Optimising the design features of road constructional measures and their broad application could result in considerable reduction of the consequences of road traffic accidents. If new solutions are applied properly, serious consequences of accidents can be reduced by 10-20%. An appropriately designed transport engineering solution usually improves the effects upon the environment.
The project is targeted at decreasing the road traffic accident rate and reducing accident consequences.
This goal should be reached by optimising the particular road design features and optimising the spatial arrangement of roads. This includes amending selected technical regulations with respect to new legal regulations concerning road traffic. The project also introduces some foreign experience and practices into the situation in the Czech Republic and it should improve road traffic safety in towns and cities by using up-to-date designing methods.
The project deals with the problems concerning road traffic safety from a continual and comprehensive perspective.
Key project topics are:
- Design features of roads (legislation researches, researches of survey reports of selected European countries);
- Judicious expert analysis of the factors leading to road accidents;
- Frequency of typical kinds of injury in cases of particular road users;
- Detected influence of the design features of the measures realised in order to improve road traffic safety upon the accident rate and traffic smoothness;
- Optimising design parameters of the constructional measures to slow down traffic;
- Principles of safe formation of roads;
- Management of road traffic safety in towns and cities.
The project involves research of the present day status of the regulations and research reports concerning transport area arrangement in selected European countries. A set of expert opinions is analysed, with analyses being carried out especially from the perspective of road arrangement, road equipment; the analyses should respect the context of other transport engineering and organisational measures.
An independent stage of the project is devoted to analysing the influence of traffic accident circumstances in relation to kind of injury and demands upon medical care, to work out an analysis of the influence of selected constructional measures (approximately 200 measures realised in the Czech Republic) and their real design parameters on road traffic safety.
The project concentrates especially on the following: constructional measures to reduce speed, pedestrian and cyclist crossings, level crossings and public passenger transport stops. The results of these analyses will be summed up in the particular outputs and the generalising recommendations concerning updating of norms and technical conditions on the spatial arrangement of roads.
The BESIDIDO project was divided into 6 stages:
Stage I: State of the art:
The relevant European research projects, technical standards and guidelines were reviewed and important parts were translated and compiled.
Stage II: Identification of risk factors related to the road design:
The analysis was based on in-depth accident investigation reports. The digital database comprised of more than 2000 accident investigation reports.
Stage III: Analysis of typical accident injuries for different types of road users:
The analysis was based on the set of 1131 medical reports of road victims, which were injured from 1999 to 2003.
Stage IV: Analysis of more than 160 road safety engineering measures:
The main goal of the analysis was to evaluate the effect of road safety measures on the accident rate. Before and after accident data were obtained from the Traffic Police, the collision diagrams before and after implementation of the measure were elaborated. The socio-economic costs of accidents were calculated.
Stage V: Summary of results:
Recommendation for updating of relevant technical standards and guidelines (Guidelines 'Optimization of design parameters of traffic calming measures', 45 pages, December 2005).
Stage VI: Dissemination:
Handbook of road safety and traffic calming measures in urban areas - practical examples, Volume 1, 157 pages, June 2005.
Recommendations have been summarised in guidelines and a handbook. Some best practices collected in this project may be used also for safety improvement in some other EU countries. This project could be inspirational above all for new EU countries in Central and Eastern Europe.