First experience on road safety auditing in Serbia - is it cost-effective?

A project where extensive road safety auditing was carried the first time in Serbia is described. The Serbian road network is traditionally characterized by low level of safety due to the outdated road design, poor physical conditions of the existing roads and lack of maintenance over a long period. Although not completely operative yet, Road Safety Auditing (RSA) is an important component of the activities to improve the road network in the Feasibility Study of the Road Network between Belgrade and Montenegro. This is one of the most extensive RSA works that have been carried out in Serbia until now. More than 550 km of existing roads were assessed on site and additionally the corresponding road design projects were checked. The roads analysed are among the roads with highest accident rates in Serbia. The police have registered an average of 1350 accidents per year on the project roads. These accidents lead to an average of 60 fatalities and 670 injuries per year. When accident data are missing or inadequate as on the project road then road safety can be improved by assessing the existing road with regard to road safety. The visual inspection was carried out by driving and walking along the road registering potential dangerous elements related to the roads design, layout, surface condition, signs and markings. The measures considered to improve the road safety situation are based on 4 principles. First of all accidents should be avoided, secondly the road should be more forgiving, thirdly the road design should be according to the speed limits, fourthly to obtain good safety results it may often be necessary to go beyond the road standards, e.g. be stricter on curves, safety zones and junctions than the road standards suggest. This is because road standards are a compromise between traffic flow, road safety, environment and costs. The measures suggested on the project road include guard rails, improved junctions, speed reducing measures in towns and larger built up areas, facilities for pedestrians, pre-warning and local speed limits at sharp curves, reduced length of sections with 2+1 lanes (or climbing lanes), thus change direction at least every 4-5 km., locate bus stops, etc. correctly, provide adequate and consistent road markings and traffic signing, including speed limits. The costs of the suggested measures were assessed both if only road safety measures were applied on the road and also if the road safety measures were to be part of the road design of the entire road. The cost effectiveness could then be calculated to justify the focus on road safety. Assuming that all the suggested road safety measures are established on the project network as suggested then the safety effects are expected to be up to 35-37%. This will in total cost approx. 35 million Euro or 65,000 Euro per km. The cost benefit ratio is expected to exceed 8 and the internal rate of return (IRR) 42%. For the covering abstract see ITRD E137145.

  • Authors:
    • OSOBA, M
    • TUBIC, V
    • MERTNER, J
  • Publication Date: 2007


  • English

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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01095392
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Transport Research Laboratory
  • Files: ITRD
  • Created Date: Apr 25 2008 9:15AM