Measures to reduce crash numbers and injury severity
Long-term planning is needed to create the fundamental changes that will improve the safety and mobility of vulnerable road users. Measures require a framework that takes the various needs of vulnerable road users into account. Concepts like Sustainably Safe Traffic and Zero Vision provide the framework that long-term planning requires. These concepts stop defining road fatalities as a negative but largely accepted side-effect of the road transport system. Rather, road fatalities can and should be avoided, and the probability of crashes can be reduced drastically by means of the infrastructure design. Where crashes still do occur, the process which determines the severity of these crashes should be influenced in such a manner that the possibility of severe injury is virtually eliminated.
The Dutch Sustainably Safe Traffic system is currently characterised by:
- A structure that is adapted to the limitations of human capacity through proper design, and in which streets and roads have a neatly appointed function, as a result of which improper use is prevented.
- Vehicles which are fitted with facilities to simplify the driverís tasks and which are designed to protect the vulnerable human being as effectively as possible.
- Road users, who are adequately educated, informed and, where necessary, guided and restricted.
A road safety system based on this framework can be combined with transport policies that consider walking and cycling as a mode of transport, such as the one written down in UKís White Paper on A new Deal for transport: better for everyone .
The main consequences of the necessary framework and new concepts for road planning and design are:
- Motorised traffic with a flow or distribution function must be segregated from non-motorised transport.
- A network of main traffic routes must be created for pedestrians and cyclists.
- A fair balance between motorised and non motorised traffic for priority facilities at crossings should be achieved.
- The maximum speed of motorised traffic should be limited on roads where it mixes with non-motorised traffic .
Specific measures that are needed to realize the above mentioned traffic system, relate to road and traffic planning, and road design. In addition, there are other measures that could improve the safety of pedestrians and cyclists, such as: