What is the Road Supervisory Authority?
The Vision Zero approach to road safety sets an ultimate goal of no deaths or serious injuries on our roads. In recent years, nearly 1000 people have lost their lives or been seriously injured in traffic accidents each year. Approximately 40 per cent of these accidents occur on the national road network, and in about 30 per cent of the fatal accidents the severity of the accident can be related to defective or deficient roads. Creation of the Road Supervisory Authority means intensified efforts for safer roads.
The Road Supervisory Authority, a professional body under the Ministry of Transport and Communications, is mandated to monitor and supervise the activities of the Norwegian Public Road Administration with regard to the national road network.
The Road Supervisory Authority was formally established on 20 June 2012.
The Road Supervisory Authority, which is immediately subordinate to the Director of Roads, is separate from the Norwegian Public Roads Administration in terms of organisation, steering and the use of professional expertise.
The Road Supervisory Authority operates out of offices in Voss and is funded directly by the Ministry of Transport and Communications.
The Road Supervisory Authority reports to the Ministry of Transport and Communications throughout the year via the Director of Roads and publishes an annual report on its supervisory activities and results. Cases of particular interest are reported on separately.
Duties and responsibilities
The Road Supervisory Authority conducts risk-based system supervision. This means monitoring whether the road owner, the Norwegian Public Roads Administration, has adequate and effective quality control systems to ensure that mandated requirements for traffic safety are met.
In order to achieve a safe road network that prevents fatalities and serious injuries while safeguarding the material and economic assets involved in road transport, the Road Supervisory Authority places priority on performing monitoring and inspections where the risk for serious accidents is at its greatest.
The activities of the Road Supervisory Authority include:
- verifying that the Norwegian Public Roads Administration has and employs adequate and effective management systems to ensure road traffic safety on the national road network. This includes systems for planning, constructing, operating and maintaining roads, emergency preparedness and other infrastructure management
- having access to all documents it requests from the Norwegian Public Roads Administration
- in supervision cases, recommending remedial measures to the relevant operating unit in the Norwegian Public Roads Administration. A deadline for implementation may be specified. The supervisory report is public when it is issued.
- providing information about the activities of the Road Supervisory Authority.
- in consultation with the Director of Roads, participating in international forums to promote Norway’s interests within supervision of the activities of the road authorities, and taking part in international work of significance to the operations of the Road Supervisory Authority.
- initiating Research and Development within its fields of operation.
- proposing changes in legislation and regulations as needed to improve traffic safety on the public road infrastructure.
How do we conduct our activities?
Data from traffic accident registries provides us with information on the extent of injury, where and when accidents occur, contributory causes, and what factors affect the extent and severity of these accidents. Studying this historical data makes it possible to identify and assess factors in the road system that represent high risk. We also take into consideration other factors impacting risk, such as new legislation, the framework of the National Transport Plan, annual plans from the Norwegian Public Roads Administration, climate change and advances in vehicle technology.
This risk assessment provides the basis for assigning priority to supervision cases.
All supervision cases will be assessed using the selection criteria of the Road Supervisory Authority. These selection criteria are to ensure that the cases considered are in keeping with the goals and vision of the Road Supervisory Authority, and that the impact of the prioritised cases is sufficient. Assessing a case in light of the selection criteria will indicate whether there is:
- a sufficient basis in legislation and regulations
- substantial potential for improving systems and practice in the Norwegian Public Roads Administration
- a positive impact on safety in the road infrastructure
- an impact on accident risk
- significance for society at large
Following assessment, a report is written assigning priority to each case. The subsequent ranking provides the basis for the supervision programme of the Road Supervisory Authority.
The supervisory process begins with planning and preparations. At the appropriate time, the unit under scrutiny is invited to a meeting for information and dialogue in order to clarify the scope of the supervision.
The supervision is carried out by analysing documents, conducting interviews and performing random checks. Emphasis is placed on the discovery of objective findings which prove to be either in accordance or at variance with the demands stipulated in legislation, regulations, manuals and other standards, such as the demands made by the internal quality control system.
The result of the supervision is presented in a supervisory report. The unit being supervised is given the opportunity to respond and comment while the report is being drafted. The supervisory report is made public.
The unit under scrutiny is to develop a plan within a given time frame for implementation of the supervisory findings.
The Road Supervisory Authority also develops a plan for follow-up of the supervisory findings and determines how the case will be closed, and whether to conduct another supervision at a later date.
The quality control system in the Road Supervisory Authority is process-based, and built up in accordance with the current NS-EN ISO 9000 standard.
The Norwegian Road Supervisory Authority
Uttrågata 38, 5700 Voss