Road Safety by Prevention, the Way to Co-Benefits

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By Roelof Wittink, Director, Interface for Cycling Expertise (Amsterdam, the Netherlands)

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Road Safety by Prevention, the Way to Co-Benefits

  1. 1. Road safety by prevention, the way to find co-benefits Roelof Wittink Executive director I-ce Interface for Cycling Expertise
  2. 2. Global picture of Road Safety <ul><li>World wide, 1.2 million fatalities per year will increase to 1.8 mln fatal </li></ul><ul><li>Safety problems inhibit free mobility for cyslists and pedestrians </li></ul><ul><li>Planning for right infrastucture (0,25% of GNP) will save 80% fatalities by the right measures </li></ul>
  3. 3. Searching for coalitions <ul><li>How strong is the agenda for road safety? </li></ul><ul><li>Traffic fatalaties are no news, blaming the victims does not make sense, a sector approach does not help </li></ul><ul><li>Road safety has the same cause as pollution and CO2 emissions, lack of freedom of movement and exercise, no-go cities: </li></ul><ul><li>priority in planning for cars </li></ul>
  4. 4. First: Health issue <ul><li>WHO states that globally physical inactivity causes 50% more fatalities than road safety: 1.9 million. In Europe 5 times as much </li></ul><ul><li>Other data suggest that traffic related pollution causes another 800.000 deaths. </li></ul><ul><li>Traffic related safety problems and pollution and (traffic related) physical inactivity results in about 3 million premature deaths per year </li></ul>
  5. 5. Accessibility and Mobility issue <ul><li>There are strong indications that the great majority of people is inhibited in free mobility because of road (and social) safety problems </li></ul><ul><li>We know much more about vehicle movements than people movements, let alone that we know the demand for accessibility which is not covered by our current traffic system </li></ul><ul><li>We blame people for accidents that happen since they do not accept long detours as pedestrians and cyclists to comfort car drivers </li></ul>
  6. 6. Non restrictive approach of safety for cycling and walking <ul><li>Road safety measures do not have to be restrictive for cycling and walking </li></ul><ul><li>Cycling and walking are prominent modes of transport in a sustainable transport system </li></ul><ul><li>Road safety has to be based on the prevention of the chance that serious accidents occur, securing mobility for all modes, for people of all ages and physical capacities </li></ul>
  7. 7. Cost benefit ratio of measures <ul><li>Area-wide speed reduction measures in residential areas, 1 : 10. </li></ul><ul><li>Bicycle lanes, 1 : 10, </li></ul><ul><li>Advanced stop lines for cycles at junctions, 1 : 12 </li></ul><ul><li>Mini roundabouts, 1 : 8. </li></ul>
  8. 8. Is cycling mobility contra cycling safety? <ul><li>Cyclists miss physical protection. </li></ul><ul><li>But when cycling and car trips on the same roads are compared and risk for other users is incorporated, fatalities per km are less for cycling for persons till 40 years, in the Netherlands </li></ul><ul><li>Still road safety is main barrier for cycling mobility </li></ul>
  9. 9. More cycling, more safety <ul><li>1960 - 1977: 40% less cycling km and 25% more (not less!) fatal cyclists </li></ul><ul><li>1980 - 1998: 30% more cycling km and 54% less (not more!) fatal accidents </li></ul><ul><li>Germany: from 1975 – 1998: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Share of cycling from 8 – 12% </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>66% less fatal cycling accidents </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Cycling km p p p day Killed cyclists per 100 mln km GREAT BRITAIN 0.1 6.0 ITALY 0.2 11.0 AUSTRIA 0.4 6.8 NORWAY 0.4 3.0 SWITZERL 0.5 3.7 FINLAND 0.7 5.0 GERMANY 0.8 3.6 SWEDEN 0.9 1.8 DENMARK 1.7 2.3 NETHERLAND 3.0 1.6
  11. 11. More cycling, less risk
  12. 12. Cycling mobility and safety: It is about the process <ul><li>Road safety specialists ignore the changing conditions that lead to more cycling. The impact of more cycling on road safety goes like this: </li></ul><ul><li>Planning and design to integrate cycling in the traffic system > </li></ul><ul><li>Better overall prevention of serious traffic accidents + more cycling > </li></ul><ul><li>Less car, bicycle and pedestrian fatalities </li></ul>
  13. 13. Policy to prevent serious conflicts <ul><li>Road safety trend for cars, cyclists and pedestrians more or less the same </li></ul><ul><li>Segregate cycling and walking from motorised vehicles when speed is >30 km </li></ul><ul><li>Slow down traffic city wide to 30km </li></ul><ul><li>Mini roundabouts instead of traffic lights save 80% of serious accidents </li></ul>
  14. 14. Modern road safety policy <ul><li>Focus is on prevention and building a road structure that is adapted to the limitations of human capacity. </li></ul><ul><li>Limited number or roads with flow or distribution function, on which segregation with cars and regulation of crossings is needed; </li></ul><ul><li>All other areas can afford mix of traffic </li></ul>
  15. 15. Stages for implementation cycling facilities ….. <ul><li>Isolated cycling tracks as far as there is some space left, do not make any difference </li></ul><ul><li>Cycling routes combined, start to acknowledge cycling as a mode of transport </li></ul><ul><li>Taking user requirements into account, combining safety with directness & comfort </li></ul><ul><li>Planning combined with traffic calming increases overall road safety standards </li></ul><ul><li>Priority for cycling and walking is the best strategy to prevent serious road accidents </li></ul>
  16. 16. Cycling inclusive road safety planning <ul><li>Planning and designing on 4 levels: </li></ul><ul><li>network level </li></ul><ul><li>road sections level </li></ul><ul><li>junctions level </li></ul><ul><li>road surface level </li></ul>
  17. 17. … . Stages towards integrated mobility and safety policy <ul><li>Coherent network quality facilities for cycling and walking </li></ul><ul><li>Reclaiming urban space </li></ul><ul><li>Car use restraints: limited parking, pricing Road safety policy: traffic system is forgiveable for mistakes by young and elderly, pedestrians, cyclists, handicapped </li></ul><ul><li>Legal responsibility first by motorized users </li></ul>
  18. 18. Gender <ul><li>In particular we need to take into account the different requirements for mobility and safety for woman. </li></ul><ul><li>To calculate the impact of our policies on gender, the Gender Budget Analysis can be used as a methodology to consider different needs and different impact of policy </li></ul>

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