SWOV Catalogus


Vulnerable road users : new approaches needed?
C 30582 (In: C 30580 [electronic version only]) /80 /83 / ITRD E123195
Methorst, R.
In: Speed management strategies and implementation - planning, evaluation, behavioural, legal and institutional issues: proceedings of the 15th workshop of the International Cooperation on Theories and Concepts in Traffic Safety ICTCT, Brno, Czech Republic, October 23-25, 2002, p. 25-35, ref.

Samenvatting Traditionally pedestrians, bicyclists and motorised two wheelers are considered vulnerable road users. In some instances special attention is given to children, the elderly and handicapped persons. AVV Transport Research Centre was asked to develop acceptable, effective and cost-effective measures regarding all categories of vulnerable road users. In The Netherlands vulnerable road users stand high on the political agenda. However, in many cases it is not clear what is meant by vulnerability. Furthermore in practice not much money is allocated to tackling the problems and very little research is done on the issue. When funds and resources are budgeted and allocated, other proposals generally tend to be more important and are better motivated with supporting facts and figures and not merely with emotional or sentimental arguments. The probability of projects related to vulnerable road users to be rejected on the basis of inadequate motivation is high. This is why the AVV research team insisted that supporting facts and figures, that are not easily put aside, be developed and published. At the outset of the project, the AVV project team concluded that using the classic groups of vulnerable road users would not be a useful approach for developing an efficient policy for this category of road users. Reasons motivating this decision were overlaps between groups; using age as an indicator does not offer a tool for assessing the necessary financial and manpower means and the cost effectiveness of measures; the group 'elderly people' is very heterogeneous. Illnesses, physical and mental condition are better indicators; and taking traffic roles as a starting point does not comply with the fundamental concepts of Sustainable Safety where man (and not machine) is central and the design standard. The research team concluded that there are three indicators identifying groups of vulnerable road users, namely the extent of the external protection, abilities, and fragility. Based on these indicators, 21 groups of vulnerable road users were distinguished. Currently the study group is collecting information from literature and from experts to develop Fact Sheets on the identified vulnerable groups. Based on the collected information, a preliminary report will be prepared. For the covering abstract see ITRD E123193.
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