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FHWA Highway Safety Programs

Pedestrian Road Safety Audits

Road Safety Audit (RSA) is the formal safety performance examination of an existing or future road or intersection by an independent, multidisciplinary team. It qualitatively estimates and reports on potential road safety issues and identifies opportunities for improvements in safety for all road users. The FHWA works with State and local jurisdictions and Tribal Governments to integrate RSAs into the project development process for new roads and intersections, and also encourages RSAs on existing roads and intersections.  The aim of an RSA is to answer the following questions:  What elements of the road may present a safety concern: to what extent, to which road users, and under what circumstances?  What opportunities exist to eliminate or mitigate identified safety concerns?

Road safety audits can be used in any phase of project development from planning and preliminary engineering, design and construction.  The pedestrian RSA materials provide more detail on pedestrian safety issues than the traditional RSA.  One of the key features of the pedestrian RSA materials is a set of prompt lists. These prompt lists help ensure that audit teams consider key issues for pedestrian safety when out in the field. A master prompt list provides higher level, more general issues to consider. The detailed prompt lists cover the same issues as the master prompt list, but are more specific things to look for during the field review. Taken together, these prompt lists should empower users with different levels of expertise on pedestrian safety issues to conduct successful RSAs.