safety engineering need not only to have the basic skills in the specialist elements of road design and traffic engineering, with an appreciation of human factors in road safety, but should also understand and be able to apply knowledge from other related areas.

At the present time, there are few formal direct routes to becoming a road safety engineer.  Typically, education and training in knowing why, where and how to implement crash countermeasures is not taught within first degree course but it may be picked up as specialist topics within courses in civil and highway engineering or, in very selected cases in LMICs, learned “on the job” with a road authority or and engineering contractor.  At a fundamental level, this can begin when engineers are encouraged to use their own knowledge, skills and experience as road-users to begin to understand the likely and foreseeable ways in which people can be injured at a particular location.  Basic engineering skills, such as basic geometric design, may be learned in a taught course and relevant safety messages super-imposed at a later stage.  Mentoring can also encourage the enthusiast to develop the necessary skills.   

In a high-income country, road safety education may be available through a wide variety of means ranging from specialist full-time university courses, to short courses which could be delivered as a webinar or distance learning, up to membership of professional bodies and attendance at conferences and events.  Such opportunities are becoming increasingly available in LMICs.


3.1 Road safety training should be available in all countries

It is easy to gain an impression that if one wants to be educated or trained in road safety then the only solution is to go to a high income country such as Australia, Netherlands, Sweden, the UK or to the United States.  This is not the case, but these countries have generally been promoting their activities for longer and their courses are amongst the best known.  

In developing and sharing road safety in LMICs it is important to advocate first for the development of education and training in road safety within the courses of road engineering in all countries and especially LMICs.  Many countries have civil engineering schools or programs but the courses in road engineering often do not address road safety.

3.2 Tertiary education and beyond

Efforts should first be put in encouraging university (or schools of engineering) education.  Road safety should be included within general engineering and road engineering.

A number of important aspects of road safety related to engineering should and can be embedded in the current road engineering courses.  As examples:

  • presentation of the design standards and rules should contain explanation of the road safety considerations which are embedded in the rules
  • presentation of reference speeds for design of the alignment should be complemented by consideration of the Safe System approach
  • exercises and small projects can be related to analysis of actual situations in order to understand the deficiencies of design

Such an approach would help avoid the situation where typically, young engineers currently engaged on a university course such as civil engineering will first come across infrastructure safety as a very minor component of a roads engineering topic. Separately, engineers will need to learn the basic of crash recording, crash types and some of the basic elements of crash countermeasures.  A placement, detailed coursework or final year project may be the opportunity to develop an interest in this area into something more substantial.  The range of topics being taught at undergraduate level means that there is seldom time to devote more of the curriculum to road safety.

Postgraduate degrees at the level of MSc offer more opportunity for specialization and there are several examples around the world.  In some circumstances, elements of these courses are taught as free-standing modules or are components in shorter courses taught to technician engineers as part of diploma courses.

Many universities have partnership relationships with a number of other universities and run courses under license.  Such arrangements are a good way to introduce road safety courses into a university that does not currently have one.

These are four examples.  Other universities and institutions are invited to add their details of their courses.

Example 1       University of St Joseph, Lebanon:

The pedagogic content of this masters degree supported by Foundation Renault crosses fields encompassing society (transport, mobility), politics (land-use management), economics (choice of infrastructures), public health (human cost, social costs), technical issues (developing vehicles), psychosocial issues (education, culture) that must all be understood in detail to get a good command.


Example 2      CARRS-Q, Australia:

 The Centre for Accident Research and Road Safety - Queensland (CARRS-Q) is a research centre established in 1996.  Through Queensland University of Technology, CARRS-Q offers a Graduate Certificate or Graduate Diploma in Road Safety for people who are already working in, or want to enter the field, as well as short courses in crash site investigation and statistical evaluation. It also has Masters and PhD students, some of whom are concurrently employed as Research Officers.


Example 3       University of Delft:

The course focuses on organizational subjects (policy development, agenda and target setting, implementation of action plans, financing, research programs) and technical safety measures in the area of engineering, enforcement and education.

