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Problems for Vulnerable Road Users in the Netherlands

By I.N.L.G. van Shagen and J.A. Rothengatter


INTRODUCTION\ud \ud In the Netherlands pedestrian and pedal cycle travel are important transport modes for the population. However, given the particularly vulnerable nature of these modes of transport, pedestrians and cyclists are involved in a large number of accidents and suffer a particularly high proportion of the fatalities and serious injuries. Technical measures to improve safety and efficiency focus almost exclusively on motorized traffic, disregarding the needs of the non-motorized traffic participants. In order to determine how technical measures, such as Road Tr&c 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. This report deals with a first analysis of the problems of cyclists and pedestrians in the Netherlands. Similar reports are being produced for Britain and Sweden which together will serve as a basic information source from which decisions can be made about which type of measures have potential to improve the situation of vulnerable road users. \ud \ud This report examines the nature and causes of accidents involving vulnerable road users (VRU's), their mobility patterns and their risk. It is intended to serve as a tool in subsequent stages of this project, and thus is not a general survey of safety and mobility problems for vulnerable road users, but rather a review of those issues that are related to the RTI measures envisaged by the project. The 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 The report covers both the national level for the Netherlands (about 14.5 million inhabitants) and the local level for the City of Groningen (about 160,000 inhabitants). Section 2 of this report seeks to define a number of the terms which are used throughout, and provides a basis for comparison between the findings from this report and those for Sweden and Britain. Section 3 identifies the sources of information from which the analyses of accident and mobility data have been derived. Sections 4 and 5 identify the safety and mobility situations of vulnerable road users at the national and local levels respectively. Section 6 examines the risk to pedestrians and cyclists, and finally Section 7 provides some conclusions and recommendations for RTI-measures

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