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Road accidents with water polluting liquids (VSS2002/201)

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Complete with results
Geo-spatial type
Project website
STRIA Roadmaps
Infrastructure (INF)
Transport mode
Road icon
Transport policies
Environmental/Emissions aspects
Transport sectors
Passenger transport,
Freight transport


Background & Policy context

Substances hazardous to water are either not readily degradable, toxic or they affect the environment adversely. If they get the environment unchecked, they can adversely harm the protection soil, groundwater, and water, particularly surface water.

There are numerous references provide information about accidents from road transports with dangerous goods. In this topic also a widespread knowledge about safety devices is available. In contrast there is a gap of research work discussing the relations between accidental incidents and safety measures. There are even no basics for an assessment of the appropriateness of design and construction measures. However, the present research fills this gap partly at least.


The main aim of the project is to create technical bases for projecting safety measures referring to road transports of water-threatening substances.

Part of the research work will be the elaboration of bases for a standard, which treats the road-side structural safety-measures against spilling water-threatening substances as consequence of road accidents. The research work contains information to judge structural measures referring to safety increase and appropriateness. Connections with related sectors like active and passive road safety, treatment of road surface water, activities of emergency services and precaution against major hazard will be pointed out. An important element of the research work are practice-oriented technical bases for projecting the structural measures.


The planning of safety measures is usually based on an assessment of hazardous incidents and there frequency. The study provides the basics for this purpose. Therewith, it is possible to perform a planning, obey the principles of appropriateness. The suggested procedure is transparent and practical.


Parent Programmes
Institution Type
Public institution
Institution Name
Swiss Government: State Secretariat for Education and Research
Type of funding
Public (national/regional/local)


The research includes detailed information for the planning of safety measures with its focus on preventive measures to reduce the hazardous potential and to eliminate releases of polluting liquids. Such measures often concern the use of effective vehicle restrain systems. In addition the study provides practical information to measures, which limit the consequences of releases of dangerous liquids. Among others these are curbs, pipes, sealing as well as separation basins for polluting liquids and combinations of separators and sedimentation basins.

The research provides a practical simple calculation scheme for assessing the adequacy of security Massa acquisitions taking into account the effect of individual measures. This instrument guarantees for the whole of Switzerland a balanced level of safety with regard to the prevention of water pollution as a result of accidents during transport of water hazardous fluids.

The research enables optimization and simplification of the planning of safety measures. The focus is on the choice of safety measures and the combination of measures. Information on the detailed planning and implementation of construction measures were analyzed under this project too.


Bürkel, P., Stauer, M.: Unfälle beim Transport wassergefährdender Flüssigkeiten. Forschungsauftrag, VSS 2002/201, Eidgenössisches Departement für Umwelt, Verkehr, Energie und Kommunikation, Zürich, 2005

DETEC report no. 1117 accidents during transport of water hazardous liquids (reference about office VSS)

Policy implications

The research provides a new tool to assess the adequacy of security measures with regard to the release of water-polluting liquids. In addition, it contains interesting descriptions and analyzes of accident events that have been evaluated for planning practice. The research also provides information on the detailed planning of security measures.

Other results

With the processing of the standard "release of water-polluting liquids" by the VSS EK 2.07 Strass drainage, the implementation of the findings of the research is guaranteed in practice.

The established by the research tool to assess the adequacy of security measures can be modified also applied for other areas. With a few changes, a use in the evaluation of measures relating to the transport of volatile hazardous substances is possible.


Lead Organisation
EU Contribution
Partner Organisations
EU Contribution


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