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Territorial and socioeconomic approach to road risk

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Project Acronym
STRIA Roadmaps
Network and traffic management systems (NTM)
Smart mobility and services (SMO)
Transport mode
Road icon
Transport policies
Societal/Economic issues,


Background & Policy context

A scarcely studied topic by the road safety research is related to the influence of socio-spatial disparities on road risks. How does the accident risk vary with socio-economic and territorial characteristics of the inhabitants? Can the knowledge of such risks change the governance of territories? Can the spatial risk management be integrated with other sectoral policies? 


The project studied the influence of socio-spatial disparities on road risks for users. The example treated concerned Lille (Lille Metropole Communauté Urbaine, LMCU) by analysing nine couples of sensitive urban areas (ZUS), distinguished by their urban morphology, distance to dominant urban centres, socio-economic characteristics and risk level.


A multidisciplinary team was composed by geographers, economists and security specialists. New sensitive urban areas (ZUS) were selected, in a sample of traditional and sets of large ones. Zones control were associated, with more favourable contiguous and socioeconomic characteristics. The sample studied amounted to 2779 cases involved in 2255 accidents. The economic analysis studied the attractiveness of the whole LMCU structure on these areas in terms of mobility. The relationship between types of mobility and insecurity were also analysed.

A final section looked at the management of socio-spatial inequalities identified earlier and compared with those practiced in Great Britain since there is a fund dedicated to reducing the number of fatalities and injuries in disadvantaged neighbourhoods. The objective was to analyse the inclusion of road safety issues at several scales and according to several players to identify the decision process.


Funding Source


Statistical analysis showed a strong heterogeneity of large district areas (both in form and their networks). The observations suggested that the large ZUS areas isolated from traffic have a good level of security; when the area is heterogeneous in terms of urban forms and when opened to traffic, security level deteriorates beyond what can be observed for traditional ZUS.

Home - work trips of the inhabitants of the study areas were analysed and compared in terms of the spatial distribution of jobs. The structure of all the movements of the inhabitants of the areas studied in ATSERR, is related with the risk of road accidents. For this, a factor analysis followed by hierarchical cluster analysis allows to show consistency between the nature of displacement and insecurity observed.

Policy implications

On-road risk spatialization could be an opportunity for road safety that is more integrated with urban management. A comparison with the British case, where a partnership and innovative approach took through a dedicated fund specifically the inclusion of road safety - the Neighbourhood Road Safety Initiative - France showed that this integration could be better achieved. In both countries, the adjustments made were similar with a strong incentive to reduce speeds in poor neighbourhoods, but in Britain an innovative partnership approach will improve safety levels.


Lead Organisation
EU Contribution
Partner Organisations
EU Contribution


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