RoadWatch: Roundup
April 2020

Welcome to our monthly Austroads RoadWatch: Roundup for April. Discover our latest news, published reports, Guide updates, webinars and events.

Communique: Austroads Board Meeting No 36

The Austroads Board met on 2 April 2020 by teleconference. The meeting was chaired by Neil Scales, Director-General, Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads and Louise McCormick, General Manager, Transport and Civil Services, Northern Territory Department of Infrastructure, Planning and Logistics.
The Board noted that most projects were on track, and approved the Austroads Strategic Plan 2020-2024 which will be implemented from July 2020. The Board also acknowledged the imminent retirement of Chief Executive Nick Koukoulas, who has led Austroads for 5½ years, and congratulated Nick on his outstanding leadership.
Read the Board Communique

Nick Koukoulas, Chief Executive of Austroads, retires

Nick Koukoulas, Chief Executive of Austroads since November 2014, has retired with his last day of service being 15 April 2020.
“It has been a great 5½ years participating in an organisation that has grown and matured to be one of the most respected bodies of our type. We are lucky to have had great people in our Programs and in NEVDIS as well as TCA. I thank everyone for making my job easier and truly successful,” Nick said.
The Austroads Board acknowledged Nick’s leadership in moulding business units and program areas into focused teams and stated in its April communique that “his leadership in commercialisation of NEVDIS and the acquisition of TCA by Austroads was outstanding.”
Find out more

Business continuity during COVID-19

To ensure the safety of our staff and our broader community during the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, Austroads and the National Exchange of Vehicle and Driver Information System (NEVDIS) have instructed most staff to work from home and implemented business continuity measures.
We are set up to work remotely to ensure we can continue to support users of the NEVDIS database and continue the research work programs.
For NEVDIS enquiries please email
For Austroads enquiries please email
Find out more

COVID-19 and transport resources

Austroads is tracking the response of transport agencies across the world to the COVID-19 pandemic.
We will share links to online resources in our newsletter each month.
The National Association of City Transportation Officials in the USA have setup a online COVID-19: Transportation Response Center with resources and events.
The World Road Association has provided a website on COVID-19 which includes the recording of an online discussion about the impact on road operators and administrators
The US Transportation Research Board ‘s Technical Activities Division has created the TRB Practical Pipeline: Impacts of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) web platform, a searchable collection of research results, best practices, lessons learned, information on the current state of play, and projections for what may be coming as the effects of the pandemic potentially intensify and induce systemic impacts.
The US Transportation Research Board has also published a collection of free articles about transport and pandemics.
UITP has published guidelines to help public transport operators to tailor business continuity plans responding to the specific challenges of communicable diseases.

Educating and training drivers of vehicles equipped with assisted and automated driving features

Austroads has published a research report identifying the skills, knowledge and behaviours people need, now and in the future, to operate vehicles equipped with technologies that support and automate driving tasks. The report also examines what role, if any, registration and licensing authorities could undertake to ensure that licence applicants are competent in the use of these technologies.
“As vehicles increasingly incorporate new technologies, drivers will need to perform new functions and tasks,” says John Wall, Austroads Program Manager, Future Vehicles and Technology. “We wanted to determine whether licensing requirements should change to ensure drivers have the necessary education and training to safely operate these technologies on the road network.”
The focus of the project was on identifying education and training requirements for drivers of light and heavy vehicles equipped with Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) Level 0 to 2 advanced driver assistance systems, and Level 3 automated driving features.
Read more | Download the report
Join us for a free webinar with authors Professor Michael Regan, Dr Prasannah Prabhakharan, Phil Wallace and Mitch Cunningham, on Wednesday 13 May 2020, 12:30 pm AEST for a discussion about the skills, knowledge and behaviours drivers need, now and in the future, to safely operate cars and trucks equipped with higher levels of automation.
No charge but registration essential.
Can’t make the live session? Register and we’ll send you a link to the recording.

Comparing registration and licensing practices between Australasia and Europe

Austroads has published a report comparing vehicle registration and driver licensing practices in Australia, New Zealand and Europe following the signing of a partnership agreement between Austroads and the Association of European Vehicle and Driver Registration Authorities (EReg) in December 2017. Austroads represents eight Australian jurisdictions and New Zealand, whilst EReg represents 28 European countries.
“Our partnership with EReg aims to develop stronger collaborative ties between our organisations,” said David Bobbermen, Austroads’ Program Manager Safety. “The purpose of this report was to examine the similarities and initiatives at a summary level for registration and licensing practices so we could work together on common areas of interest, and learn from successes that could inform our future policies and create better outcomes for our communities.”
Find out more | Download the report

Survey: Road asset data collection technology

Austroads Assets Task Force is managing a project to identify road asset data collection technologies and evaluate these against criteria including cost, accuracy and accessibility. We will then provide a guide to Austroads members and other users wishing to adopt the technology.
To ensure most emerging data collection technologies have been identified, we are asking road authorities, local government agencies, industry organisations and technology vendors from across Australia and New Zealand to complete a short survey on data technologies you are trialling, have heard about or want to explore. We are also keen to hear about data sources you may be aware of that offer data sets you can correlate with your own data.
The survey will take 1-2 minutes to complete and can be found at
Vendors can complete an additional more detailed survey by including your contact details in your response to allow us to send a link. This additional survey would take 10-15 minutes to complete.
Please complete the survey by COB Friday 29 May
For more information or questions, email

