SWOV Catalogus


From black spots to grey road sections in road safety management : is it the right way?
20121679 gg ST (In: 20121679 ST [electronic version only])
Sørensen, M.
In: Towards future traffic safety - tendencies in Traffic Safety Research based on 20 years of experience : papers and presentations presented at the 20th workshop of the International Cooperation on Theories and Concepts in Traffic Safety ICTCT, Valencia, Spain, October 25-26, 2007, Pp.

Samenvatting Since the 1960s black spot management has been an essential part of the site-specific traffic safety work in the most traffic safe countries. However this work is not as effective as it formerly was, because the most significant black spots have been identified and improved. As a response several of the most traffic safe countries have supplemented or even replaced the traditional black spot management with identification and improvement of hazardous road sections (network safety management), which in Denmark are called for grey road sections. This development has happened for the last 5 to 10 years. Despite this general trend it has not been systematic investigated, whether identification and improvement of grey road sections at all is the right way in the future site-specific traffic safety work. This is therefore been investigated in the project “Hazardous road sections in rural areas — development, application and assessment of severity based methods for identification, analysis and improvement of hazardous road sections”. The case for the project was main roads in the rural areas in Ringkøbing and Viborg counties in Denmark. The basic philosophy in the grey road section work is typically to combine the principle in black spot action and mass action. This means that the work both have a remedial and retrospective nature as black spot management because the identification phase is based on the traffic accident history and a preventive and prospective nature as mass action because the analysing and improvement phases are based on both accidents and general traffic safety problems and standard improvements. This philosophy has been tested for nine grey roads section. On these road sections several faults and deficiencies with regard to traffic safety have been identified and different solutions to eliminate or minimize the problems have been proposed and implemented. However an examination of the over 100 solution proposed shows that a majority (over 75 %) of these only are of a preventive and prospective nature because they only relate to problems identified during the road inspection. There are thus only few proposed solutions, which both have a remedial and retrospective nature and a preventive and prospective nature through relating to problems identified in both the accident analysis and in the road inspection. This shows that it is very difficult to find local and road section based accident factors on the identified grey road sections according to the accident history. The analysis of the road sections is thereby to a greater degree in the nature of a general road examination with special attention on standard improvements rather than restoration of local and road section based accident factors. There is no doubt that general road examination and standard improvements contribute to traffic safety improvements, but since the standard improvements in principle are independent of the accident history the ranking may be done in a better way as a non accident based method. The desirability to let the grey road section work be part of the site-specific traffic safety work can thus be questioned because the resources probably can be used in a better way for road examination and standard improvements. (Author/publisher) This publication may be accessed by Internet users at: http://www.ictct.org/workshop.php?workshop_nr=25
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