The recent stagnation in further reduction of road accidents, insufficient results of existing policies to improve road safety and its rather curative nature of these policies induced the wish to renew and to improve road safety policy in the Netherlands. This new approach is called: a sustainably safe road transport system. This system has an infrastructure that is adapted to the limitations of human capacity through proper road design, vehicles fitted with ways to simplify the task of man and constructed to protect the vulnerable human being as effectively as possible and a road user who is adequately educated, informed and, where necessary, controlled. As to the infrastructure, the key to arrive at sustainable safety lies in the systematic and consistent application of three safety principles: functional use of the road network, homogeneous traffic streams and predictability for road users. Applying all three principles do have an preventative character: to preclude as much as possible the incidence of accidents. Afunctional use of the road network calls first for establishing the intended function of every road. The present multifunctionality of roads leads to contradictory design requirements. Therefore, in a sustainably safe infrastructure every road is appointed only one specific function. Three categories of roads have to be created: pure through roads, pure distributor roads and pure access roads. Design principles have been drafted. With financial support of the Dutch Ministry of Transport a few demonstration projects will start in the near future and will learn us about the applicability in practice and the road safety effects of this `sustainably safe road transport'
Towards sustainably safe road transport in the Netherlands
Contribution to the Conference Eurotraffic 95: The development of the traffic sector in a deregulated Europe, 22-24 November 1995, Aalborg, Denmark