CIV5306: Road Safety Engineering Assessment - New Analysis Assignment

December 17, 2017
Author : Alex

Solution Code: 1ADED

Question: Engineering Assessment

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Engineering Assessment

Case Scenario/ Task

Task A

Obtain the traffic accident data for your case study area and present them in a form which shows locations and accident types.

You will need to obtain all the traffic accident information for your area if you haven’t already done so (see Assignment Part 1).

When obtaining the information you will have to decide for what period you require the information. You will always require the latest available information (unless, for example, you are trying to make direct comparisons with other areas which have been studies earlier). You will probably require at least three years’ information to minimise the effects of fluctuations caused by seasonal, isolated or random events. Note that these effects cannot always be entirely removed and that the number of recorded accidents does not equal the number of accidents actually occurring. Consequently, caution should be applied when drawing conclusions about the specific number and type of accidents at any location.

If a substantially greater period of data (beyond three years) is available, you should consider whether the oldest data is still relevant. For example, have there been any changes in the road network or land use within the area or nearby which could affect travel patterns and therefore affect the level of accidents? These might include a major new development, a new set of signals, a road widening, or treatment of an accident blackspot. Also, has there been any change to driving rules or to the ways in which accident data has been recorded or produced in recent years? If so it would be worthwhile obtaining data which is consistent, so long as it is for at least three years and is sufficiently up to date to be relevant.

When seeking information for particular streets and intersections, be aware of how the information is recorded. If there are three street names intersecting at one intersection, is the information recorded using only the two lowest-order alphabetic street names (or do any of the roads go by two names like Princes Highway and Main Street)? Do you have to ask for street lengths as well as intersections? Remember to include boundary roads and intersections which are within the case study area agreed to at the start of the unit.

Present the information for the whole period you have chosen. You will need to transfer the information into a base map (or maps) of the area. Consider what are the important categories to differentiate diagrammatically.

How will you show the different numbers of accidents at the site?

Accident severity is usually a worthwhile category to indicate, as it can assist in evaluating the cost of accidents and therefore the cost-effectiveness or remedial treatments. Severity is categorised in terms such as ‘fatal’, ‘injury’ and ‘property damage’. The latter means there are no recorded injuries. The term ‘casualty’ means ‘fatals plus injuries’.

Most accident recording systems indicate accident type, in terms of the movements the road users were making prior to or when the accident occurred (see Figure 6.57.2.3, in Section 6.2 of Traffic engineering and Management). Depending on the nature of your case study area, you should attempt some indication of the types of road users and/or the movements they were making.

Further, look at the accident data and see if there are any other recorded details which stand out (e.g. is there an over-representation of accidents involving wet weather, nighttimer or pedestrians?).

Undertake further investigation as necessary (see Topic 6). Does a pattern of driver behaviour begin to form? Can you see why accidents are happening? Write a clear summary of what the cause of the accidents appears to be.

Task B

Develop countermeasures for your site.

If your site has one or more hazardous road locations, choose one for remedial treatment. If your investigations in Part A resulted in an assessment that there was no hazardous road locations, you will need to notionally add more accident statistics to it to bring it to a level of hazard which meets your adopted criteria. When doing this, add accident types which might typically apply to this type of location. For example:

Signalised intersections:

rear end, right turn against oncoming traffic and/or cross traffic

Local intersection:

cross traffic

Shopping centre car park:

parking or unparking, intersection accidents and/or pedestrian emerging

Urban arterial road:

hit pedestrian, run into parked vehicle, side swipe and/or off carriageway

Rural Road:

head-on, off carriageway on bend and/or off carriageway into fixed object.

Develop a package of countermeasures for the site. You will again need to inspect the site to assist you in deciding what factors may have contributed to the particular accident problem. Inspect it from the point of view of the road users involved (e.g. unfamiliar car driver, pedestrian, bicycle rider, etc.). Remember that there may be road users with particular characteristics at this location (e.g. the pedestrians are young as it’s near a school).

To assist in developing countermeasures, read the relevant sections of Topic 7. 

NOTE: During your on-site inspections, you may also become aware of some causes of potential hazard which have not resulted in recorded accidents. (e.g. there may be a tree which is blocking a set of signal lanterns, but this is not resulting in accidents yet as the combination of weather, globes in the other lanterns burnt out and/or trucks blocking visibility has not occurred yet). Road safety audits are discussed in Topic 12 as a means of identifying potential hazards before accidents occur.

Task C

Assess the cost-effectiveness of the remedial treatments for your hazardous road location, which you developed in Task B. 

Make a cost estimate of all the works involved in your proposed remedial treatment. You should be able to obtain unit cost rates for typical elements of civil engineering construction from your local Council engineering officer or, failing that, from your state road and traffic authority office which deals with estimating for accident blackspot treatments.

However, do not spend a great deal of time on this. If cost estimates cannot be readily obtained, make a (realistic) guess at the likely cost of works. The point of this exercise is to demonstrate the application of cost-benefit analysis, not to develop skills in estimating the cost of civil engineering works, so we don’t want you to spend much time on this. 