A central question addressed is how to implement the principles that underpin the so-called Safe Systems approach in non-western traffic environments. Participants learn to develop a Traffic Safety Plan and to set up local programmes.


Example 4       The Highway Safety Research Center, University of North Carolina:

For over 40 years, the University of North Carolina Highway Safety Research Center has conducted interdisciplinary research aimed at reducing deaths, injuries and related societal costs of roadway crashes.  It is one of the principal sources of good practice in North America for information on pedestrian and bicycle safety, and on roadway design and traffic safety education.  It hosts a research library, the Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center, frequent webinars and regularly runs courses on infrastructure safety. 


Example 5       The Universities Transport Partnership, UTP

The UTP is “...a group of eight UK universities providing Masters level education in transport, in the form of full Masters courses as well as short, Continuing Professional Development (CPD), courses.”


3.3 Other university-based training and education

Universities often offer courses which contribute to professional learning but are not part of full time tertiary education programs. 

Example 1 Australia


Example 2 United Kingdom

In the UK such education falls under the remit of the UTSG, additionally see a list of full and associate members here at: www.utsg.net/web/index.php?page=utsg-members.

 “The Universities Transport Study Group (UTSG), initiated by the late Professor R.J. Smeed of University College London in 1967, aims to promote transport teaching and research and to act as a focus for those involved in these activities in universities and institutions of higher education in the UK and Ireland. Member institutions (of which there are over 50) are expected to be conducting a substantial amount of postgraduate research in the field of transport. Because such activities are often spread over several departments, each institution appoints a correspondent to disseminate and collate information: in this way over 100 departments are involved in UTSGs activities. Membership of UTSG is free and all positions on its elected executive committee are honorary. In addition to the membership from the UK and Ireland, over 70 academic institutions are represented on its list of overseas correspondents.”

Those with a notable road safety engineering interest include, but are not limited to:

  • Birmingham University: Senior Road Executives Course
    • This Birmingham University course includes a 3-day module on road safety, principally concerned with road infrastructure.  It brings together a number of leading world experts from academia and industry to discuss the most up to date concepts, principles and practices for institutional reform in the road sector and covers: Economics; Low Cost Measures; Vision Zero; Vulnerable Road Users; Strategies and Policy; Safety Audit; Drivers Training and Standards; Crash Analysis; International Practices and Case Studies.
  • Leeds
  • Napier
  • Newcastle
  • Southampton
  • University College London


Example 3 Spain

In Spain, several universities offer such education, among them:


Example 4 United States of America

Johns Hopkins International Injury Research Unit is a collaborating center between Johns Hopkins Univeristy and the World Health Organization. 

  • WHO and JH-IIRU online Road Safety Legislation Course
    • The course includes lessons organized in four modules covering basic road safety facts and the importance of road safety legislation; evidence for laws on some of the key risks and the post-crash response; factors to consider in prioritizing legislative changes; and how to advocate for improvements, including a module on media advocacy. With recorded lessons, examples from countries, and other learning tools, participants can access materials at their own pace and convenience and receive an individualized certificate of training upon the successful completion of the course.
  • Road Traffic Injury Prevention and Control in Low- and Middle-Income Countries Certificate Program
    • Comprised of six required multimedia educational modules, and one optional advanced module, this comprehensive program covers a wide range of topics, from the basics of road traffic injury prevention to setting up injury surveillance systems, evaluating road safety interventions and influencing policy on road traffic injuries (RTIs). The lectures are taught by a variety of instructors, including JH-IIRU faculty as well as experts in the field of injury prevention control and trauma care from around the world.


3.4 Professional bodies and research institutes

Many professional bodies and private organizations provide learning support to their members.  This ranges from guidance notes to courses, and membership may confer competency recognition.  The advantage of such membership organizations is that there is ongoing professional development support through conferences and publications which keep members up to date on developments.  Many such bodies will help develop contacts with members in new countries by facilitating the creation of local associate bodies.

