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Advanced research on road work zone safety standards in Europe

European Union
Complete with results
Project Acronym
STRIA Roadmaps
Infrastructure (INF)
Transport mode
Road icon
Transport policies


Background & Policy context

With road traffic still growing at a significant rate all over Europe, the need for maintenance and repair of road infrastructure is increasing as well. In particular, the impact of heavy vehicles combined with the sheer number of cars is contributing to the rapid deterioration of roads and related installations. The resulting need to enlarge, improve and maintain road infrastructure at ever decreasing intervals constitutes a severe safety problem for workers and users alike. An overview of the current state of practice across European countries reveals a multitude of design and signing practices for road construction sites, with diverse characteristics. Therefore harmonised safety standards are expected to be of major benefit.


ARROWS aimed to develop a unified range of road work zone safety measures and principles that should govern the planning, design, implementation and operation of road work zones. This is to mitigate their adverse safety effects on workers and road users.

The main objectives of ARROWS have been:

  • to analyse road work zone typologies, present the whole range of work zone safety measures (current and innovative), and review existing national and international standards and practices on the topic;
  • to explore the effectiveness of road work zone safety measures in terms of their ability to achieve the desired driver behaviour, towards a safer driving and working environment;
  • to review the experimental methods for the evaluation of safety measures;
  • to develop a unified range of road work zone safety principles and measures;
  • to recommend a European framework for road work zone safety standards; and
  • to produce a practical handbook for road work zone safety, as practical guidance to network managers at all levels.


Parent Programmes
Institution Type
Public institution
Institution Name
European Commission; Directorate-General for Energy and Transport (DG TREN; formerly DG VII)
Type of funding
Public (EU)



  • compiled a comprehensive list of road work zone safety principles, suitable for guidance in planning, design and operation of construction sites, such as typology, standards and practices, behavioural factors, accidents and countermeasures;
  • performed a pilot study on accident scenario construction, after available accident studies had shown little useful information related to work zone casualties;
  • outlined a set of safety-related recommendations for standardised planning, implementation and operation of road work zone measures.

The major output was a consolidated Practical Handbook on 'Road Work Zone Safety' comprising the following aspects:

  • definition of specific construction site safety problems (awareness raising),
  • clear definition of typology and terminology,
  • an outline of road work zone safety objectives and principles,
  • guidance for all involved actors, i.e. road authorities, designers, contractors, site personnel and executive bodies (e.g. traffic police), on how to implement road work zone measures through all phases of the process, i.e. planning, design, installation, operation and removal,
  • a ready-to-use set of safety tips for the implementation phases,
  • guidance on the layout of road work zones with respect to traffic control, information and warning equipment, guiding and protective elements on the road, and safety equipment for workers, and
  • provision of indicative checklists that can be used in the planning and operational phases, covering the specific details of road work zone safety such as:
    • - traffic and speed management,
    • physical design of construction sites,
    • work zone operation and maintenance,
    • safety of individual workers.

Policy implications

The ARROWS project has initiated concerted activities towards the harmonisation and standardisation of road work zones. The project findings need to be exploited by applying the recommendations in the Handbook on a pan-European level. The established dissemination forum will help to reach all relevant parties, and will enable easy access to useful tools - in particular the ARROWS Handbook - via the project web site.


Lead Organisation
EU Contribution
Partner Organisations
EU Contribution


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