Using the techniques outlined in Topic 7, estimate the value of the crashes which are occurring at the site and which the proposed treatment is likely to reduce. (Do not include accidents which are unlikely to be affected by the proposed treatment.)

Are there any accident types which are likely to increase after the treatment goes in (e.g. signalisation of a crossroad usually reduces the incident of right angle accidents which can be costly in terms of injuries and damage, but it often leads to an increase in rear-end accidents which are less costly)?

Using the results of (1) and (2) above, calculate the net present value (NPV) and benefit/cost ratio (BCR) of the proposed remedial treatment. To do this you will have to determine the likely annual cost reduction following treatment over the evaluation period (which you will need to estimate), reduce to a net present value, and incorporate the capital cost of treatment.

If the treatment proves to have a negative NPV (or BCR of less than 1.0), report on whether there is any part of the treatment which could be revised to improve the result.

Does this involve a greater or lesser reduction in accident numbers? How many additional similar accidents would need to occur to make the treatment worthwhile?

If the treatment has a positive NPV (or BCR greater than 1.0), what is the minimum level of accident at what the project could be considered cost-effective?

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Solution:

Task A

Traffic accident data

Accident No. T20140015263
Date and time 24/7/2014 16:35
Alcohol time No
Accident type Collision With vehicle
Day of week Thursday
DCA CODE Lane Change right (not overtaking)
Light Condition Dusk/ Dawn
Road Geometry Cross intersection
Severity Other injury accident
Speed Zone 60km/hr
Node type NON INTERSECTION
Other injury 1
Non Injured 1
Gender 2 males
Vehicles
Total Persons
Fatal

Case 1 is marked in black circle

Facts known:

This accident took place on Thursday which is a working day, and at around peak traffic hours at 16:35. The speed of the vehicle is not high just 60 Km/hr, hence the reason of collision is changing lane by 60 km/hr into high speed lane which is always on your right. In this collision the male driver who changed lane to his right is at fault. Lane change to right is only allowed when you want to overtake, and in this case it is stated that he was not overtaking.

Task B

Countermeasures and suggested remedies.

Suggested Remedies:

Policy must be made to first impose fine and then withheld license after 3 such mistakes are committed. Camera installation, 24 hours traffic monitoring is recommended. Further there should be traffic data analysis regularly, and book the offender as per vehicle nameplate. Such a system will require capital expenditure for camera installation, and regular salary payout for daily video data analysis. Part of expenditure will get recovered from the fines and based on cost analysis rate of fine imposed on such offenders can be decided.

Accident No 2

Task A

Traffic accident data

Accident NO.T20130009572
Date and time 7/5/2013 10.40
Alcohol time No
Accident type Collision with vehicle
Day of week Tuesday
DCA CODE Right Through
Light Condition Day
Road Geometry Cross intersection
Severity Other injury accident
Speed Zone 70 km/hr
Node type INTERSECTION
Other injury 1
Non Injured 1
Gender 1 male, 1 female
Vehicles 2
Total Persons 2
Fatal
Fatal

Case 2 is marked in Red circle

Facts known:

This accident took place on Tuesday which is also a working day, and at 10:40 which is also the peak traffic hour. The speed of the vehicle is high 70 Km/hr, hence the reason of collision is moving straight at 70 km/hr close to an intersection. In this collision the male driver who drove straight at high speed failed to slow down at intersection, hence he is at fault. As at intersection right of way is for vehicle coming from your right, he must slow down at intersection.

Task B

Countermeasures and suggested remedies.

Suggested Remedies:

For such cases, only awareness to safety will work. For this punishment in the form of tickets and fines can create some amount of deterrent.

A video recording of all lanes and traffic circle is required. As video system is already in place only data analysis need to be added to take care of generating tickets as per offences committed close to this busy intersection.

Policy must be made to first impose fine and then withheld license in person vehicle speed is above certain limit at intersection. In this case also camera installation, 24 hours traffic monitoring is recommended. Further there should be traffic data analysis regularly, and book the offender as per vehicle nameplate. Such a system will require capital expenditure for camera installation, and regular salary payout for daily video data analysis. Part of expenditure will get recovered from the fines and based on cost analysis rate of fine imposed on such offenders can be decided.

Accident No 3

Task A

Traffic accident data

Accident No. T20110019958
Date and time 18/5/2011
Alcohol time No
Accident type Collision with vehicle
Day of week Wednesday
DCA CODE U Turn
Light Condition Day
Road Geometry Not at intersection
Severity Other injury accident
Speed Zone 60 km/hr
Node type Non intersection
Other injury 1
Non Injured 1
Gender 1Male, 1 female
Vehicles 2
Total Persons 2
Fatal 1

Case-3

Facts known:

This accident took place on Wednesday which is also a working day, and the time of accident is not reported. The speed of the vehicle is moderate at 60 Km/hr , hence the reason of collision is making a U-turn without waiting for vehicle coming from other direction. In this collision the driver who made the U-turn failed to inter opposite lane when other vehicle was very close. The other vehicle failed to slow down to give space for this vehicle who is making the U-turn and requires space for turning, hence both the vehicles are at fault. As at intersection right of way is for vehicle coming straight, he must have waited before making U-turn.