These are seven examples.  Other bodies are invited to add their details of their courses. The presence of courses on the list does not imply endorsement by WHO or the authors of this paper.

Example 1 The International Road Federation

The IRF (Geneva Programme Centre and Washington Programme Centre) is the principal industry-led organization providing road safety training input. As a strong believer in continuing education, the IRF provides members as well as road professionals worldwide with educational and professional development opportunities and resources.


Example 2  PIARC (The World Road Association)

PIARC is the umbrella organization for government roads and transport departments.  It exists to serve all its members by:

  • being a leading international forum for analysis and discussion of the full spectrum of transport issues, related to roads and road transport,
  • identifying, developing and disseminating best practice and giving better access to international information,
  • fully considering within its activities the needs of developing countries and countries in transition,
  • developing and promoting efficient tools for decision making on matters related to roads and road transport.

PIARC has technical committees directly relevant to this document (TC 3.1 National Road safety Policies and Programmes, within which the PIARC Road Safety Manual is produced, and TC 3.2 Design and Operation of Safer Road Infrastructure).  PIARC has a full programme of international seminars, congresses and educational support.  It is well known for its series of road safety manuals. 


Example 3 Sweroad

Sweden, a long-time leader in road safety has been active in many parts of the world for since 1981 through Sweroad, originally formed by the Swedish Road Administration.


Example 4 The ARRB Group (Australia)

The ARRB Group is also active in the Asia Pacific region and other parts of the world with series of road safety programmes, and projects, many of which involved course and workshops and courses. Guidance documents developed included the guide for the Treatment of Crash Locations, Road Safety Audits and Road Network Crash Risk Assessment and Management, while workshops and webinars undertaken have related to treating high crash locations, road safety audits, rural road safety, road safety data and the 2012 ISO 39001 Road traffic safety (RTS) management systems.


Example 5 Transport Research Laboratory (TRL)

TRL was one of the first to work on road safety engineering in LMICs and established much of the literature and know-how for appropriate technology in this area of work.  It continues to contribute work widely in Africa, the Middle East, Asia and beyond.  Its reports, provided free of charge, together with those of ARRB, continue to be valuable information source.


Example 6 The CMF Clearing House

The CMF Clearing House is maintained by the US Federal Highway Administration and exists to collate and report on research on crash modification factors (CMF).  A CMF is a multiplicative factor used to compute the expected number of crashes after implementing a given countermeasure at a specific site. The Crash Modification Factors Clearinghouse houses a Web-based database of CMFs along with supporting documentation to help transportation engineers identify the most appropriate countermeasure for their safety needs. Using this site, users can search to find CMFs or submit their own CMFs to be included in the clearinghouse.


Example 7 Road Safety Toolkit

Working with the Global Knowledge Transport Partnership (gTKP), ARRB and the World Bank Global Road Safety Facility, the International Road Assessment Programme (iRAP) have produced a Road Safety Toolkit that provides examples of the different types of countermeasures available to match different crash types and what their effectiveness is likely to be.  The information can be managed from the perspective of crash types, road-users and countermeasures and covers some of the issues concerning where to implement, what the constraints will be and the likely costs and benefits.


3.5 Unaccredited short courses

These are five examples. Other bodies are invited to add their details of their courses. The presence of courses on the list does not imply endorsement by WHO or the authors of this paper.

Not all education and training needs to be done on the basis of formal teaching within structured courses leading to qualifications. Many road safety training needs are provided by short courses, workshops, seminars, conferences and webinars.

Innovation is also now possible via the Internet and there are less formal possibilities available by means of “brown bag” sessions, whereby experts present on specialist road safety topics during lunch breaks, the “brown bag” meaning that participants bring their sandwiches to such presentations.  One of the advantages of these brown bag sessions is that a large number of individuals can be addressed at their own location. This allows middle and lower management personnel the opportunity to participate.

