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Innovative Guidelines and Tools for Vulnerable Road Users Safety in India and Brazil

Final Report Summary - SAFER BRAIN (Innovative guidelines and tools for vulnerable road users safety in India and Brazil)

Executive summary:

There are significant road safety gaps between both India - Europe and Brazil - Europe, suggesting that Europe can give a strong effort in improving vulnerable road users (VRUs) safety in these two emerging economies, by transferring and adapting to the local context the results of the European research and experiences.

The main objective of SAFERBRAIN was to increase the level of safety of VRUs in India and Brazil, thus contributing to reducing the number of traffic accidents.

Specific objectives consisted in analysing the main risk factors of VRUs in Brazil and India and, based on European experience and best practices, in developing innovative methodologies and tools for planning, designing and maintaining safe infrastructures in these countries.

Based on the analysis of accident databases, situation of road infrastructure and the road safety management procedures, highlighting differences and commonalties between India, Brazil and Europe, a methodology (so-called transferability audit) was developed to assess the applicability and acceptability of available road safety measures and tools from Europe to emerging economies.

Results of the transferability audit test on a set of common European road safety measures, showed, for Brazil, a dominant problem related with cultural/societal aspects, while in India economical issues is more important.

These outcomes were then used to adapt to the local conditions in India and Brazil innovative methodologies and tools developed in Europe.

A decision support system (DSS), i.e. freeware geographical information system (GIS) based web application - the SAFERBRAIN DSS - able to support technicians and decision makers in selecting the most appropriate road safety measures to be applied in a site, was developed allowing two kind of analysis.

The preventive approach allows to define road safety measures without dealing with accident data. In this case the tool supports the execution of road safety audits or inspections (respectively for projects during the design phase and for existing infrastructures). The corrective approach allows defining suitable road safety countermeasures, having high cost-benefit ratio, in sites where road accidents are frequent, basing on recurrent accident causes.

A methodology was also adapted to the local conditions in Brazil and India for the assessment of pedestrian crossings safety, based on infrastructural characteristics. This methodology was tested, to assess the safety of a number of pedestrian crossings in Pune (India) and in Sao Paulo (Brazil).

Specific recommendations and guidelines for the road system infrastructure design to safely carry VRUs in emerging economies were prepared. A review of current European best practices in land-use and transport planning for VRUs was carried out and the transferability of the European 'best practice' in this regard to emerging economies was evaluated. In particular the recommendations and guidelines focussed on effective road safety management procedures, safe road infrastructure design and road safety audit / inspection.

The road safety audit methodology was also tested in pilot sites (in India and in Brazil) where renewal designs were planned. Recommendations for improving VRUs safety were provided by the auditors and included in new designs by the local authorities in charge of the implementation.

By assessing the new VRUs safety conditions, preliminary positive results (e.g. strong reduction in the number of accidents) were found.

An initial start up in training decision makers, stakeholders, local education institutes and practitioners, providing necessary tools, software and support was given both in India and Brazil at the end of the project. The training activities covered the different topics in road safety management and specific Training Books, adapted to the local conditions of India and Brazil (and translated in Portuguese) were prepared.

SAFERBRAIN contributed to the improvement of VRUs safety conditions in India and Brazil. The project results are a starting point for extrapolation of findings and experience in all of the emerging economies.

Project context and objectives:

Walking and cycling are transport modes where relatively unprotected road users interact with traffic of high speed and mass. This makes pedestrians and cyclists vulnerable. Children below the age of 12 and adults aged 75 and above are particularly engaged in walking. The bicycle is used most frequently by adolescents (12 to 17 years of age).

Of all traffic fatalities in European Union (EU) countries, in 2010, the proportion of pedestrian fatalities in EU 24 was about 21 % and the proportion of cyclist fatalities is about 7.5 %. Age groups that have the highest percentage of pedestrian fatalities are children younger than 10 years of age and adults aged 65 years or older. Cyclist fatalities have the highest share among children between 6 and 14 years of age.

Looking at the trends of traffic accidents in Europe, from 2001 to 2010, a strong improvement of road safety conditions can be evidenced. While the number of victims of traffic accidents decreased of about 44 %, the number of pedestrians and cyclists deaths in traffic accidents decreased respectively of about 39 % and 36 %.

The situation in emerging economies is very different. The high economic growth rate in these countries is leading to high and increasing traffic accidents and fatalities figures. Especially the percentages of fatalities involving VRUs are significantly higher than in Europe. Also the level of underreporting of traffic accidents (especially of VRUs accidents) is very high. For instance, in India, most of the accidents involving pedestrians are not collected by the police forces and thus not included in the official statistics.

If we look at Brazil, in 2010 there were 40 610 road traffic fatalities, with a population of about 190 millions of inhabitants and a number of registered vehicle about equal to 65 millions.

The fatality rate (i.e. victims per millions of inhabitants) in 2010 was about equal to 213 (compared, in average, to 71 in Europe).

