Spatial analysis of road traffic accident hotspots: evaluation and validation of recent approaches using road safety audit

El Said Mamdouh Mahmoud Zahran, Soon Jiann Tan, Eng Hie Angel Tan, Nurul Amirah Atiqah Binti Mohamad 'Asri Putra, Yok Hoe Yap, Ena Kartina Abdul Rahman

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


Reducing road traffic accidents (RTA) and their socioeconomic costs is an increasingly important priority in many countries. In recent years, many authors have proposed various approaches to analyse historical RTA data using Geographic Information System (GIS) tools, so that locations with high instances or risk of RTA–i.e., RTA hotspots or blackspots–could be identified and ranked. This could then enable limited road engineering resources to be prioritised for remediating more critical RTA hotspots and therefore reducing RTA rates. This paper presents the development of a new validation method to evaluate the application of four different hotspot analysis methods in ESRI ArcGIS 10.2 to identify and rank RTA hotspots using historical RTA data on a section of a road in Brunei Darussalam as a case study. A road safety audit was undertaken for six locations along the study road section to identify the risk levels at these locations. These risk levels were then compared with risk levels at the same six locations computed by four hotspot analysis methods: Network KDE by SANET, KDE+, Getis-Ord Gi*, and a recently proposed risk-based method–STAA–that accounts for RTA frequency, severity and socioeconomic costs. It was found that SANET-KDE overestimated the risk levels of road sections that are free of RTA. The results from KDE + showed the most deviations compared to the identified risk levels by the road safety audit. Getis-Ord Gi* was not able to identify RTA hotspots along the study road section of Jalan Tutong. However, the STAA method provided the most consistent results in comparison with the identified risk levels by the road safety audit. STAA, by having a better validity compared to other methods, provides a promising way to prioritise RTA hotspots for remediation, and thus reducing the associated socioeconomic costs. In addition, these findings demonstrated that the novel method of validation via risk levels determined by road safety audit was able to provide an independent measure of the validity of the hotspot analysis (HSA) methods.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)575-604
Number of pages30
JournalJournal of Transportation Safety and Security
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • blackspot identification
  • GIS
  • hotspot analysis
  • road traffic accidents
  • traffic safety

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Transportation
  • Safety Research


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