KiwiRAP - New Zealand's Road Assessment Programme

KiwiRAP is an internationally recognised road assessment programme (iRAP) that aims to raise awareness of the risk of being involved in a crash on New Zealand's state highways. KiwiRAP uses different methods to measure road safety, including Risk Maps based on the crash history of a road and Star Ratings based on a road's engineering features.

KiwiRAP is a partnership between the AA and New Zealand's main transport agencies: Transit, Ministry of Transport, ACC, Land Transport New Zealand, and New Zealand Police. It is part of an international road assessment programme that has already been undertaken in Europe (EuroRAP), Australia (AusRAP), and the United States (usRAP).

Star Ratings

The KiwiRAP Star Ratings were launched in June 2010.  The Star Ratings have been provided for 10,002 kilometres of New Zealand’s rural state highways. The process involved an inspection of a number of road and roadside design elements such as lane and shoulder width, power poles and ditches, intersection frequency, and the presence of safety barriers which are known to have an impact on the likelihood of a crash and its severity.

Between 1 and 5-Stars are awarded to road segments (typically five kilometres in length) depending on the level of safety which is ‘built in’ to the road. A 5-Star rating represents the safest road infrastructure design for the prevailing speed environment, and a 1-Star rating represents a road with poor infrastructure design for the prevailing speed environment.

The overall Star Rating results for New Zealand use two methods. The actual Star Ratings given to the rural state highway network in New Zealand, and the vehicle kilometres travelled for each Star Ratings (this shows the percentage of traffic driving within each of the given Star Ratings):

Criteria 1-Star 2-Stars 3-Stars 4-Stars 5-Stars
Star Ratings 0% 39% 56% 5% 0%
Vehicle kilometres travelled for each Star Rating 0% 33% 40% 28% 0%

Risk Maps

In January 2008, the KiwiRAP Risk Maps were launched. These Risk Maps are based on crash statistics from 2002 to 2006. The crash history is used to grade our state highways into five different categories of risk: High, Medium-high, Medium, Low-medium and Low.

Road Risk Maps are either Collective or Personal. Collective risk maps are based on the total number of crashes on a road, while Personal Risk Maps are based on the likelihood of an individual being involved in a crash on that road.

The percentage and kilometres of New Zealand state highway within each risk category are:

Risk type High Med-High Med
Collective risk
8% 14% 22% 27% 29%
Personal risk
21% 25% 28% 15% 11%

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