The trends of road traffic victims in Brazil, from 2001 to 2010, show a strong increase of motorcyclists deaths, due to a strong increase in the number of power two wheelers (PTWs) circulating on the roads. The trends of pedestrians and cyclists deaths in traffic accidents, in the same period, are quite stable (respectively about 1 300 and 10 000 victims).

In 2010, the pedestrians fatalities represented about the 22 % of all the traffic victims, while cyclists and motorcyclists represented respectively 3.5 % and 25 % of all the traffic victims. Thus, VRUs fatalities account for more the half of the victims of traffic accidents.

If we look at India, in the period from 1995 to 2006, the number of accidents has increased by some 22 %, while the number of fatalities has increased by some 31 %.

In 2007, in India, 114 590 people died on the road (13 % of which were pedestrians and 4% were cyclists), compared to the 43 400 died on the EU 25 road network (and we can reasonably assume that the level of 'underreporting' in India is higher than in Europe).

The number of registered vehicles, in 2004, was about 73 millions, with a population of about 1.14 billions of inhabitants (in 2007).

The fatality rate (number of victims per million of inhabitants), in 2007, was about equal to 101, compared to 74 of Europe (average value).

The trend of traffic accident fatalities shows a strong and continuous increase of victims since 19070. Until 2000 the number of person killed in road traffic accidents increased of some 5 %. After 2000, the percentage of increase was about 8 %.

In some cases the fatality rates (victims per million inhabitants) of India and Brazil appear to be similar to that of other European countries. On the contrary the ratio between number of victims and registered vehicles in India and Brazil is always higher than European countries.

These data shows the gaps between both India - Europe and Brazil - Europe and suggest that Europe could give a strong effort in improving Vulnerable Road Users safety in these two emerging economies, by transferring and adapting to the local context the results of the European research and experiences.

In general, the higher is the motorisation level and the lower are the traffic risks, leading to a long term model of the number of traffic accident fatalities having a 'bell' shape. The number of fatalities increase in a first period and successively decrease, even if the motorisation continues growing.

Currently, even if with differences between countries, Europe is in the decreasing part of the 'bell', thank to the road safety plans and actions implemented during the past years. On the contrary, the emerging economies are in general in the increasing part of the 'bell' (i.e. with a continuous increase of traffic accidents).

The European experience in road safety can thus help these countries to 'pass the bell peak' faster, reaching a decreasing trend of traffic accidents and victims rapidly.

These consideration has led to defining the international research project SAFERBRAIN, co-funded by the European Commission's Directorate General (DG) for Research and Technological Development (RTD) within the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) on Transport.

SAFERBRAIN was a specific international cooperation action, involving twelve partners from Europe, Brazil and India.

The project dealt mainly with infrastructure safety, even if aspects related to road users behaviours, educational and enforcement measures were also considered. It was primarily directed to national and local level of road safety policy making.

SAFERBRAIN started in October 2009 and was concluded in March 2012.

The main objective of SAFERBRAIN was to increase the level of safety of the whole road transport system and its components, focussing the attention on VRUs, thus contributing to the overall scope of reducing the number of fatalities and the severity of injuries caused by road accidents.

Specific objectives consisted in the following main aspects:

1. analysing the main risk factors for VRUs in emerging economies related with road traffic conditions
2. developing methodologies and tools to assess the adaptability of European measures to the local conditions in emerging economies
3. defining innovative methodologies to conceive and maintain the road infrastructures, in order to ensure a high level of VRUs safety in India and Brazil
4. developing a GIS-based DSS oriented towards VRUs, for the definition of the most suitable road safety strategies and the identification of the most effective and efficient countermeasures
5. developing recommendations and guidelines, adapted to the local conditions in India and Brazil, for transport planning, road safety management procedures, infrastructure design and road safety audit / inspection
6. training local technicians and decision makers about the topics analysed during the project (e.g. road safety management, decision support system, etc.), in order to give an initial start-up in educating decision makers, stakeholders, local education institutes and practitioners.

Project results:

The project strategy was divided in seven main work packages (WPs).

The WP1 main objective was to obtain a better understanding of the requirements regarding the safety of Vulnerable Road Users in emerging economies.

A special focus was given on the local accident databases regarding VRUs, the actual situation of road infrastructure (policy), land-use planning (policy) and the local current road safety management procedures.

The scope of the research set-up was on the macro-, meso- and micro-level; from the decisions made or actions taken by the government, to the organisations or institutions that are related to implementation, maintenance and/or support of policy, to the situation on the roads or streets.

The methodologies that have been used to provide an overview of the current situation in India, Brazil and the EU are a questionnaire as a basis for interviews performed by the local partners, a standardised framework with closed and open questions supplemented with literature searches.

