Why We Fight About Black Spots

The road agency in Montreal, like that of many cities, works under a policy of fixing motorist-collision "black spots," where a black spot is an intersection with 8 or more collisions in a 5-year period. The unspoken premise of this policy seems to be that a higher frequency of collisions is evidence of design problems unique to that intersection. However, this paper cites recent research that suggests that faults in the road design are not site-specific but are nearly universal. This research found that one-quarter of all intersections in central Montreal were the site of at least one motorist-pedestrian collision over a period of 5 years. Reducing this collision risk will require modifying intersection design to make streets safe for walking, changing policies at the national and global levels to encourage a better balance between protecting pedestrians and minimizing traffic delay, and improving communication between injury prevention specialists and traffic engineers.

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  • English

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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01042360
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Feb 28 2007 9:02PM