SWOV aims to improve road safety with knowledge from research. For years, 2020 has been the year in which the objectives of the previous road safety plan should be achieved. The number of road deaths should fall to at least 500 and the number of serious road injuries to at least 10,600. Although we do not yet know the official numbers for 2020 at the time of writing, we can already state that both of these targets will not be achieved. In fact, there has been no downward trend over the last ten years. The trend is even increasing for serious road injuries. For years, the number of serious road injuries has been well above the policy target for 2020.
Fortunately, there is also a positive development. For the first time in years, the national government has invested substantially in road safety: half a billion euros for the next ten years. In anticipation of this, a knowledge network for the Dutch Road Safety Strategic Plan (Kennisnetwerk SPV) was launched in 2019, in which SWOV and CROW (the Dutch technology platform for transport, infrastructure and public space) work together. The knowledge network got off to a good start in 2020 with the definition of SPI’s and providing assistance to road authorities to come to effective measures.
The corona crisis that hit our country at the beginning of 2020 has had profound effects. As a result of the corona crisis, SWOV employees also mostly work from home. Fortunately, most research was able to continue, with the exception of a number of research projects, which required physical encounters, such as the FitCi project. We remained available to our relations by telephone, e-mail and video calling.