The first result of these activities is a better understanding of the specific traffic safety situation(s) in the different regions of the world, for each partner in the project. This understanding is based on the gathered facts and figures per country or region. Apart from differences between the three countries / regions India, Brazil and EU, a better understanding of the differences within a country or region and the differences in procedures and positions of local versus regional or national governments was gained. A lot of information has been gathered and shared amongst the partners.

The second result is process oriented. By cooperating and working together we gained insight into each others' expectations and working methods.

The third result focuses on the recommendations for the next WPs. The most important recommendations are that we constantly have to be aware that we need to work closely with the local partners in an open mind. Local knowledge is of crucial importance. Next to that, we have to interpret results with great care and a critical eye, because of differences in fact sheet analysis and data collection (data levels and indicators). Also, we need to be aware that we did not yet have a focus on budgets available and personnel and technical knowhow required for the interpretation of given measures. This needs to be taken into account in other WPs.

The fourth result is the case studies on the local traffic situations in Sao Paulo (Brazil) and Pune (India).

The WP1 activities provided (through literature analysis and questionnaires) an overview of the current situation in Europe, India and Brazil for three analysis levels (macro / meso / micro).

Main findings consisted in useful indications on commonalities and differences between Brazil, India and Europe for each of the analysis levels.

For instance, at macro level, big differences appeared between the three regions concerning the National Policy on Mobility/Road Safety/VRU: while in Europe and India road safety policies at national level exist, there are no specific national policies in Brazil.

At meso level, all the three Regions have safety standards for vehicles but only in Europe there is a strong enforcement both on vehicles and on road user behaviours. In India there is poort enforcement and few information concerning VRUs. In Brazil, not all the rules are enforced or mandatory and there are big differences between regions inside the country.

At micro level, differences appeared in term of behaviours. In Europe the behavioural approach includes VRUs. In India and Brazil, VRUs priority on the road is generally not respected and there is low enforcement on behaviour.

The WP2 analysed similarities and differences between Europe and emerging economies in terms of: conditions of VRUs, infrastructure design, land-use configuration, road safety management procedures. The barriers (e.g. cultural, political, institutional, legal, physical) to the transferability of methodologies, measures and tools from Europe to India and Brazil were then identified. The main outcome of WP2 consisted in a generalised transferability audit to check the applicability and acceptability of available road safety measures, guidelines, road safety audit procedures and Tools from European countries to the emerging economies.

The basic structure for transferability audit is defined on the one hand by cultural, social, institutional and economic factors (CSIE) of the given country, on the other hand by road safety measures, the so-called four E's, i.e. engineering, education, enforcement and encouragement. This comprehensive approach allows to extend the consideration of road safety measures which is usually strongly engineering oriented with further very to check the applicability and acceptability of available road safety measures, guidelines and tools from European countries to emerging economies.

Cultural issues are crucial for the transferability and have therefore to precede any transferability analysis. Considerations about the cultural and human factors aspects explaining the main differences between Europe, Brazil and India were thus introduced. The main targets of this comparison were to ascertain cultural differences of the countries participating in SAFERBRAIN project and to define how they can influence the transferability of road safety measures. Aspects like population and its density, literacy rate, religion as well as social systems of Brazil and India were taken into consideration. The cultural model in SAFERBRAIN was developed using the approach of Geert Hofstede. On the basis of his questionnaire more than 200 people were interviewed each in Brazil and India to specify the influence of cultural dimensions (power distance, individualism, masculinity and uncertainty avoidance) on transferability of road safety measures. Connecting the results of cultural research with the theoretical model introduced in chapter two it is obvious that 4 E's have always to be considered in the respective cultural context. Though, it was assumed that the weight of every 'E' can vary within a culture. This assumption will be verified and quantitative interpreted in the further developed transferability audit.

To build the bridge to the more measure close and quantitative audit there is a need for further research. For these purpose local works have been performed in an extraordinary volume:

1. EU and local methodology and initial list of measures and their description with European conceptions behind them - interviews, workshops for introduction to leading experts and subsequent seminars expanded the consultation to a larger audience
2. photo documentation and description of negative and positive impacts about existing practices and problems with 'EU measures' and mistakes made within former transfers
3. evaluation of the positive and negative effects expected in Brazil and India that can influence the transferability of the measures.

A matrix of four E's, and its combination with culture, society, institutions and economy (CSIE) gives a comprehensive possibility for creating a model for transferability audit combined with the ranking from evaluation levels that usually are between macroscopic, mesoscopic and microscopic levels. A pyramidal scheme was suggested in order to consider road safety measures in different evaluation resolutions. Further a problems priority matrix (PPM) was developed where rows represent safety concepts-inputs and columns the four road safety space factors. PPM is a checklist designed in order to allow respondents to fill it in by providing scores and weights for each item listed in the rows. A 'macro' function in the matrix allows calculations of sums per each row and column, so to have final scores. The last step in technical assistance (TA) was to fill in the developed PPM with the local partners during local meetings and workshops that included also introduction of results, their discussion and in a further step adaptation.