Webinars and online courses enable training to be delivered internationally without the need for travel but they are dependent on a level of internet access which is sometimes difficult in low income countries.


Example 1 The IRF Geneva Road Safety Engineering Management Tools and Methods Workshop

This workshop includes lectures, case studies, discussions, and the practical expertise of Dr. Britta Lang, Head of the Transport Research Laboratory (TRL) in Abu Dhabi and Dr. Suzy Charman, prior experience as International Program Manager at iRAP, Head of International Road Safety at TRL, who now serves as an independent Road Safety Consultant. It focuses on the road safety management activities that are needed to deliver the recommendations of the Action Plan of the UN Decade of Action for Road Safety. Tools and methods explored here can be applied across all new or existing road types. This workshop covers: Blackspot Analysis and Treatment; Maintenance Inspections; Network/Area Analysis and Treatment; Road Safety Assessment; Road Safety Audit; Road Safety Impact Assessment; Road Safety Inspection; Route/Corridor Analysis and Treatment; Star Rating (iRAP); Work Zone Safety


Example 2 The IRF India Chapter & ARRB Certification Course for Road Auditors

IRF India Chapter in association with Australian Road Research Board (ARRB) organizes the Certification Course for Road Safety Auditors. The training is imparted by both ARRB and IRF (India Chapter) experts with extensive experience with road safety auditing. A certificate is issued to trained the auditors upon completion. The course addresses: Safety considerations in road design and road safety engineering; Traffic control and catering to the safety needs of different road users; Network wide road safety assessments (iRAP, etc.); Introduction to crash/accident investigation and crash data analysis; Crash costs, reporting and the treatment of crash locations using countermeasures; Road safety auditing – steps, benefits and model RSA; Roadside hazard management; Crash/accident analysis – trends for audit etc; Detailed design audit: method and steps, example design and preparation of report, and more. It is taught through lectures, case studies, discussion, and field visits.


Example 3 The IRF Washington Safer Roads by Design Training Program


This International Road Federation training program includes the following component parts that are presented by a series of road safety professionals – Roadside & Median Safety, Design, Work Zone Safety Applications, Introduction to Road Safety Auditing, Designing Safer Roads for Vulnerable Users, and Asset Management.  These seminars are held in a variety of locations around the world. Its Global Training Curriculum provides technical expertise in classroom and practical settings where attendees can learn from and have direct access to seasoned professionals. Each course not only provides the most relevant, up-to-date information and best practices and solutions, but is also designed to assist attendees in learning to correctly apply the knowledge gained.  At the conclusion of each course, students are tested to ensure they have absorbed the course material.


Example 4 The European Road Federation

The European Road Federation holds training courses in specialized areas and can be found here at: www.irfnet.eu/index.php/events.


Example 5 The Global Road Safety Partnership

This partnership is hosted by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. It runs training courses and has produced relevant documentation within its own programme priorities.


Example 6 iRAP

iRAP runs a range of training programmes which focus on the role of infrastructure in road safety and teach how to use the iRAP protocols and software.  These range from a five day course at Birmingham University, to tailored training for project teams delivered in a country, and online training programmes.  iRAP also has an online learning package RAP capacity geared to learning how to conduct road assessments within the Safe System methodology.   


3.6 Twinning

For a LMIC, road safety education may be unavailable locally and the question is “How does such a country develop a road safety engineering capacity?”  One effective option is twinning.  Engineers in the local road authority execute a project in partnership with road safety engineers from another country.  It is, however, important that in this relationship the engineers from the other country act as mentors and transfer their skills.  For this to happen, the local engineers must be fully involved in the project and make a major contribution.


Example 1 The Central Directorate for Road Safety in Egypt

In 2008 a twinning project drawing upon Austrian and German expertise for enhancing road safety was established in Egypt.  It ran until 2011.

