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VicRoads (Safe System Road Infrastructure Program [SSRIP])

Company Info: VicRoads’ purpose is to deliver social economic and environmental benefits to communities throughout Victoria by developing and managing the arterial road network and delivers road safety initiatives and customer focused registration and licensing services. Its key roles are to help provide Victorians with safe and easy connections to the people and places that matter most to them and deliver road safety initiatives and customer focussed registration and licensing services.

The SSRIP works with the Transport Accident Commission (TAC) to deliver road safety improvements to realise the Government’s Towards Zero vision. It identifies and prioritises road safety improvements across regions.

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* VicRoads has nominated five potential topics for consideration. Two topics will be selected, based on candidate topic preference and selection.

  • PROJECT 1: Creating liveable cities that accommodate movement and place: A measure of the energy of cross-sections in urban environments (CLOSED)

    Traditional road design safety assessment metrics have been valuable tools for informing road safety investment and programs. With the progression of Safe System, transformative metrics that adopt broader societal perspectives in addition to road design that will inform the design of liveable and safety cities are required. This PhD will compare traditional and transformative metrics and examine the effectiveness of each (and alternative combinations) in terms of road safety impacts to develop a new integrated and holistic methodology that accommodates the emerging framework of Movement and Place to create healthy, safe, sustainable, and liveable cities.

  • PROJECT 2: Changing transport economic mindsets: Prioritising safety while supporting movement with economic growth (NOT AVAILABLE)

    There is an assumption that all travel time saved on the road network is used (or should be used) in an economically beneficial way. Traditional processes of estimating Benefit Cost Ratios (BCRs) can result in trading life and health with other benefits of using the transport system, and contradicts the Safe System philosophy – in short, current transport economic assumptions trade off safety. However, there are opportunities to prioritise safety and support movement with economic growth. This PhD will address the issues surrounding transport economics metrics. It will review the assumptions of economic prosperity and road safety and examine the impact of road safety treatments on community economics from various perspectives (medical, sociological, health, economic growth, etc.). A framework that prioritises safety while enhancing economic prosperity will be developed through this research.

  • PROJECT 3: Translating theory to operation: systematic implementation of the Safe system approach (CLOSED)

    The Safe System is based on a systematic approach that functions effectively at both theoretical and operational levels. The implementation of this approach, however, is less clear, and requires development of strategic pathways linking the fundamental research and scientific principles with the coal-face implementation of a Safe System. Successful implementation also requires effective engagement between researchers, practitioners, politicians, government and the community. This PhD will examine the way theory connects with the operational implementation of Safe System principles and develop a more deliberate, well-planned and systematic approach to road safety. It will also examine how key partners could work together to ensure that Safe System principles are at the forefront of research, design and implementation stages to ultimately deliver effective road safety gains.

  • PROJECT 4: Intersection safety: Understanding best-practice intersection design within the Safe System approach (NOT AVAILABLE)

    Intersections are planned points of conflict in any roadway system and are the most complex traffic situations that road users encounter. Crashes at intersections are common and often have severe consequences. Intersections are therefore a focal point for both safety and operations and strategies addressing intersection safety are diverse. Decisions regarding the implement of treatments are often made without rigorous comparison and there are various opinions as to which treatment is appropriate, particularly between roundabouts and traffic signals. This PhD thesis will examine the numerous variations in design and operational forms of intersection design (focusing on traffic signals and roundabouts), undertake a comparative analysis of treatment type and form, model each under conditions that are relevant to the patterns of severe road trauma across Australia, and compare the outcomes to international standards and practice. The findings will be used to determine best-practice for intersection design.

  • PROJECT 5: Predicting exposure for vulnerable road users (NOT AVAILABLE)

    Understanding crash risk fundamentally depends on knowledge of exposure. Significant data exists about the number and nature of crashes and injuries but the ability to link crash risk and exposure is difficult for vulnerable road users (i.e., pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists) due to a lack of information about exposure numbers for these groups. Measuring this exposure by traditional measures (e.g. surveys and/or counters) is prohibitively expensive which means a new method of accurately predicting this exposure is needed. This PhD will address the issues surrounding exposure measures and develop innovative methods of measuring exposure for vulnerable road user groups.