The results of transferability audit show that the problem score level in India is in general lower than in Brazil. In fact, India has more balanced maximum and minimum scores, whereas Brazil tends to have bigger deviations from minimum to maximum. While Brazil shows a dominant problem score with culture/society economy problem score is low. On the contrary in India economy problem score is close to 50 % culture and society and institutions are balanced. Also in a common four E's comparison significant differences of the problem scores have been detected. In Brazil doubts can be resumed concerning encouragement whereas engineering and education seem to be transferable. In India no big disparities can be seen.

The transferability audit is a flexible scheme to estimate problems for transferability of a described safety category, a safety concept or a single safety measure into another road safety space with different CSIE. The use for transferability audit within the VRU context is a first step. A use for other road safety issues can be expected to be successful as the system seems to be adaptable enough. The use of the PPM is helpful to handle the necessary data efficiently.

It has always to be considered that the successful transfer requires the consideration of cultural issues and the involvement of high qualified local partners.

The WP3 aimed at defining suitable measures, methodologies and tools to improve VRUs safety planning and management in India and Brazil. The activities focussed on assessing the applicability of European experiences and the adaptation of these practices to emerging economies. Then innovative methodologies of conceiving and maintaining road infrastructure, able to ensure a high level of pedestrians and cyclists safety, as well as tools for protecting VRUs under special consideration of infrastructure design, land use planning and road safety management were developed.

A review was firstly realised to identify the potential tools and experiences to be used for developing a DSS adapted to the local conditions in India and Brazil and focussed on safety of pedestrians and cyclists.

Several categories of practices, currently adopted in Europe, have been found to be potentially useful. The existing practices have been for instance divided in shared space schemes, prioritised space schemes, segregated facility schemes, child focussed schemes, school zones, etc.

For each of practice reviewed, examples (photos) have been reported and advantages / disadvantages in using them have been described. Also indications about the kind of users to which they are recommendable have been provided through figures.

The existing DSSs reviewed have been categorised depending on the presence of GIS or the fact they are web applications. The review of DSSs is concluded by an overview of their data need and applicability.

The review also allowed to report about a methodology for assessing the safety level of a pedestrian crossings, used for the evaluation of 215 pedestrian crossings in 17 European cities for the pedestrian crossing assessment project co-financed by the Federation International de l' Automobile (FIA) Foundation.

European methodologies focusing on road safety management, infrastructure design and planning and road safety audit/inspection was also realised.

This review aimed at identifying the methodologies that could be used, adapted to the local conditions, in India and Brazil. This activity provided inputs for recommendations and guidelines to be developed in the WP4.

The main outcome of WP3 was the SAFERBRAIN DSS, a DSS GIS-based web application able to support technicians and decision makers in selecting the most appropriate road safety measures to be applied in a site.

Basing on existing tools used in Europe and United States of America (USA), the SAFERBRAIN DSS was created in order to support decision-makers and technicians to define safety treatments for:

1. preventive approach - i.e. verification of safety conditions and definition of improvements for infrastructures under design (Road safety audit) or for existing infrastructures (Road safety inspection)
2. corrective approach - i.e. correction of unsafe conditions of infrastructures where road accidents are frequent and/or serious, basing on definition of accident causes and identification of possible countermeasures.

The DSS can also support the selection of the more effective treatments basing on evaluation of impacts and costs of countermeasures (for corrective approach) or on estimation of most risky situations (for preventive approach).

SAFERBRAIN DSS has been specifically designed to focus on pedestrian and cyclist safety in Brazil and India but can be easily adapter to other social and behavioural conditions or to other regions.

The tool is in line with the indications of the Directive 2008/96/EC on road infrastructure safety management, especially concerning road safety impact assessment for infrastructure projects (article three), road safety audits for infrastructure projects (article four) and safety inspections (article six).

SAFERBRAIN DSS has been developed as a web application accessible for free from the project web site (at The tool is composed by three main modules providing support to users in preventing potential unsafe situations or in selecting measures to correct unsafe situations.

The DSS allows the users to add accident data in a specific database, to geo-reference the information and to visualize them through 'Google Earth'.

The data can then be used (in the corrective approach) to realise accident analysis on risky areas and thus to select adequate countermeasures. The DSS also supports the users in choosing the most effective countermeasures (e.g. those having the highest benefits - costs ratio). A comprehensive set of possible accident causes and relative countermeasures are included in the tool and differentiated according to different situations (e.g. different countries).

The DSS also allows the user to realise safety analysis without basing on accident data (preventive approach). In this case the tool supports the execution of road safety audits or inspections, respectively of a project or of an existing site. Specific check-lists can be easily managed for different cases (e.g. different type of projects or of road users) and different regions (e.g. different countries). The tool also allows to store different information concerning the areas analysed, like for instance photos or designs, and to geo-reference them.

