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IRAP Report

Losing the lives of our family members due to road crashes is an experience anyone would never want to live with, more so when we know that it can be prevented. As far as road risk management is concerned, the aims include protecting users from being exposed to hazards, minimising injury severity in the event of crashes, as well as safeguarding the owners against legal actions. Many developed countries are now championing the Safe Systems approach, a road safety concept which acknowledges that humans do make mistakes but should not deserve to die from road crashes.

Although implementing road improvements is part and parcel of road safety initiatives, reducing road crashes and minimising the severity of injuries due to road crashes are the responsibility of all parties. No any party should be singled out to carry the huge responsibility of making the road safe. iRAP promotes and upholds the spirit of cooperation among all stakeholders to prevent road death and disabling injury by achieving a road system that allows for human error as exemplified by efforts in developed countries such as Sweden, Netherlands, Australia and the United Kingdom.

Road Assessment Programmes (RAPs) have been in existence since the early 2000s in a few developed countries such as the Europe, Australia, New Zealand and the United States where new inspection methodologies were adopted. Consequently, many low and middle income countries are now implementing RAPs where low cost countermeasure programmes are identified and implemented. An inspection system consisting of survey vehicle and data coding software is required to collect and analyse road inventory data.

Every country needs to make smart decisions on ways to save the people from becoming victims of road crashes, especially when the resources to do so are limited. The decisions rely heavily on the impacts an investment could have so that they bring high social and economic returns. This assessment proves that more can be done to improve the safety condition in Malaysia. The star ratings results serve as a benchmark as to where improvement should be carried out to make a road functions as what it is intended to be. In this respect, it should be acknowledged that not all roads are feasible to function to a 5-star performance. As such, cost-effective improvement programmes should be identified for each road section.

The International Road Assessment Programme (iRAP) is a non-profit charity registered in England with funding support from the FIA Foundation for the Automobile and Safety. It was developed to upgrade the safety of the road environment in low and middle-income countries in order to reduce the global death toll. iRAP focuses on high-risk roads where large numbers are killed and seriously injured.

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