Sustainable Safety in the Netherlands: the Vision, the Implementation, and the Safety Effects

Human errors play a vital role in road crashes. This paper deals with the prevention of human errors by proper road planning, road design and improving existing roads within the framework of the Dutch 'Sustainable Safety' vision. This vision focuses on three design principles for road networks and for roads and streets: functionality, homogeneity, and predictability. A minimum safety level should be defined and agreed upon by all road authorities, national, regional, and local. Implementing this vision has the ambition to result in a considerable reduction of the number of crashes and casualties, and keep the Netherlands as one of the countries in the world with the best road safety records. This vision was launched at the beginning of the 1990s and accepted as a formal part of Dutch policies in the mid-1990s. This resulted in a so-called Start-up Program on Sustainable Safety, not only addressing the planning and design of road infrastructure, but also strongly emphasizing this. The contents of the Start-up Program are described as the process leading to implementation. An overview is given of the implementation of different (road infrastructure) components of the Start-up Program and the measured effects on road crashes. Attention is paid to functional road classification, expansion of 30 km/h zones and 60 km/h zones, safety of mopeds and cyclists, and large-scale introduction of roundabouts, etc. Evaluation studies suggest a positive effect on the number of crashes and casualties in the Netherlands, leading to about 6% reduction in the number of fatalities and in-patients. The lessons learned are used in defining the next phase. The Start-up Program has been used to draft new guidelines and recommendations for road planning and road design. An introduction of this is given, including some ideas on new road designs. Finally, some thoughts are given on the next phase: how to proceed under circumstances where less public funds will become available. Integration with other policy sectors is suggested.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: CD-ROM
  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 23p
  • Monograph Title: 3rd International Symposium on Highway Geometric Design, June 29-July 1, 2005, Chicago, Illinois: Compendium of Papers CD-ROM

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01004391
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS, TRB, ATRI
  • Created Date: Sep 29 2005 9:23AM