In addition to these activities, a methodology for the assessment of pedestrian crossings safety (not included in the DSS), already developed in Europe, has been adapted to the local conditions in Brazil and India. This methodology was used to assess the safety of a number of pedestrian crossings in Pune (India) and in Sao Paulo (Brazil).

The WP4 developed recommendations and guidelines for the road system infrastructure design to safely carry VRUs in emerging economies. These guidelines were based on the findings in WP2 and WP3 to ensure the proposed road system is transferable into India and Brazil, based on European knowledge.

A review of current European best practices in land-use and transport planning for VRUs was carried out and the transferability of the European 'best practice' in this regard to emerging economies was evaluated. Then the required procedural guidelines for the implementation of a road infrastructure in the testing phase (WP5) were produced.

In particular the recommendations and guidelines focussed on:

1. effective road safety management procedures
2. safe road infrastructure design and
3. road safety audit / inspection.

Road safety management (RSM)

The RSM involves a three-tier management system: institutional management functions (including results focus, co-ordination, legislation, funding/resource allocation, promotion, monitoring/evaluation, research development and knowledge transfer) which produce interventions, which in turn produce results.

When adapting such recommendations to Indian and Brazilian local contexts some recurring difficulties were found to arise:

1. the management of funding schemes and procedures
2. the need to find agreements among different decision-centres
3. a lack of local social or political support to apply proposed recommendations.

The lessons learned were two-fold. Firstly, all the proposed recommendations, from a technical point of view (i.e. what to do to properly manage road safety) were found to be valid. But secondly, there was a strong awareness that the successful transfer of RSM experiences relies on factors external to RSM itself.

Safe Road Infrastructure (SRI)

SRI design aims to make roads safe for all road users whilst still allowing people to reach their destinations in a timely manner. It was found to be important to consider the function of a road before decided on the best course of action for improving safety, particularly whether a road has a strong movement or place function, or a combination of both.

A list of infrastructure measures was identified based on the function that they serve (e.g. assist VRUs to cross the road, assist VRUs in travelling along roadway/roadside, reduce vehicle speeds, provide area-wide interventions) and for each, advantages and disadvantages were listed, along with current and potential future usage in Brazil and India, plus general guidance for usage. In addition, guidance concerning the use of traffic surveys (VRU and motorised) was provided, outlining their importance in the road design stages.

Recommendations were included for the type of SRI measures which would improve conditions for VRUs when crossing the road, when travelling on or along the side of the roadway or for minimising the number of VRUs needing to travel on the roadway. The importance of lighting at sites with high VRU usage and the importance of ensuring connectivity across road schemes for maximising VRU safety were also highlighted.

Most infrastructure measures were found to be in use to a certain level in Brazil, but not as widely used in India. The main issues were found to be a lack of acceptance and misuse by road users, incorrect placement, poor connectivity, high costs, lack of regulation and lack of political support for wider implementation. Therefore, without sufficient financial and political support, wider implementation of safer road schemes to improve VRU safety will continue to have its difficulties in Brazil and particularly in India.
% Road safety audits / inspections (RSA/I)

An overview was provided of the main existing guidance regarding RSA/Is, plus summary recommendations which focussed on VRU safety in the following areas:

1. where RSA/Is are typically carried out
2. when RSA/Is are typically carried out
3. who typically carries out RSA/Is (team members, experience etc.)
4. the differences between specific types of audits (e.g. general, NMU)
5. RSA/I checklists
6. the RSA/I process
7. reporting.

An evaluation of the guidance and recommendations in terms of their potential applicability to India and Brazil was also undertaken. This showed that implementation of RSA procedures similar to those outlined in the recommendations are feasible, particularly in Brazil, where RSAs are already being carried out, but more political support is needed to ensure that standardised procedures and effective training has to be put in place and to ensure that findings are taken seriously. RSIs could also be potentially introduced in Brazil and India, but initially as part of a current inspection process, with the potential for more specific ‘standalone' procedures being introduced in the future.

In summary, difficulties such as lack of political support, misuse of money, and red tape bureaucracy go far beyond the assessment of the transferability of RSM, SRI and RSA/I procedures and the set-up of more complex, multidisciplinary procedures to overcome such difficulties are the next steps ahead beyond the SAFERBRAIN project.

The developed methodologies and tools were tested (within WP5) in pilot sites (two in India and two in Brazil), where road construction or renewal projects allow verifying the actual applicability and the results of the project outcomes as well as evaluation and comparison of results and refinement of developed methodologies, tools and recommendations and guidelines.

Two methodologies were tested in both countries, namely RA and assessment of pedestrian crossings safety.

RSA pilots

The pilot site for RSA in Brazil was an arterial road (Av. Deputado Cantidio Sampaio) inside one of the poorest region of Sao Paulo. Before implementing the renewal design there were about 3.2 accidents per months (30 accidents in 2009, 50 % of which involved motorcycles).

