Customer driven demand for improved traffic safety

Traffic safety is now considered to be one of the major public health problems worldwide. The understanding of the problem and solutions are growing rapidly, and it is now clear, that in the creation of a safe road transport system, all parts of the society must be involved. It is also well understood, that improving traffic safety is a matter of bringing all components of the system together. Furthermore, it is understood that it is not possible to regulate all the components, bur rather establish and support a process where demand and supply for safety is the key to success. In doing so, three things are essential. Firstly, there must be an overall sustainable definition of what a safe system constitutes. As there are many stakeholders involved that would have to design their products and services in relation to other products and services, it should be clear what the guiding principles are. Secondly, there should be a set of key performance indicators for all services and products within the road transport system, so that the efforts from stakeholders could be seen. Thirdly, there should be a well developed way to communicate with the end users and beneficials of all efforts, the citizens and customers of the road transport system. There are several instruments in place to guide the stakeholders. Euro RAP and Euro NCAP are both definitions of best practice, in a system oriented approach, where efforts made by infrastructure providers and cars manufacturers are defined and measured. Citizens can clearly follow how the safety improves and can act both as consumers and members of the society making informed choices and express their support for improvements. Regarding vehicle safety, the market driven process has been more successful than anticipated, and the car manufacturers have been improving their products in a fast and dramatic way. Their contribution to a safer road transport system is larger than any other component. In doing so, it is though important that governments act in a systematic way. Governments and other societal institutions should act as good consumers and also use legal and other frameworks to support the market. Using Occupational Health and Safety regulations is one example. One good example is the implementation of Electronic Stability Control (ESC). This system has been proven to give substantial safety benefits. From the introduction on the mass market in 1998, the rate of cars sold with ESC on the Swedish market increased from 15 per cent in May 2003 to more than 85 per cent early 2006. This is probably the fastest penetration of a new technology ever, and shows the power of an entirely market driven process. Similar processes are taking place for infrastructure and transport services. In summary, it is clear that new strategies built on customer demand and stakeholder supply in a transparent environment can deliver improved traffic safety at a rate we have never seen before. It is clear that we can be optimistic about the future in this respect, but it is equally clear that poorly performed processes with poor safety solutions is no longer possible (A). Only abstract (as above) is available from the conference proceedings. For the covering abstract of the conference see ITRD E212343.

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  • Publication Date: 2006


  • English

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  • Accession Number: 01102529
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: TRL
  • Files: ITRD
  • Created Date: Jun 16 2008 7:53AM