Road Safety Audit (RSA)
In the past, the Bureau of Transportation Safety and Technology
conducted traffic studies from a reactive position, reviewing
only a specific location of concern based on a request. While
this process worked, it was not efficient and hindered the
bureau from effectively addressing the entire state highway
system. In an attempt to provide a more comprehensive and
thorough review, and to immediately attend to locations which
may require safety improvements, the bureau began conducting
countywide road safety audits (RSA).
A RSA is a proactive and thorough process to complete a traffic
study of the Kansas state highway system county by county.
The purpose of the RSA is to give the Kansas Department of
Transportation (KDOT) an effective and powerful tool to actively
recognize and immediately attend to locations which may need
safety improvements. The audit is broken down into three phases:
office review, field review, and report.
The office review phase consists of analyzing the crashes
along all state routes in a county. This includes the Kansas
routes, the United States routes, and the Interstate routes
(excluding the Turnpike). The crash analysis can help reveal
high crash locations and definable crash patterns which may
be corrected through changes in roadway geometry or the use
of traffic control devices. The office review phase also entails
soliciting information from the county, cities, and local
KDOT personnel regarding locations of concern, as well as
reviewing video-log, past traffic study files, and traffic
In the field review phase, an engineer drives the state highway
system in the county. The engineer will observe and record
information on a variety of trafficrelated categories including
roadway characteristics, geometry, railroads, speed limits,
sight distance, pavement markings, signing, and other traffic
control devices. The engineer may visit with city officials,
county officials, and KDOT district/area personnel to gain
insight on locations to be reviewed and to answer any questions.
Once the field review is complete, necessary traffic field
data (traffic counts, speed data, school data, etc.) will
be obtained. The data will be analyzed, and presented in a
final report along with recommendations. The report is sent
to the county, cities, and KDOT offices both for information
and the implementation of recommendations.
The Bureau of Transportation Safety and Technology is in
the process of reviewing all counties. After the state is
completely reviewed, the bureau will continue to do RSAs with
the goal being to complete follow-up reviews every five years.
Requests for Specific Traffic Studies
When a study request is received, an engineer reviews the
location on video-log or on site, and analyzes the crash history.
If the crash rate is above average, or if an unusual condition
exists, a traffic study is initiated for the spot location.
If not, the request is kept on file until a RSA for that county
A well-managed road safety audit program can have many positive
- Enhances the safety of the state highway system.
- Allows more efficient use of personnel.
- Allows the Bureau an opportunity to work more closely
with cities, counties, and KDOT personnel.
- Reviews locations which have never been studied or were
studied a number of years ago.
- Promotes consistency of traffic control devices throughout
- Creates confidence in a thoroughly
studied and up-to-date highway
on this link for the PDF file.