The design analysed through a RSA was in a final design state, focusing mainly on improvement of pedestrian safety in that area. The main recommendations provided by the RSA, successively commented by the local authorities to verify whether implementation was possible, were:

1. improvements of pedestrian routes visualisation
2. improvement of vertical signage, preparation of vertical signs plan proposed, with the aim to improve the knowledge of manoeuvres allowed for motorised traffic
3. absence of vertical signs for disabled users, introduction of tactile signs and acoustic alarms
4. provision of traffic lights plan in order to check cycles and manoeuvres.

Most of the RSA recommendations were implemented and an assessment of the new VRUs safety conditions was realised. Especially the assessment was realised comparing accident data before and after the measures implementation, pedestrian behaviours by videos and opinions about new pedestrian safety conditions by questionnaires to road users.

The measures implemented provided, at least for the limited time before the project end beneficial impact on pedestrian safety conditions (e.g. strong reduction in the number of accidents).

The pilot site for RSA in India was a grade intersection between a national highway and two major roads, having big dimensions (the national highway and its service roads have a width of about 60 metres). The junction is mostly on plain.

Different problems have been observed in this site. Both pedestrian and motorised traffic does not always respect the signal lights. Green time for pedestrians is often too short and waiting time often too long. Therefore, this leads to a disrespect of the signalised crossing. Furthermore, crossing distances are long and there are no pedestrian refuges.

The RSA on the renewal project for this intersection provided recommendations for technicians concerning safety aspects of pedestrians and cyclists. The recommendations were submitted to the local authorities in charge of design and urban traffic planning, which contributed with comments and accepted to implement some of them.

Clearly the main problem of the junction was its geometry. Modification of geometry was proposed by the RSA as resulting in a roundabout with the following aims:

1. standardisation of axes
2. rationalisation of the pedestrian circuit
3. reduction of conflicts
4. reduction of speed
5. improvement of visibility
6. easy cycling insertion.

This change resulting in an entire redefinition of the project was not possible. Thus the following main recommendations (approved by the local authorities) were made:

1. provision of details concerning lateral protection devices for containing eventual loss of control of vehicles
2. implementation of ramps and tactile signs for disabled users
3. provision of signs and speed plans to evaluate risk exposure for pedestrian crossings
4. preparation of vertical sign plan.

Pilots on assessment of pedestrian crossing safety

For testing the methodology for assessing the pedestrian crossings safety (adapted to the local conditions of Brazil and India), data were collected in Pune (for 12 pedestrian crossings) and Sao Paulo (for 10 pedestrian crossings). By applying the methodology it was possible to verify the safety conditions of the pedestrian crossings and to find the main infrastructural conditions to be eventually improved.

The safety conditions of the pedestrian crossings analysed in India and Brazil were very different. In general the pedestrian crossings in Sao Paulo seem safer than that in Pune. In fact, in Pune, 5 of 12 pedestrian crossings have been rated not satisfactory, while in Sao Paulo, only 3 of 10 are not satisfactory.

The pedestrian crossings in Sao Paulo seem to have more uniform conditions, with problems mainly due to the spatial and temporal design and few problems due to visibility and accessibility.

In Pune, the pedestrian crossings need to be improved in quite all their aspects. Major improvements are necessary for accessibility and spatial and temporal design.

To achieve success in applying new technologies from Europe to emerging economies, adequate education and understanding at local level within the targeted countries was required.

The main objective of WP7 was to transfer the results of SAFERBRAIN project to India and Brazil as the targeted countries by training the staff of Brazilian and Indian public authorities involved in the pilot projects and other stakeholders.

Common standard of education of road safety professionals/practitioners, in particular in the field of road safety of VRUs in emerging economies like India and Brazil were evaluated. This task resulted in a detailed overview of current trainings and curricula used in education and government institutions, and by other practitioners and stakeholders.

A training curriculum was developed based on the outcome of this evaluation, taking into account the best practices from European countries. This task resulted in an English (digital) training book titled 'Training book for needs of emerging economies in the field of road safety for VRUs'.

Two local task force groups (one for India, one for Brazil) worked on the adaptation of the general training curriculum to the special needs in India and in Brazil. Results of this task were two tailor made editions of the training book, one specifically focusing on the situation and needs in Brazil (translated in Portuguese), the other on the situation and needs in India. The practical matters of the execution of the trainings (such as the selection and appointment of trainers, organisation of venues, etc.) were also undertaken in this task.

The training execution followed the tailor-made curricula. It was a three full-day-training attended by staff of the Indian and Brazilian public authorities. The training adapted the basis of the train the trainer approach to ensure that the participants of the training were provided with expertise and skills to give the training to other professionals. The trainings took place in Pune (India) and São Paulo (Brazil).

An extensive description of experiences and improvements throughout the training courses was then compiled. The adjusted 'Training book for needs of emerging economies in the field of road safety for VRUs' (by cooperating feedback information acquired during the training), with the tailor made version for India and for Brazil are integrated parts of this deliverable.

