Road safety 2006-2010
This Programme has been prepared by the Consultative Committee on Road Safety, and it is designed to achieve an improvement in road safety in the period 2006 to 2010. Safety is a primary concern in all forms of transport. In road traffic the guiding vision is that fatalities and serious injuries will be avoided altogether. The vision is made more specific by focusing on the target of reducing annual traffic fatalities to fewer than 100 by the year 2025. This would be one quarter of the present figure.
Attaining this target will require carefully programmed development work and the active acceptance of shared responsibility in improving the transport system. Better cooperation is required between the organizations and other parties involved in these efforts. Road users themselves must also take their own share of the responsibility, both individually and collectively.
Transport and mobility are fundamental to the well-being of society. The aim of Finland’s transport policy is to build up an “intelligent” transport system which conforms to, and promotes, the principles of sustainable development. Road safety is considered to be one of the key quality factors in our transport system and in the overall safety of citizens. Safety can be improved through the common efforts and will of all concerned and by the collective actions of safety professionals, road users and organizations alike.
Finnish road safety ranks amongst the best in the world. Finland’s extensive history of road safety work has been characterized by setting challenging targets and implementing programmes which combine a variety of measures. Cooperation between the competent authorities and organizations on the one hand, and broad-based political support on the other, have been key factors, and good results have been achieved. Whereas in the 1970s almost 1,200 people were killed and 16,000 injured annually in road traffic in Finland, in the 2000s the numbers of annual traffic fatalities and injuries have remained at under 400 and about 9,000, respectively, even though the volume of traffic has tripled in the meantime.
The three-level monitoring system is thus built up as follows:
1. The leading indicator for policy effectiveness common for all organizations is the improvement of road safety, measured by the number of serious road traffic accidents and the number of fatalities and injuries. The basis for comparison against which these figures are evaluated is the programme target: an average improvement of 6% to 7% in safety each year. A favourable trend will also generate a subjective perception of safety, which people appreciate as a quality factor in their living environment.
2. The work of organizations participating in the programme’s implementation, and the effectiveness of their work, will be shown through indicators related to the principal responsibilities of each body: Ministry of Transport and Communications:
- annually available financial resources for promoting road safety
Finnish Road Administration:
- number of annual traffic fatalities and injuries on public roads
Finnish Vehicle Administration:
- safety level of the vehicle stock
Ministry of the Interior / Police:
- number of fatalities in intoxicant-related traffic accidents, level of automatic traffic surveillance
Ministry of Social Affairs and Health:
- level of control of driving hours and rest periods
Association of Finnish Local and Regional Authorities / local authorities:
- number of traffic-calming zones in residential areas
Border Guard / Customs:
- level of inspections annually
Central Organization for Traffic Safety in Finland:
- safety-consciousness of road users in the use of safety equipment and active safety attitudes
3. The performance prism is based on the human resources and expertise of the participating organizations and their capacity to use that expertise for the achievement of their own targets and for the benefit of the overall programme. In the annual reporting on the programme results, an evaluation of how well the cooperation has worked will be requested from all parties.
The choice of means for improving safety is based on changes in the operating environment and on the need to allocate limited resources according to the effectiveness of the measures. An assessment of the potential for reducing traffic fatalities leads to a focus on six major projects, each with several mutually complementary and mutually supporting measures.
The statistical surveys carried out for this Programme and the effectiveness assessments of a number of safety measures have been used to identify six major projects or problem areas in which road safety can be improved to approach the specific target in keeping with the overall vision.
• Reducing head-on collisions on main roads
• Reducing pedestrian and cyclist accidents in built-up areas
• Speed control
• Reducing accidents involving intoxicants
• Reducing accidents in professional transport
• Alleviating the consequences of accidents