Does zero road toll require zero roadside biodiversity?
C 28975 (In: C 28944 CD-ROM) /15 /82 / ITRD E205892
In: ATRF01 : papers of the 24th Australasian Transport Research Forum (ATRF), Hobart, Tasmania, 17-20 April, 2001, 10 p.
|Samenvatting||This paper discusses the impact of road safety concepts such as 'clear recovery zones' upon the management of roadside vegetation and habitat. It discusses the new biodiversity responsibilities that road agencies have acquired though adoption of the "National Strategy for the Conservation of Australia's Biological Diversity" and the subsequent moves by state conservation authorities to apply their own plans to conserve natural values. Current Tasmanian legislation now requires that the Department of Infrastructure, Energy and Resources has a responsibility to manage for sustainable development. This means that active monitoring, assessment and management to conserve biodiversity and ecosystems is required along with the achievement of equity and social benefit in meeting the road transport infrastructure needs of the community. The balancing of this requirement with the recommended safety clearance standards is discussed and whether the 'black-spot' programs themselves would meet the standard for sustainable development. This paper also speculates whether the requirements for clear recovery zones may themselves be counter-productive in some cases. The safety 'gains' achieved through removal of dangerous fixed objects may also be responsible for increasing driver fatigue especially during the night-time driving task. While agreeing that the achievement of zero road toll is a worthy long-term goal, the paper suggests that practical decisions that need to be made about managing roadside vegetation require that no absolute value be placed on road safety, that biodiversity be given significant value in assessment of road safety risk, and that a narrow anthropocentric interpretation of the road safety goal would be contrary to the concept of sustainability. (Author/publisher) For the covering entry of this conference, please see ITRD abstract no. E205861.|
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