Its objective was to establish an integrated transportation system that is safe, effective, interconnected and reliable.  It covered the following areas:

  • Coordination of national road safety activities and legislative reform
  • Support of the road authority’s capacity-building efforts and integrated road safety plan of action
  • Upgrade of the road safety management system
  • Development of an improved road crash database

As part of this, a road safety engineering team comprising many of the component roles described in this text was assembled.

The directorate also has much-improved equipment, greater awareness of priority activities, greater contact with overseas agencies and a stronger place within the managerial structure of the road authority.  The directorate’s priorities in establishing itself can be described as short, medium and long-term.

Short-term priorities (in the first six months) included:

  • Reviewing the budget and providing a fundraising vision for road safety projects
  • Reviewing road safety issues, traffic control measures, and how to remedy problems
  • Developing a strategy to support the technical staff and improve their working environment
  • Seeking to learn from international training programs
  • Identifying the obstacles to providing the road safety activities

Medium-term strategies in Egypt focused on developing the human resources element.  The directorate is now 10 engineers.  Learning from others was also a key component of development.  The team participated in workshops, training and conferences in a variety of European and Asian countries.  Membership of PIARC enabled access to expertise and a network of skilled professionals.  In order to enable others and ensure there was a common understanding of how to approach road safety, international training opportunities were provided to some 100 other Egyptian engineers.

In the longer-term it has been necessary to re-energize the activity of the national road safety board, to provide focus and a platform for the work through an annual global conference for road safety, to place emphasis on road safety audits, develop a road safety institute and move to new data systems.  Within this, a GPS video mapping system has been developed, together with a system of crash interrogation and data retrieval to enable crash histories to be presented in an easily-accessible and attractive manner.  Alongside this activity, a traffic signs factory has been built, there is greater focus on the management of vulnerable road users, the national specification for traffic control devices has been updated and a new Egyptian road safety manual has been produced.

As with all initiatives of this kind, it is important to maintain momentum, energy and support when there is turnover of staff.


Example 2 The Roads Institute in Spain

This association has developed strong links with Latin America and there are similar connections in the US between the Federal Highway Administration and those in other parts of the Americas.



These are four examples.  Other universities and institutions are invited to add their details of their courses. The presence of courses on the list does not imply endorsement by WHO or the authors of this paper.

Appendix a  – Road Infrastructure Safety Engineering Training Course (within a one-year postgraduate course)

Course template – “Level 7” example



Name of institution or education/training provider

University of Learning



Title of course

Transportation and traffic planning



Contact person

John Smith



Number of hours – road infrastructure safety engineering

40 hours




Course runs September-June annually



Teaching method

Lectures (20 hours), laboratory/practical work (20 hours), private study  




Component part of MSc course



Lecturers & qualifications

John Smith PhD, BSc, CEng

Anne Jones, BSc



Road Safety Module Curriculum summary (relate to learning outcomes)

Social, economic and human costs of road crashes; political context; global road safety; Safe System approaches.


Distributions of road deaths; urban and rural areas and different road  classifications


How and why people die; raised risk among some road users and particular age groups; components in the traffic network that underpin safe and unsafe road systems.


Traffic and crash data; methods of statistical analysis, quantification and communication of measures of risk; hazardous location ranking to risk maps to rating systems; crash analysis, to route action to mass action plans to safety audit to network risk assessment.


Interventions and effective crash countermeasures.  “Before and after” studies and other methods of monitoring.  Local efforts to plan and implement crash countermeasures.  The critical importance of collaborative planning, implementation and evaluation.




Field visits/practical studies

Crash data analysis studies; introduction to road safety audit; presenting a countermeasure programme.


Classification (internal use)



Appendix b – Road Infrastructure Safety Engineering Training (stand-alone 40-hour course)

Course template – iRAP/ IRF Geneva/ ARRB/ TRL/ example



Name of institution or education/training provider

International Road Assessment Programme



Title of course

Using the iRAP tools



Contact person

Brenda King iRAP brenda.king@irap.org



Number of hours – road infrastructure safety engineering

40 hours




Course runs on request



Teaching method

Lectures (30 hours), practical work (10 hours), private study  




Accredited by iRAP and for Continuing Professional Development   



Lecturers & qualifications

Rob McInerney BSc CEng 



Road Safety Module Curriculum summary (relate to learning outcomes)

The training course provides an overview of the background, context and methodology of the EuroRAP and iRAP protocols and what is involved in delivering a EuroRAP or iRAP project.


