Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS



Project ID: 506184
Funded under: FP6-SUSTDEV
Country: Germany

The European road to safety

A European road safety project has managed to combine a common practice approach for rural roads while tailoring recommendations for use in individual cases.
The European road to safety
In 2001 European transport policy gave itself a very ambitious goal for saving lives on the road – to halve fatalities in the following decade. As with goals of this nature, it has turned out to be a collective effort with the support of all stakeholders.

Improvement of the infrastructure is vital but the huge sum invested could be wasted without proper, safe use of roads. The EU-funded project Ripcord-iserest took on the development of tools to ensure best practice for safety measures along with guidelines.

Safety measures for road use involve making sure that black spots posing a risk are analysed and the danger minimised. Accident prediction models (APMs) and road safety inspections are an important feature of road safety management. Ripcord-iserest aimed to develop guidelines for the most efficient and cost-effective use.

Integral to the project are rural areas where more than half all traffic fatalities and injuries occur on secondary roads. To help local road authorities implement the recommendations, specific software tools and a handbook were developed.

At the heart of road safety is the driver. Project researchers made sure all means of alerting danger were included in recommendations. 'Self-explaining roads' induce the motorist to behave according to the road conditions. A concept originating in the Netherlands, road features are incorporated that inform the driver of the type of road. Rumble strips, for example, cause a slow down because of vibration and 'rumbling'.

Technically, project achievements are also impressive. SEROES, a database is now freely accessible and contains information on road safety improvements for authorities responsible for secondary roads. Along with a decision support safety tool, it can predict the road safety levels in a region and provide solutions with their cost ranges.

Ripcord-iserest has, and still is providing guidance for policymakers to assess existing roads for improvements and make sure new roads are equipped with maximum safety features. Overall, a trip through Europe's stunningly beautiful rural regions will be a lot safer for tourists and locals alike.

Related information


Safety - Transport
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