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Road Safety and Environmental Benefit-Cost and Cost-Effectiveness Analysis for Use in Decision-Making

Exploitable results

Road safety is a priority for the European Union's Transport Policy. To reach the objective of halving the number of fatalities until 2010 throughout Europe the improvement or implementation of a great variety of road safety measures is necessary. To improve road safety with economically justified measures is – especially in times of scarce resources and rather poor economic means – a challenge. To justify their decisions policy makers need tools to assess the benefits and costs of alternative road safety measures. Therefore, it is necessary to give the road safety related assessment tasks a general framework based on the knowledge and experiences already achieved in Europe and world-wide. The objective of Rosebud project, to help responsible policy makers to judge on the best and most rewarding means to invest in safety efforts, can save life and economic costs which result from the implementation of less efficient safety approaches. Key results - Safety effects estimated should satisfy the criteria of correct safety evaluation. A distribution of a brief guide on standardised techniques (like the above mentioned framework) for the evaluation of safety effects would be helpful for safety practitioners, in general, and particularly, for the improvement of quality of the efficiency assessment studies. - Information about the implementation costs of safety measures is usually lacking. Establishing database s with typical implementation costs of safety improvements would be of help for the systematic use of these values in the efficiency assessment studies. - A database with typical values of safety effects, based on the above mentioned handbook and other international experience would be useful for correct and systematic performance of the "ex-ante" studies. - Consideration of a number of scenarios is useful for testing sensitivity of the results and should become common for the usual evaluation practice. - For a more correct and uniform performance of CBA for safety-related measures it would be useful to elaborate a categorisation of cases, indicating the types of impacts (e.g. safety, mobility, noise, air pollution) to be considered in the evaluation of each category of measures. - It is important to clarify the definitions of projects for which an assessment of safety impacts should be performed. It is suggested that the safety related efficiency assessment should be applied mostly for two types of projects: a. improvements which were financed by safety-dedicated budgets and b. projects aimed at improving safety. Technical implications of results - When p resenting efficiency assessment results, it is important to make a distinction between "technicians" (the professional level) and others. The language and the details should be adapted to the targeted population. - Cost-benefit analysis seems to be more suitable for national- and regional-level decision-making where the safety budgets are planned. Cost-effectiveness analysis seems more suitable for local level, especially when several safety solutions are compared while tackling a specific safety problem. - In the countries where the safety budget is centralised, an efficiency assessment of safety measures may be distributed by stating it as a necessary condition for the application to central budget. - Training of decision - markers is important to strengthen their understanding of the principles of efficiency assessment.