First Experience on Road Safety Auditing in Serbia - is It Cost-effective?
M Osoba, V Tubic, University of Belgrade, YU; J Mertner, COWI A/S, DK
Road safety auditing on part of existing Serbian road network was done. The proposed safety effects are expected to be up to 35-37%. The cost benefit ratio of measures proposed is expected to be more than 8 and the Internal Rate of Return (IRR) 42%.
Road safety is a serious problem in Serbia and road safety performance is very poor by international standards with a fatality rate significantly higher that of neighbouring countries and compared by number of vehicles is one of the worse performing European countries. The paper will present the findings of a project where road safety auditing was in wide extend carried the first time in Serbia.
The Serbian road network is traditionally characterized by low level of safety due to the outdated heritable road design, poor physic conditions of the existing roads and lack of maintenance during a long period.
Although not completely operative yet, Road Safety Auditing (RSA) was an important component of the activities to improve the road network in the Feasibility Study of the Road Network between Belgrade and Montenegro. This is one of the most extensive RSA works that have been carried out in Serbia until now. More than 550 kms of existing roads were assessed on site and additionally the corresponding road design projects were checked.
Focus will in this paper be on road safety auditing of the existing road and on the expected result of focusing on introducing road safety measures.
The project roads analysed are among the roads with highest accident rates in Serbia. The police have registered an average of 1350 accidents per year on the project roads. These accidents lead to an average of 60 fatalities and 670 injuries per year.
The road safety review is a systematic and detailed assessment of the existing road with regard to road safety. When accident data are missing or inadequate as on the project road then road safety can be improved by assessing the existing road with regard to road safety. The visual inspection was carried out by driving and walking along the road registering potential dangerous elements related to the roads design, layout, surface condition, signs and markings.
The measures considered to improve the road safety situation are based on 4 principles. First of all accidents should be avoided, secondly the road should be more forgiving, thirdly the road design should be according to the speed limits, fourthly to obtain good safety results it may often be necessary to go beyond the road standards, e.g. be stricter on curves, safety zones and junctions than the road standards suggest. This is because road standards are a compromise between e.g. traffic flow, road safety, environment and costs.
The measures suggested on the project road include guard rails, improve junctions, speed reducing measures in towns and larger build up areas, provide facilities for pedestrians, pre-warning and local speed limits in sharp curves, reduce length of sections with 2+1 lanes (or climbing lanes), thus change direction at least every 4-5 km., locate bus stops, etc. correct, provide adequate and consistent road markings and traffic signing, including ending of e.g. speed limits.
The costs of the suggested measures were assessed both if only road safety measures were applied on the road and also if the road safety measures were to be part of the road design of the entire road. The cost effectiveness could then be calculated to justify the focus on road safety.
It is assumed that rather high safety effects may be obtained on the project road. This is because it is assumed that there are fairly many easy accidents to target as road safety have until now not been in focus.
Assuming that all the suggested road safety measures are established on the project network as suggested then the safety effects are expected to be up to 35-37%. This will in total cost approx. 35 mill. Euro or 65,000 Euro per km. The cost benefit ratio is expected to be more than 8 and the Internal Rate of Return (IRR) 42%.
Thus the expected conclusion is that it is cost-effective to focus on road safety on roads in Serbia including to make a road safety audit of the existing roads to ensure that appropriate measures are included in the design.
Association for European Transport