Even the most careful drivers occasionally make mistakes. By designing and building safer roads, we can minimise the severity of crashes.

As part of RAC's drive “Towards Zero”, we’re calling on both the state and federal governments to:

  • Increase the funding available for evidence-based road safety initiatives, or initiatives which are likely to result in the greatest reductions to WA’s road toll.
  • Ensure that new roads are built or upgraded to be forgiving, so that mistakes don’t result in death or serious injury; and
  • Ensure that the needs of all road users, including motorcyclists, cyclists, pedestrians and people with mobility difficulties are considered in road and street planning and design. Roads and streets should be self-explaining and self-enforcing to promote appropriate road user behaviour.


The Australian Road Assessment Program (AusRAP) is a program dedicated to saving lives through advocating for safer roads and roadsides. AusRAP is run by the Australian Automobile Association and state and territory motoring clubs including RAC. AusRAP is also part of the International Road Assessment Program (iRAP), a worldwide movement to improve the safety of roads.

AusRAP uses set criteria, including crash history, to give national roads across Australia a safety rating from 1 to 5 stars. This rating ensures that the risk of death and injury on different roads is easy to understand and compare, and stimulates public discussion – and action.

The risk ratings also provide road planners and engineers with vital benchmarking information to show how a particular road performs compared with others.

RAC is calling for all national highways to be upgraded to at least a 3 star standard, and for all new roads to be built to at least a 4 star standard.

What direct impact does a safer road have?

  • Reduces the risk of a crash occurring.
  • Reduces the severity of any crashes that occur.

Safer designs

There are specific design elements and remedial treatments that can increase the safety of existing and new roads. These include:

  • Installation of median lines or barriers to separate oncoming traffic.
  • Widening and sealing road shoulders.
  • Installing audible edge and median lines.
  • Removing roadside hazards such as trees and poles, or installing roadside barriers where removal is not possible.
  • Providing overtaking lanes.
  • Providing clearly delineated line markings, which are visible at night.
  • Ensuring design and posted speed limits are appropriate for the location, conditions and surrounding uses.
  • Resurfacing roads.
  • Installing traffic calming features.
  • Provision of appropriately positioned and designed crossing facilities.
  • Ensuring intersections are designed with the safety if all road users in mind.
  • Installing roundabouts.
  • Installing traffic control signals.
  • Adjusting the timing of existing traffic control signals
  • Installing red light cameras, or red-light speed cameras
  • Improving the alignment of the intersection
  • Traffic islands on approaches to intersections.
  • Seagull islands at intersections.
  • Indented right-turn pockets (lanes) with islands.
  • Left-turn slip lane.
  • Medians added to existing roads.
  • Pedestrian 'refuge' islands and/or crossing facilities).
  • Ban right turns.
  • Anti-skid treatments.
  • Reducing speed limits.

More information

RAC's Public Policy

RAC advocates for all Western Australians, whether they are a driver, passenger, cyclist, motorcyclist, or pedestrian.

This document outlines what we stand for and our public policy positions to support better mobility for Western Australians.

The policies in this document are approved by the RAC Council.

RAC's Public Policy 2018-19

Other reports

RAC State Budget Submission 2019-2020 (PDF 1.25MB)

RAC Federal Priorities 2019 (PDF 1.32MB)