Vision Australia is excited to release a road safety audit tool that lets members of the public identify issues with local streets and footpaths that impact pedestrians who are blind or have low vision.
The tool was designed by Victoria Walks, with support from the Victorian Community Road Safety Partnership Program and specialist input from orientation and mobility specialists at Vision Australia and Guide Dogs Victoria, as well as road safety experts and engineers.
On this page:
Road safety audit tool
If you are interested in auditing your local area, download the road safety audit tool here (PDF, 1MB)
The tool includes individual checklists for areas such as footpaths, signalised/unsignalised intersections or public transport stops.
Before using the checklists, make sure you read the introduction to the audit tool to give you an understanding of road design for pedestrians with vision impairment.
The audit tool is designed to provide a comprehensive assessment of particular areas or walking routes. For larger areas, the tool can be used to identify problems and build a list of issues that need to be addressed, so that people with vision impairment can walk safely.
The tool brings together the key issues that need to be addressed to make walking the streets a safe and independent activity for people with vision impairment, including:
- ensuring audio tactile buttons at signalised intersections are installed and working
- making sure tactile ground surface indicators (those square tiles with raised dots or lines on footpaths and stairs, street corners and public transport stops) are correctly laid and able to be detected
- figuring out whether a driveway may pose a hazard
- providing for a clear space free from obstacles and hazards, on the footpath and overhead
- letting local businesses, councils, public transport and utilities providers, construction workers know there are things they can do to help make everyone safer.
The tool was developed after research showed 1 in 12 pedestrians who are vision impaired had been hit by a vehicle or cyclist in the past 5 years.
Road safety report
During 2013-14, Vision Australia and Guide Dogs Victoria commissioned Victoria Walks to produce a report on the road safety audits and surveys that were undertaken in 5 select areas across Victoria.
The report confirms that pedestrians who are blind or have low vision are faced with a range of safety challenges as they walk streets and footpaths including driver behaviour, poor intersection design, dangerous railway crossings and sub-standard shared paths.
The report is now available and provides valuable information and insights on the tool and the state of road and pedestrian safety in local areas. Download the road and pedestrian safety report 2014 (PDF, 3MB). Download the media release here (Word, 161KB)