Upcoming Austroads webinars

Investigation and Development of Bridge Formulae for Inclusion in the Performance-based Standards
29 April, 1.00pm AEST
This webinar discusses the merits of three options to advance the future of PBS access in Australia as it relates to bridges. These options are analysed in the context of key objectives endorsed by ministers to improve PBS access outcomes.
Bridge Assessment Beyond the AS5100 Deterministic Methodology
30 April, 1.00pm AEST
This webinar provides an overview of ways to assess the safety of existing bridges beyond the Rating Factor approach of AS5100. A recent Austroads project developed a framework based on structural reliability theory that can be used for the Australasian context.
Education and Training for Drivers of Assisted and Automated Vehicles
13 May, 12.30pm AEST
Driving is changing. This webinar identifies the skills, knowledge and behaviours drivers need, now and in the future, to safely operate cars and trucks equipped with higher levels of automation.
Charting Changes in Austroads Guide to Traffic Management
19 May, 1.00pm AEST
This webinar provides an overview of upcoming changes to the Austroads Guide to Traffic Management to ensure that it is clearer and more useful to its users. It explains why it is important to keep the Guide to Traffic Management relevant and up-to-date.
Pedestrian Planning Concepts
27 May, 11.00am AEST
This webinar will demonstrate how to better plan for high quality walking environments in our towns and cities. It will highlight the Guide to Traffic Management which is being updated to incorporate international good practice pedestrian planning and design guidance.
Measuring Pedestrians – Survey and Audit Methods
3 June, 11.00am AEST
This webinar will cover why and how to measure walking activities. The webinar will highlight the Guide to Traffic Management which is being updated to incorporate international good practice pedestrian planning and design guidance.

Latest webinar recordings

Sustainable Roads Through Fit-for-purpose Use of Available Materials
This webinar, presented on 15 April 2020, provides an overview of the key components which influence fit-for-purpose material selection for low to medium volume regional and rural roads.
An Australian Drink Driving Policy and Regulatory Framework
This webinar, delivered on 9 April 2020, examines alcohol related road trauma and reports on the differing legislation, penalty and enforcement policies and practices in place across Australian jurisdictions.
Assessment of Key Road Operator Actions to Support Electric Vehicles
This webinar, presented on 31 March 2020, identifies actions road operators can take to support the transition to electric vehicles (EVs). It covers the different types of electric vehicles, and core and non-core functions of road operators in supporting this transition.
Integrating Safe System with Movement and Place with for Vulnerable Road Users
This webinar, presented by Dr Bruce Corben on 26 March 2020, demonstrates ways to integrate Safe System design and operation with the Movement and Place Framework for vulnerable road users, particularly pedestrians and cyclists.

View all our past webinars online

ARRB releases local government road asset management guides

The Australian Road Research Board (ARRB) has released four free-of-charge best practice guides for the local government engineering community.
Focusing on road asset management, the guides will assist local government organisations across Australia in applying a consistent approach to their standards and practices.
The guides provide practical advice to local road practitioners, supervisors, engineers and field staff on best practice in the procurement, design and management of materials for road construction, sealed and unsealed roads and structures.
Find out more

Other recent research

BITRE: Road deaths Australia – monthly bulletins

This monthly bulletin contains current counts and summaries of road crash deaths and fatal road crashes in Australia. It is published on BITRE’s website on or around the 14th of each month. Data are sourced from the road traffic or police authorities in each jurisdiction.

Scholarships of up to $5,000 for women in leadership

Women and Leadership Australia (WLA) is offering grants of $2,000 to $5,000 to women working in the transport and traffic sectors to help them build their leadership careers.
WLA works with Australian industry to enable women to participate in career development programs through fee discounts, partial scholarships and interest-free study loans.
Find out more

Visit and complete the Expression of Interest form before Friday 15 May 2020

Upcoming conferences

Conference organisers are carefully reviewing their arrangements to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Please be aware that details may change at short notice.
Transport for NSW’s Biennial Pavements Conference, Sydney, Postponed (date to be confirmed)
ITS Asia Pacific Forum, Brisbane, Postponed (date to be confirmed)
Australian Pavement Recycling and Stabilisation Conference, Cancelled
2020 Australasian Road Safety Conference, Melbourne, 16-18 September 2020 (to be confirmed)
Safer Roads 2020, Virginia, USA, Postponed to November 2020
Australasian Tunnelling Conference, Melbourne, 29 November-3 December, 2020
IABSE Congress, Christchurch, Postponed to 3-5 February, 2021
AITPM National Traffic and Transport Conference, Brisbane, Postponed to 27-30 July 2021
Austroads Bridge Conference, Adelaide, 11-14 May 2021