Day 1  The Safety of Road Networks: About EuroRAP; Global road safety and the Decade of Action; The Safe System approach and managing energy; Reconstructing crashes – how people die; An overview of EuroRAP; Panel discussion


Day 2  Risk Mapping: Traffic and crash data; producing Risk Maps; Using Performance Tracking to identify the most improved roads


Day 4  Star Rating methodology and preparing for surveys; Road surveys and accreditation; The coding manual, coding and quality assurance processes; The Star Rating model and risk factors; Star Rating practical case study


Day 5  Safer Roads Investment Plans and Analysis; Estimating numbers of deaths and serious injuries; Countermeasure triggers, hierarchy, optimization and costs; Economic analysis including calculation of benefits, value of life and benefit cost ratios

Implementation of countermeasures; Focus on data analysis and presentation - practical case study; Implementing EuroRAP Safer Roads Investment Plans; EuroRAP and the Decade of Action for Road



Field visits/practical studies

Day 3 To suit local requirements.  One-fifth of available time on course to be devoted to field study.

Classification (internal use)



Appendix c – Safer Roads by Design Across Six Continents Comprehensive, Certified Training Seminar (50 hour course)

Course template –



Name of institution or education/training provider

International Road Federation (Washington)



Title of course

Safer Roads by Design Across Six Continents Comprehensive, Certified Training Seminar



Contact person

Michael Dreznes mdreznes@irfnews.org



Number of hours – road infrastructure safety engineering

50 hours




Once a Year



Teaching method

Lectures (40 hours), practical work including road safety inspections and hands-on  (10 hours), private study  




Accredited by IRF and for Continuing Professional Development   



Lecturers & qualifications

Michael Dreznes plus global specialist in different areas of road safety



Road Safety Module Curriculum summary (relate to learning outcomes)

DAY 1                   

Fundamentals of Road Safety -

Road Safety Glossary -

Breakaway Devices -

Longitudinal Barriers -

Crash Cushions –

Terminals and Transitions -

Roundtable Discussion


DAY 2                   

Key Guiderail Design Criteria

Vehicle Crashworthiness and Impacts with Roadside Hazards

Fundamentals of Work Zone Safety –

Truck Mounted Attenuators (TMAs) –

Improving Flagger Safety in the Work Zone

Poor Examples of Work Zone Safety

Signage and Delineation in Work Zones/New Innovations in Work Zone Safety

Overview of the Five Elements of a Work Zone

Summary and Roundtable


DAY 3                   

Defining a Vulnerable User

Introduction to Infrastructure Safety Management

Segment Issues & Countermeasures for Vulnerable Users-Pedestrians

Segment Issues & Countermeasures for Vulnerable Users-

Public Transit Users
Non-Motorized Vehicles

Building Local Road Safety Knowledge Capacity

Effective Leadership Skills

Summary and Roundtable


DAY 4                   

Introduction to Road Safety Audit

Conducting a Road Safety Audit

Roundtable Discussion


DAY 5                   

Preparing a Road Safety Audit Summary Report-

Presenting a Road Safety Audit Summary Report

Roundtable Summary Discussion


DAY 6                   

Access Design Principles and Management Techniques

Intersection Planning, Analysis, and Design

Intersection Timing-

MUTCD and Safety

Roundtable Summary Discussion and Field Observation


DAY 7                   

Speed Studies and Traffic Calming

Roundabout Design, Capacity and Safety

Freeways, Ramps, and Weaving  Capacity and Safety

Safety Design Workshop

Roundtable Summary Discussion

Certificate Presentation and Final Closing Ceremony



Field visits/practical studies

Road Safety Inspection, Field Observations, “Hands-on” with a variety of products/concepts



