Canadian Road Safety Engineering Handbook Scoping Study

Project Summary


In Progress

Research Area

Road Safety

Responsible Council / Committee

Chief Engineers' Council / Road Safety Standing Committee

Project Funding Partners

Ministry of Transportation, Ontario; City of Calgary; Ministère des Transports du Québec; Ville de Montréal; Manitoba Infrastructure; Nova Scotia Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal; Transport Canada

Research Agency

MORR Transportation Consulting

Project Category

Road Safety
Submission Deadline: 
February, 2019

Staff Contact


In absence of a comprehensive Canadian reference document, Canadian practitioners have been using road safety engineering guideline documents published by various international organizations, developed to suit their respective environments and operating conditions. Despite the best efforts to adopt or adjust those guidelines to the Canadian context, there appear to be inconsistencies in application and road safety engineering practices that may cause inappropriate decision making on road safety matters and thus, result in undue costs and unintended operational issues.

There is a need for a comprehensive road safety engineering reference document to address unique Canadian climate conditions, roadway network characteristics, vehicle fleet and road users’ expectations as well as to complement geometric design and traffic operation practices recommended in the Geometric Design Guide for Canadian Roads and the Manual of Uniform  Traffic Control Devices for Canada.

Largely through volunteer efforts, the Canadian Road Safety Engineering Handbook is being developed as the primary reference for road safety engineering in Canada. It is intended to identify, define and share good practices in road safety engineering in order to assist Canadian road authorities and road safety engineering practitioners in providing service to the public and addressing road safety issues at the local level.  The Handbook is envisioned as a series of publications to address specific subjects as follows:

No. Subject / Publication Status
1 Road Safety Engineering Management Guide Published (2009)
2 Canadian Road Safety Audit Guide Published (2001)
3 Canadian Guide to In-Service Road Safety Reviews Published (2004)
4 Rural Road Safety Engineering In development
(volunteer project)
5 Urban Road Safety Engineering In development
(volunteer project)
6 Speed Management Guide Published (2016)
7 Access Management To be developed
8 Road Safety Engineering in Transportation Planning To be developed
9 Applied Human Factors in Road Safety Guide Published (2013)
10 Guidelines for Network Screening of Crash Prone Locations Published (2011)

Development of components of the Canadian Road Safety Engineering Handbook has been ongoing for almost two decades and a few outstanding major topics must be addressed to ensure comprehensive guidance is provided. Furthermore,  some of the earliest publications in the Handbook series are over ten years old and require updating to recognize rapidly advancing industry research and the state-of-practice tools.

To that end, a scoping study is proposed to determine the extent of work that is required to update and complete the Handbook.  As part of the study, a strategy regarding implementation of the completed Handbook will be recommended.

Key tasks to accomplish the project will include:

  • Review of existing Handbook publications, other TAC road safety related publications and work in progress to identify content that needs to be updated, refreshed or included in the Handbook. 
  • Review of other road safety reference documents used by Canadian practitioners (e.g., AASHTO Highway Safety Manual).
  • Identify the impact of emerging technologies and other potential uncertainties, risks, challenges or issues which will need to be resolved to complete and establish the Handbook as the primary reference for road safety engineering in Canada. 
  • Identify means to ensure the Handbook complements existing content and ongoing or future updates to the Geometric Design Guide for Canadian Roads and the Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices for Canada.  

The major deliverable will be a report documenting the work with recommendations for the extent of effort and suggested methodology to complete the Canadian Road Safety Engineering Handbook in the most efficient and cost-effective manner.