To what extent are guidelines put into practice?


The extent to which the guidelines are applied varies greatly between road authorities and between different projects. The application of guidelines depends on the availability of space and with the combination of traffic and environmental features of a road: application can be hampered by lack of space, but also because the function and use of a road differ too much. Sometimes there are also substantive reasons to depart from the guidelines: there are different road safety interests which contradict each other. An example is the question whether a two-way cycle path along a ring road should be constructed at the city centre side or on the outside. Both solutions have unsafe traffic consequences. In this case the choice is generally customization, with thorough investigation of which compensatory measures are possible. These are often speed-reducing measures. In addition, a traffic design is subject to various constraints: regional integration, political choices, interests of those directly involved. Also in the design phase choices must be made that will affect the end result. It is important that road safety aspects play a proper role in these design choices. The Dutch guidelines only give limited clarity about the knowledge on which they are based. Only in just over 30% of the design characteristics a road safety effect on is mentioned [21]. At this moment it is therefore almost impossible to determine the (quantitative) road safety effect when the guidelines must be or by choice are deviated from. Therefore a qualitative assessment by an expert plays an important role. Such an assessment can possibly provide more clarity, but gives no 'hard' results [22] [23].

For vehicles equipped with electronics that respond to the presence of certain road features, all relevant road features should consistently be present at all locations. Given the previously mentioned shortcomings in design and actual implementation, this is difficult to achieve.


Er zijn verschillende instrumenten die wegbeheerders kunnen (laten) gebruiken om de veiligheid van hun netwerk en hun wegen te toetsen. Daarmee krijgen zij een beeld van mogelijke knelpunten in de veiligheid en (dus) van de aangrijpingspunten voor maatregelen.

Plannen en ontwerpen toetsen

De veiligheid van een nieuwe weg of van een ingrijpende herinrichting van een weg, kan vooraf getoetst worden door een verkeersveiligheidsaudit te laten uitvoeren in diverse fasen van de ontwerpfase (zie ook de gearchiveerde SWOV-factsheet Verkeersveiligheidsaudit en -inspectie). Vanuit de Europese regelgeving is het verplicht om verkeersveiligheidsaudits uit te voeren bij de aanleg of reconstructie van rijkswegen en provinciale autowegen.

Bestaande wegen en fietsinfrastructuur toetsen

Er zijn diverse toetsen om de veiligheid van bestaande weginfrastructuur te bepalen. Het Kennisnetwerk SPV geeft een overzicht van meetinstrumenten voor de risico-indicator veilige wegen.

Part of fact sheet

Principles for safe road design

This fact sheet is currently being updated. You will find a new version here shortly.

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