Guidelines to Black Spot Management - Identification and Handling
J Papi, ERF, BE
Currently, 43,000 people die in road accidents on the European Union?s roads each year. Since 1993, the European Union pursues a road safety policy remarkably cutting road casualties. In recent years, the annual reductions in road casualties have started to decline. The European Commission was forced to revise its initial road casualty reduction target of 18,000 road casualties per year to be achieved by 2010 to 27,000. The decline in reductions has further led to a process of rethinking road safety policy, with the result that the infrastructural aspect of road safety needed to be integrated more into the European Union?s road safety policy.
In this context, the project "Guidelines to Black Spot Management: Identification and Handling" aims to provide the European Union with a mean to improve infrastructural road safety on the European Union?s road networks. These guidelines are aimed at the European institutions as a guideline to manage stretches of road with a high occurrence of accidents, so-called "black spots". The guidelines are envisioned for use at European level but also, as the European Union?s recommendations to national, regional and local road authorities.
The project?s action 1 has been the development of a definition of the "Black Spot" concept. After six months of work, the ERF experts delivered to the European Commission a report providing recommendations for a Europe-wide definition of what constitutes a "black spot".
The project?s action 2, now under development, is the elaboration of the state-of-the-art of road safety audit experiences in the European Union and worldwide. This research will lead to the elaboration of a methodology for road safety audits to identify "black spots" and criteria for a Europe-wide "road safety index" to clearly classify roads and to give transport decision-makers an overview over the safety of their road network. Further, in order to perform valid road safety audit, qualified road auditors are needed. Hence, the project will also provide a methodology to train road auditors (Auditor Education Course).
Future project?s actions will aim at recommending so-called "Low Cost Measures" (LCM) to approachthe "black spots". "Low Cost Measures" refers to very cost-efficient engineering measures to be used on roads, that cause very little maintenance cost and are highly effective in alleviating the negative impact of "black spots". Finally, approaches to "black spots" will be recommended in the form of "Best-practice guidelines to LCM", which will be part of the project conclusions.
The presentation will show this project?s answers to the needs of a European road safety policy concerning the infrastructural aspect of road safety on a technical as well as on an institutional level. Thepresentation will also provide the audience with the latest developments of the project.
Association for European Transport