What does the organization principle ‘Learning and innovating imply?


The organization principle Learning and innovating implies that traffic professionals continually investigate crash causes and develop associated effective and preventive system innovations (Plan). By implementing these innovations (Do), by monitoring their effectiveness (Check) and by making the necessary adjustments (Act), system innovation ultimately results in fewer crashes and casualties. Thus, in the process of learning and innovating, all stages of the Plan-Do-Check quality cycle are completed and embedded in an organizational framework (see Figure 4).

Figure 4. Plan-Do-Check-Act quality cycle (after [38]) as used in ISO standards for quality management).

To gain a clearer picture of crash causes and crash mechanisms, researchers carry out an in-depth analysis of all fatal road crashes in the Netherlands (see also [41] and [42]). Where possible, this is complemented with research into other serious crashes and with knowledge gained by linking data files (see also [43]).

Policy-makers and scientists define appropriate additional safety indicators [i] such as risk factors (SPIs [45] [46] and conflicts (see also [44]). These indicators are structurally monitored, as is the implementation of (associated) countermeasures. Citizens’ complaints may act as an incentive to check whether there is evidence of risk factors, such as a hazardous road design or unsafe behaviour (see for example [47] and the archived SWOV fact sheet Subjective lack of road safety).

Stakeholders, such as policy-makers, market players, scientists and lobbyists, contribute to innovations by interconnecting problem awareness and (possibly) effective countermeasures and procedures. Subsequently, these countermeasures and procedures are evaluated to see whether, and in which conditions, they are indeed effective.

Organizations employing traffic professionals see to adequate knowledge transfer within their own sections and stimulate active knowledge sharing and ongoing professionalization of employees (education of traffic professionals). Not only do they offer factual information, they also open up networks which knowledge can be drawn from. Knowledge institutes may play an active role in this networking.

[i] Scientifically known as 'surrogate safety measures'. See for example [44].

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Sustainable Road Safety

Sustainable Road Safety implies that the traffic environment is designed to rule out serious crashes and to mitigate the severity of the… Meer

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