Safe System Engineering

The Safe System is a road safety philosophy that is based on the principles that road users are fallible and will make mistakes but that no one should be killed or seriously injured when a crash occurs. 

To prevent this, the road system must be forgiving so that the forces of collisions do not exceed the limits that a human body can tolerate.

In this section you’ll find guidelines and information on how VicRoads applies Safe System principles to the planning, design and operation of the road network.


Safe System Assessment is a tool that has been developed to provide a measure of the extent to which a road infrastructure project aligns with Safe System principles and the ultimate objective of eliminating fatal and serious injuries from crashes on the road network. VicRoads has developed guidelines which specify when a Safe System Assessment should be conducted and to provide guidance on the assessment process.

The Safe System Assessment Guidelines should be used in conjunction with Austroads Safe System Assessment Framework (External link)

Safe System Assessment Guidelines V1.0 July 2018 [PDF 1.2Mb]

Rapid Safe System Assessment Report Template (DOCX 823Kb]

Full Safe System Assessment Report Template (DOCX 969Kb]


Austroads has a range of technical documents that provide guidance and information relating to the Safe System and its application. These documents, which are available on Austroads website (External link) include:

  • Research Report AP-R509-16, Safe System Assessment Framework
  • Research Report AP-R560-18, Towards Safe System Infrastructure: A Compendium of Current Knowledge
  • Research Report AP-R556-17, Understanding and Improving Safe System Intersection Performance
  • Research Report AP-R514-16, Achieving Safe System Speeds on Urban Arterial Roads: Compendium of Good Practice
  • Research Report AP-R488-15, Safe System in the Planning Process
  • Technical Report AP-T330-17, Safe System Infrastructure on Mixed Use Arterials
  • Research Report AP-R498-15, Improving the Performance of Safe System Infrastructure: Final Report



Contact Us

We encourage and welcome your feedback about our technical documents. Your input helps us to continually improve our publications.  

If you have any suggestions that you would like to share please contact VicRoads Safe System Engineering team.

Email:  [email protected]



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