SWOV Catalogus


Cost-benefit analysis for road safety investments in Belgium : case study for a seat belt reminder system.
C 28757 [electronic version only]
De Brabander, B. & Vereeck, L.
Diepenbeek, Steunpunt Verkeersveiligheid bij Stijgende Mobiliteit, 2003, 26 p., 11 ref.; Rapportnummer RA-2003-16

Samenvatting For some time now the Belgian government has been attaching increasingly more importance to the matter of road safety. And not without good reason, since this is one of the most relevant issues for today’s citizens. The government has already shown that it takes road safety very seriously: a visible increase in speed checks, a 100 million Euro investment plan to tackle Flanders’ black spots along with major public works in Antwerp. Road safety is also an area where eyebrows are raised when costs come into the equation. People believe that costs should not be taken into account when a life can be saved through investment in road safety, since you cannot put a value on a life. However, this is wrong since it would imply that every life-saving measure should be implemented as long as its opportunity cost is less than infinite. Today’s financial resources could never reach that goal. A five km/h speed limit might well be a safety-effective measure, but it would inflict considerable damage to the economy. And that is the heart of the matter: our resources are not infinite and consequently should be allocated wisely. Moreover, since resources can only be spent once, they should be spent on those measures that increase the prosperity and safety of our citizens. Efficiency can be pursued in essentially two ways: on the one hand, a level of expenditures in road safety has to be set, while on the other hand, careful thought has to go into how best to allocate the available resources and to which specific areas. A viable economically sound policy regarding the latter is the subject of this paper. (Author/publisher) The report is available at: http://www.steunpuntverkeersveiligheid.be/nl/nl/modules/publications/store/22.pdf
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