Which indicators to include in the ex ante evaluations of the safety effects of policy options? Gaps in evaluations and a discussion based on an ethical perspective

This paper discusses indicators (outcomes) that express road transport safety effects from an ethical perspective. Based on a review of policy documents and Cost–Benefit Analyses (CBAs) the authors conclude that safety levels are generally expressed in terms of fatalities or (seriously) injured people, either in absolute numbers or on a per capita or per kilometre basis. These indicators are very important but not complete. Not including at least the avoidance costs related to behavioural changes leads to an underestimation of the safety costs and the benefits of policies to improve safety. In addition the utilitarian approach of a CBA does not fully reflect the ethical dimensions of safety. If people adapt their behaviour because of perceived safety, freedom of movement may be at stake. The authors conclude that safety related distribution effects which are generally ignored in CBA could be relevant for a decision maker. In addition, it might be relevant to explicitly report the safety levels of those who are worse off.


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  • Accession Number: 01521917
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Apr 2 2014 1:44PM