The trainings performed in India and Brazil took place at adequate venues (at the International Convention Centre in Pune, and the University of São Paulo), had international trainers and were attended by participants from different organisations. For the training in India, the adopted training book was used, while in Brazil some other presentations of an external traffic expert were added. Nevertheless the planned curriculum was used in Brazil as well as in India.

At the end of both trainings, the audiences filled in previously prepared feedback sheets. There they gave a very positive feedback, which shows the success of both trainings. The only critic was in the quantity of the exercises during the training. Therefore this is considered in the adjusted training book created afterwards.

Potential impact:

The purpose of SAFERBRAIN was to develop new technologies and innovative solutions for the improvement of road safety in transport operations and the protection of VRUs in India and Brazil.

SAFERBRAIN addressed the following main impacts:

1. to ensure at least a neutral impact on climate change
2. increase the level of safety and security of both the whole transport system and its components, thus contributing to the overall scope of reducing the number of fatalities and the severity of injuries caused by transport accidents.

Specific project activities were dedicated to defining and developing requirements and tools for protecting VRUs under special consideration of infrastructure design and land use planning. The planned activities entailed the definition of measures for the VRUs protection which, even if tested in pilot projects, do not produced climate changes.

Besides, the aim of the project was to develop recommendation and guidelines based on the local requirements and on the transferability conditions.

The main output of the project is the development of recommendations and guidelines for road safety management procedures, infrastructure design and road safety audit. The correct use of the developed tools and methodology, through the guidelines, contributes to increase the level of VRUs safety in the emerging economies and thus to reduce the number of fatalities and the severity of injuries.

As a consequence of the safety increase of this transport system component, the whole transport system can benefit from a global safer situation. Besides, the increase of safety was evaluated through the pilot projects implemented in India and Brazil.

A surplus value of the project, in terms of safety increase, is also given by the training activities, implemented at the end of the project for local users, cyclists and pedestrians, as well as practitioners, decision makers and stakeholders.

Of course, the VRU safety is a wide research field, only in part touched by the project, but the following three specific tools were provided:

1. guidelines for integrated land use and transport planning
2. guidelines for road safety management, infrastructure design and safety audit
3. DSS.

At least these three tools are a step forward in VRU safety research field in emerging economies.

The project results were disseminated through different methods and tools. The main dissemination ways were a website (at content letters and newsletters.

The website provides information, divided per WP, about the results of the project activities. In addition, all the public deliverables, documents translated in Portuguese, articles about the project topics can be downloaded.

The website also includes a section in which the DSS developed during the project can be accessed and used for free.

The events organised during the project lifetime are also disseminated through the website (presentations made at the events can downloaded). Especially the following events were organised:

1. workshop about VRUs safety issues, held in Sao Paulo in December 2009
2. workshop about project activities and VRUs safety, held in Rome in May 2010
3. final event about the project activities and results, held in Pune in February 2012
4. final event about the project activities and results, held in Sao Paulo in March 2012.

In addition to the project partners, road safety experts (members of the advisory board of SAFERBRAIN) participated to these events.

Five content letters were prepared, providing synthetic information about the main project results, accessible to the general public. The aim of these tools was to provide information about the activities and results of SAFERBRAIN, synthesising the technical deliverables and making them more readable (e.g. using non technical language).

Six newsletters were also prepared, announcing the main project activities and events. They were disseminated to contacts of each partner.

The project results were published in journals and in international conferences:

1. international conference on road safety in Jerusalem - June 2010
2. joint Fersi - Humanist workshop in Athens - February 2011
3. international conference on safety of motorcyclists in Rome - March 2011
4. third international conference on road safety and simulation in Indianapolis - September 2011
5. traffic infra tech magazine - September 2011
6. SIDT international scientific seminar in Venice, in October 2011
7. transportation research arena in Athens - April 2012.

Two final conferences (one in Pune and one in Sao Paulo) were organised to disseminate the project activities and results obtained during the project duration to local stakeholders and public. Road safety experts (members of the advisory board of SAFERBRAIN) participated to the events, while the project results were presented by the partners.

Many differences exist between Europe, Brazil and India (e.g. in term of approach to timing, way of managing projects, communication, etc.). The different ways of approaching life and, in particular, working activities can lead to difficulties in understanding the respective needs and requests. A successful project is based on an effective management of these differences since the project beginning.

This is the first exploitation result of SAFERBRAIN: to set, since project beginning, procedures agreed by all the partners to carry out the work and then to check, during all the project duration, that these procedures fit with the partners' needs and approaches.

The differences relate not only with the working activities, but also with mobility conditions. In India, the number of vehicles circulating is strongly increasing in the last years and a road safety culture is now rising. On the other hand, drivers or riders do not always respect road rules and also pedestrians have a low perception of the road risks.

