The Slovenia-based European Institute of Road Assessment (EIRA) partnered with the European Road Assessment Programme (EuroRAP) in June 2018 for a 2,15 million euros project to improve road infrastructure safety across 12 countries in the Danube region – Risk Assessment on Danube Area Roads (RADAR) project. Almost three years later and RADAR has become instrumental in building regional capacity and strategic action plans for evidence-based smart road infrastructure investment in not only the Danube area but the whole world, as well.
The number of road deaths continues to grow every day. More than 3,200 people died in eight Danube area countries (Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Moldova, and Slovenia) throughout 2019 alone – a similar number in 2018 and 2017.
It is often forgotten that the quality of road infrastructure plays an extremely important role in preventing road accidents. But the measures always seem expensive. What if we could identify the riskiest roads and improve their safety based on the cost as opposed to the savings in deaths and injuries? What if we improve roadside safety by using safety barriers to stop vehicles running off the roads? We can save more than 1,600 deaths in Europe in a single year. Road intersections also take many lives. We can save more than 2,000 lives by simply installing traffic signals or roundabouts and using cost-effective traffic calming treatments, such as speed bumps.
What percentage of Europe’s GDP will be saved by avoiding deaths and injuries on roads? How does this compare to the costs of improving infrastructure safety? Estimates vary, road traffic crashes cost most countries 3% of their GDP. Benefit-cost ratios show that for every Euro invested at least five lives will be saved, often much more. To show what the RADAR project team does in perspective, they have prepared infographics on four thematic areas (Safer Roads, Provisions for Vulnerable Road Users, Smart Speed Management Infrastructure, and Road Safety Near Schools). All four thematic areas are the most relevant for building blocks of future strategic management of infrastructure road safety in the Danube Area.
The methodology used in RADAR is the most comprehensive road safety assessment methodology that covers most of the new directive requirements and further capacity building on this would be highly relevant and welcomed by stakeholders. The standardized methodology transcends regional and national disparities offering a truly transnational approach with wide implications and applicability to transport policy and national road safety strategies.
Click HERE to find more information about infographics on four thematic areas.