Classification (internal use)



Appendix d – Road Safety Engineering Management Tools and Methods Workshop (stand-alone half/full day course)

Course template –



Name of institution or education/training provider

International Road Federation (Geneva)



Title of course

Road Safety Engineering Management Tools and Methods



Contact person

Susanna Zammataro IRF Geneva (info@irfnet.ch)



Number of hours

Half day/Full day workshop




Several times a year (can be organized ad hoc upon request)



Teaching method

Lecture, case studies, discussion, practical exercise




Accredited by IRF



Lecturers & qualifications

Dr. Britta Lang, Head of the Transport Research Laboratory (TRL) in Abu Dhabi and Dr. Suzy Charman, prior experience as International Program Manager at iRAP, Head of International Road Safety at TRL, and now serves as an independent Road Safety Consultant. 



Curriculum summary

Focus on the road safety management activities that are needed to deliver the recommendations of the Action Plan of the UN Decade of Action for Road Safety. Tools and methods explored here can be applied across all new or existing road types.


This workshop covers:

  • Blackspot Analysis and Treatment
  • Maintenance Inspections
  • Network/Area Analysis and Treatment
  • Road Safety Assessment
  • Road Safety Audit
  • Road Safety Impact Assessment
  • Road Safety Inspection
  • Route/Corridor Analysis and Treatment
  • Star Rating (iRAP)
  • Work Zone Safety




Field visits/practical studies




Classification (internal use)



Appendix e – IRF India Chapter & ARRB Certification Course for Road Auditors

Course template –



Name of institution or education/training provider

International Road Federation (India) and Australian Road Research Board



Title of course

Certification Course for Road Safety Auditors



Contact person

Susanna Zammataro IRF Geneva (info@irfnet.ch)



Number of hours

One week or two weeks




Several times a year (can be organized ad hoc upon request)



Teaching method

Lectures, case studies, discussion, Field visits




Accredited by IRF



Lecturers & qualifications

Local and international experts



Curriculum summary

  • Safety considerations in road design and road safety engineering
  • Traffic control and catering to the safety needs of different road users
  • Network wide road safety assessments (iRAP, etc.)


  • Introduction to crash/accident investigation and crash data analysis
  • Crash costs, reporting and the treatment of crash locations using
  • Countermeasures
  • Road safety auditing – steps, benefits and model RSA
  • Roadside hazard management
  • Crash/accident analysis – trends for audit etc
  • Detailed design audit: method and steps, example design and preparation of report
  • Group presentations


  • Vulnerable road users/human factors in road safety auditing
  • Street lighting, traffic signals, pavement making and signing
  • Speed zoning and speed control
  • Road safety audit in road works – use of checklists and reporting,
  • prioritization of findings and responding to a report
  • Legal implications of road safety audit
  • Organizational commitment/encouraging road safety audit


  • Risk management and safe systems
  • Corrective action report
  • Presentation and discussion of RSA report by groups
  • Course evaluation




Field visits/practical studies

  • A series of site visits including:
    • existing roads audit
    • construction zone audit
    • audit of road/intersection design
    • night time audit
    • Preparation of reports



Classification (internal use)



Appendix f  – Courses modules at St Joseph

Module 1

Management principles applied to road safety

Module 2

Risk factors Infrastructures, traffic, environmental factors

Module 3

Safety elements inherent to the vehicle

Module 4

Road user behavioral aspects

Module 5

Regulation framework: drawing up and applying the rules

Module 6

Epidemiology and statistics applied to road safety

Module 7

Organization of emergency services, managing the scene of the crash and post-crash care

Module 8

Road environment and traffic management

Module 9

Road safety policies and plans

Module 10

Financing and investments

Module 11

Controlling crash data and analysis

Module 12

Management of demand for transport

Module 13

Situation evaluation and audit