Task B

Countermeasures and suggested remedies.

Suggested Remedies:

Policy must be made to first impose fine and then withheld license for person making U-turn without waiting to get suitable space to inter the other lane. In this case also camera installation, 24 hours traffic monitoring is recommended. Further there should be traffic data analysis regularly, and book the offender as per vehicle nameplate. Such a system will require capital expenditure for camera installation, and regular salary payout for daily video data analysis. Part of expenditure will get recovered from the fines and based on cost analysis rate of fine imposed on such offenders can be decided.

Accident no 4

Task A

Traffic accident data

Accident No. T20110035843
Date and time 20/10/2011 , 22:50
Alcohol time Yes
Accident type Collision With vehicle
Day of week Thursday
DCA CODE U turn
Light Condition Dark street lights on
Road Geometry Not at intersection
Severity Other injury accident
Speed Zone 70km/hr
Node type NON INTERSECTION
Other injury 1
Non Injured 2
Gender 2 males, 1 female
No of Vehicles 2
Total Persons 3
Fatality None
Passenger vehicle 2
Alocohol rated No

Case 4

Facts known:

This accident took place on Thursday which is also a working day, and the time of accident is 22:50, which is night time, and at this time alcohol drinking is allowed. The speed of the vehicle is moderate at 70 Km/hr; hence the reason of collision is making a U-turn without waiting for vehicle coming from other direction. In this collision the driver who made the U-turn failed to inter opposite lane when other vehicle was very close. The other vehicle failed to slow down to give space for this vehicle who is making the U-turn and requires space for turning, hence both the vehicles are at fault. As this place is not an intersection so there is no right of way for vehicle coming straight from opposite direction. The cause of accident is due to making U- turn at high speed.

Task B

Countermeasures and suggested remedies.

Suggested Remedies:

Policy must be made to first impose fine and then withheld license for person making U-turn at high speed. In this case,

1) A U-turn sign placed near this location will avoid future occurrence, and along with U-turn slow down and turn sign can be better.

2) In case U-turn sign already exits, more signs can be added as elaborated in part C. Locations for U-tugn signs are marked in green in the following Map

3) The signs do require periodical repainting for gaining full benefit.

4) Sometimes branches from tree obstructs light, and since in this case the accident took place in night time, it is likely that adequate light is not there. So inspection done on the site revealed that near few lights branches were obstructing. Hence it is suggested that pruning of branches periodically must be done.

5) Camera installation, 24 hours traffic monitoring is recommended. Further there should be traffic data analysis regularly, and book the offender as per vehicle nameplate.

Task C

Assess the cost-effectiveness of the remedial treatments for your hazardous road location, which you developed in Task B.

Cost benefits analysis:

As capital expenditure for camera installation is already done, only regular salary payout for daily video data analysis need to be implemented. Part of expenditure will get recovered from the fines and based on cost analysis rate of fine imposed on such offenders can be decided.

Further we need to carry out cost analysis for regular video data analysis team monthly salary etc.

Suppose by doing video data analysis, we are able to send 10 tickets/day. By charging average $100 as fine , we can realize $30,000/month. This can cover the salary of 5 persons at the rate of $6000/month. Further awareness will increase once a person has paid fine for any driving faults near this junction. The fund realization due to fine will decrease and also the accident rate will fall which would in proportion to fall in no of cases booked.

Just with one fatal case saved, we save productive work loss of say 20years*12months*2persons = 480 Man months.

Taking monthly salary of $6000/month, this will increase productivity of $6000*480*4 as a factor of 4 is increase in production (25% salary payout). This give net increase in productivity of $6000*480*4 = $11, 520,000 (Approximately 11.5 M$).

Further there are cheap measures like installation of U-turn sign where U-turn can be allowed.

Warning for not changing lane near the junction will help. As cost for installing sign boards will be nominal there is always gain by doing so. Further In case U-turn signs are not installed it must be installed in the following manner.

Five hundred meter before U- turn can be permitted, we can add a sign stating U-turn 500 m ahead. Repeat the same before every 100 m distance and add message U-turn 400 m ahead, U-turn 300 m ahead, U-turn 100 m ahead. In the same way on the opposite traffic side , before 500 m distance place a sign that U-turn is expected after 500 m, 400m , 300m , 200, 100m and thus both side traffic will not miss out when exact location for u-turn comes. Further it is very much desired that U-turn locations must be well lighted. In case any branch of tree is obstructing the light falling on the read , periodical maintenances need to be addressed, which will include pruning the tree branches, repainting of signs, repainting of marking on the road.

As we have seen that just one accident saved, adds 11.5 M$ to GDP, the cost of  road traffic sign repainting , and pruning of branches may require deployment of 4 to 5 personal once in a week. The cost of such activities can be estimated as $6000 * 12 = $72000/- Still there is enough scope for financial gain.

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