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QU’s Transportation and Traffic Safety Center and IRF organize international online workshop ‘Introduction to Road Safety Audits’ | Qatar University

QU’s Transportation and Traffic Safety Center and IRF organize international online workshop ‘Introduction to Road Safety Audits’

2021-10-19 00:00:00.0
جانب من الورشة

Qatar Transportation and Traffic Safety Center in Qatar University’s (QU) College of Engineering in collaboration with the International Road Federation (IRF), World Conference on Transport Research Society, and Khatib & Alami Consolidated Engineering Company jointly organize an international technical workshop entitled ‘Introduction to Road Safety Audits.’

The aim of the workshop was to build knowledge and understanding around the importance and benefits of RSAs, which are one of the main risk assessment tools that can be applied at successive stages of road planning, design, and operations. Furthermore, it provided introductory knowledge on the scope and procedure of RSAs as well as the role and skills of the RSA team. More than 1,100 international experts on road safety attended the workshop from more than 55 countries.

Dr. Mohammed Al-Qaradawi, the Director of Qatar Transportation and Traffic Safety Center, commented that this workshop is part of the center’s continuous efforts to join expertise with international partners to disseminate knowledge and awareness in road safety. This workshop highlights the role of the center in advancing research and knowledge in traffic safety, and in contributing to the community locally, and internationally.

During the workshop, distinguished experts from International Road Federation (IRF) and Public Works Authority (Ashghal), delivered technical presentations addressing different issues related to road safety audits. The workshop was coordinated and moderated by Dr. Wael Alhajyaseen, Associate Professor at Qatar Transportation and Traffic Safety Center and Chair of the ‘Traffic Safety Analysis and Policy’ group in the World Conference on Transport Research Society.

Mrs. Susanna Zammataro, IRF Director General provided an overview of the Global Plan for the new UN Decade of Action for Road Safety (2021-2030). The target for the new decade is to reduce road traffic deaths and injuries by at least 50% from 2021 to 2030. The Global Plan, which will be officially released on October 28 2021, describes what is needed to achieve that target and calls on governments and other stakeholders to implement an integrated safe system approach. Capacity building for road safety professionals is recognized as being a top priority in the plan.

Eur. Ing. Miguel-Angel Serrano Santos, Senior Road Safety Specialist at the Public Works Authority (Ashghal), led the technical presentations about Road Safety Audits. He addressed the Road Safety Management systems and the role of Road Safety Audits. He highlighted the need to have unified procedures and criteria for having accredited experts, well trained and independent Road Safety Auditors and Senior Road Safety Specialists. He also discussed the consideration of road safety during the road design stage. He emphasized that complying with the current design standards do not necessarily guarantee road safety. Thus, it is very important that designers understand the analysis, and comments made by Road Safety Specialists when performing a Road Safety Audit. This will enable them to incorporate, in advance of their proposed designs, the standard problems and comments usually identified by Road Safety Auditors. Economically, this will save time and costs for all parties involved.

Road traffic crashes and resulted fatalities and injuries are among the most challenging issues facing the world community. The newly adopted UN Resolution on ‘Improving Global Road Safety’ encourages member states to ensure the safety and protection of all road users through safer road infrastructure and to take into account the needs of motorized and non-motorized transport, and other vulnerable road users, through a combination of proper planning, road safety assessment and audits performed at different stages of projects (design, construction, operation and maintenance of roads.) Road Traffic Injuries are the eighth leading cause of death. The new resolution declares a new Decade of Action (2021-2030) with the objective to half road deaths and injuries by 2030.