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Problems for Vulnerable Road Users in Great Britain, The Netherlands and Sweden

By M.R. Tight, O.M.J. Carsten and D. Sherborne


INTRODUCTION\ud \ud In many countries in Europe pedal cycle and pedestrian travel are important transport modes for the population. However, given the vulnerable nature of these modes of transport, the number of accidents involving pedestrians and cyclists is high, and in particular the number of killed and seriously iDjured victims is high. Technical measures to improve safety and efficiency focus almost exclusively on motorized traf£ic, disregarding the needs of non-motorized traffic participants. In order to determine how technical measures, such as Road Trac Informatics (RTI) applications, can be used to increase the safety and mobility of pedestrians and cyclists, more information is needed about the causes of accidents to these groups. \ud \ud The aim of this report is to compare the hdings of three previous reports (Tight, Carsten and Sherborne, 1989; Van Schagen and Rothengatter, 1989; and Ekman and Draskhy, 1989), which examined the problems faced by vulnerable road users (VRUs) in Britain, the Netherlands and Sweden, and in one city from each of those countries, namely Bradford, Groningen and VGo. The aim of these reports was to examine a number of the attributes of accidents which involve VRUs and the charaderistics of their travel, in order to identify areas where safety and mobility improvements may be obtained. It is not intended that this report should provide a general comparison of the safety and mobility problems faced by VRUs in the three countries, but rather a review of those issues that are related to the RTI measures envisaged by the present research programme (DRIVE Project V1031). This project is aimed at improving VRU safety and mobility both directly, through the enhancement of signalized junctions and pedestrian crossings, and indirectly, through the creation of a model of the traffic system incorporating vulnerable road users. It is intended that this model will permit the routing and guidance of motorized vehicles in such a way as to enhance VRU safety and reduce VRU annoyance and delay from traffic. Both the direct and the indirect measures envisaged will only be relevant to VRU safety and mobility on main roads in urban areas; they are unlikely to be applicable to residential streets or minor roads unless these have substantial VRU flows. The report therefore concentrates (in so far as existing information permits) on VRU safety and mobility on main roads and on VRU use of facilities that are intended to be upgraded through the planned RTI measures.\ud \ud This report is split into two main sections, the first of which examines comparisons of safety and mobility at the national level, and the second examines such comparisons at the local (city) level. The analyses undertaken in this report concerning the national level are largely based upon published information, while at the local level, due mainly to the lack of any regularly published information, a number of special tabulations have been made. The information given in the tables is for the most up-to-date year available. \ud \ud As with most international comparisons, this study encountered a number of compatibility problems when trying to bring together data from the three countries involved. These included problems of definition, problems of interpretation and differences in the levels of inaccuracy and underreporting of accident statistics. It is not intended to expand upon the possible effects of such problems at this point, as these have been adequately covered in other reports (see for example Tight et al, 1986). Where possible comparable data have been used in the analyses which follow, however on occasions it was not possible to produce exactly comparable data, and in such cases mention is made of this in the text

Publisher: Institute of Transport Studies, University of Leeds
Year: 1989
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