The situation is different in Brazil, where the number of vehicles circulating is also increasing in the last years, but much more attention is put on rules and behaviours. Road safety is perceived as an urgent issue to be solved. A lack of coordination and managing structures exists in Brazil, at different levels. On the contrary, much emphasis is given on increasing the awareness of road users about accident risks. Similarly to Europe, but sometime with much more feeling, traffic accidents are considered as social issue to be eliminated. The protection of vulnerable road users, like pedestrians and cyclists, is thus a current topic. The level of traffic and the mixing between different transport modes (e.g. filtering motorcycles), in metropolis like Sao Paulo, represent conditions completely different from the usual EU ones, that need to be faced with specific interventions.

These considerations allow to understand that there is room for improvements on road safety but it is not given that the improvements needed are exactly those developed in Europe (i.e. adaptation is necessary). In fact one of the main activities of SAFERBRAIN focussed on analysing the transferability of European experiences and methodologies to India and Brazil. Especially a methodology for transferability analysis (taking into account institutional, social and financial aspects) was developed and calibrated separately on Indian and Brazilian characteristics.

The methodology can be used also beyond the project duration to adapt any kind of measure, developed in Europe, to conditions of India and/or Brazil or in general to emerging economies.

SAFERBRAIN also focussed on developing tools, recommendations and guidelines, adapted to local conditions, for protecting VRUs.

In particular, the SAFERBRAIN DSS provides a support to decision makers and technicians to select road safety countermeasures based on accident data or to realise road safety verifications of roads or designs. The tool is currently available for free through the project website.

Detailed recommendations and guidelines, again adapted to the local conditions of India and Brazil, have been made available (and can be used beyond the project duration) to decision makers and technicians on different topics: road safety management, road safety audit, safe infrastructure design.

In addition, specific training activities, focussed on all the project results and, in general, on vulnerable road users safety issues have been realised with the aim of increasing the knowledge of Brazilian and Indian experts about these topics. Especially the main objective of this task was to make able local experts to transfer this knowledge to other people in their countries.

A specific training book (that can be downloaded for free from the project website) was developed, adapted to the local conditions of India and Brazil and made available in English and Portuguese.

In synthesis, the exploitation results, allowing to transfer what has been learnt into new policies and improved practices, and that can be used also beyond the project duration, are related to quite all the project activities:

1. the transferability methodology, allowing to assess the adaptability of any European measures, methodologies and tools to the specific conditions of India and Brazil
2. the SAFERBRAIN DSS, allowing to select adequate (and cost-effective) road safety measures to protect VRUs in India and Brazil
3. the recommendations and guidelines (based also on on-filed pilot experiences) for the road system infrastructure design to safely carry vulnerable road users in emerging economies
4. the train the trainer activities, developed with India and Brazilian experts to transfer road safety knowledge acquired during the project and, in general, to create awareness about VRUs safety issues
5. the project website (at and the other dissemination products (newsletters, content letters, etc.), allowing to inform the general public about the project results and activities, also beyond the project duration.

The opportunity to exploit some research results in areas with high potential for future economic growth, like India and Brazil, is a noticeable challenge both for EU in general and for the single stakeholders in the field of road safety, including SAFERBRAIN project partners.

The project outputs have put the basis for future cooperation with India and Brazil. The good relationship created with the local partners, the better knowledge about the road safety situation and about the way of working in these countries, the greater awareness of local stakeholders about road safety and vulnerable road users issues are the main channels to exploit the project results and create new collaboration.

Four main considerations have been raised during the project lifetime:

1. India has a good technology for the development of tools and specific software, but needs methodologies and contents
2. in Brazil there are good opportunities for introducing technologies
3. both countries have problems related to the reliability/availability of data, while in EU there is a noticeable experience in facing these problems. Many interventions are not based on accident causes assessment and their effectiveness is unknown.
4. the transferability issues approached by the SAFERBRAIN project can allow a successful transfer of several EU best practices to emerging economies.

Similar activities to those realised in SAFERBRAIN for pedestrians and cyclists, could thus be realised with reference to other transport modes. For instance, it often appears that emerging economies have a high number of PTWs, which safety conditions are very low due to several reasons: vehicle characteristics (very different from the European ones), driver behaviours, mix of transport modes, poor infrastructures (not suitable for PTWs).

Future cooperation can also consist in developing road safety management methodologies and tools for vulnerable road users in emerging economies. A framework for setting up adequate road safety management structures and for implementing coordinated road safety actions should be developed at national or state/regional level.

Research should implement pilots of road safety Observatories in emerging economies (at national or state/regional level), based on the European road safety Observatory (ERSO). The road safety observatories should involve local research bodies together with institutional bodies and/or police bodies and should rely on existing offices/infrastructures.

List of websites:

Scientific coordinator: Luca Persia


Project manager: Antonino Tripodi


Phone number: +39-064-4585131

CTL - Research Centre for Transport and Logistics - 'Sapienza' Università di Roma

Via Eudossiana, 18 - 00184 - Rome, Italy