Soms moet er iets gebeuren voor er iets gebeurt : verkenning van mogelijkheden om de haalbaarheid van de verkeersveiligheidsdoelstellingen te vergroten.

Aarts, L.T. Eenink, R.G. Weijermars, W.A.M. Knapper, A. & Schagen, I.N.L.G. van

Achieving the road safety targets : exploring the opportunities for increasing the feasibility. Recent SWOV outlooks indicate that it is uncertain, respectively unlikely that the targets for traffic fatalities (a maximum of 500 in 2020) and serious road injuries (a maximum of 10,600 in 2020) will be met. This is despite the efforts described in the Policy Stimulus Road Safety 2012 of the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment. Societal organizations and politics have indicated to find it unacceptable if this situation were to lead to less ambitious targets. They asked SWOV to investigate which additional measures can increase the feasibility of the targets. The present outlook presents the results. However, new measures rapidly encounter barriers, the most important of which are lack of money and lack of public support. Taking into account these limitations, this report presents possibilities which can be used in the Netherlands to upscale to increased road safety in 2020. The results have been summarized in a number of possible scenarios that could inspire a social and political discussion about choices that could be made concerning road safety in the Netherlands. The research was carried out as described below. First, a modest literature study was carried out into the factors that play a role in gaining public support. Studies that were investigated were previous SWOV-studies on support in relation with road safety policy, general scientific literature on the psychology of public support, public administration (policy processes in innovations), sociology (innovations) and on transport science (innovations). These studies provide a view on the different forces that affect public support and innovations. Theories about innovations were considered because new measures are at the core of this study. Then ideas for measures that can significantly improve road safety were gathered together with experts. This referred to measures that: • have an impact on a group or cause that is frequently involved in crashes, ánd • have a potentially large and quantifiable impact on this group or cause, ánd • may reasonably be introduced before 2020 and can therefore have a real effect. This yielded eighteen measures of which the effectiveness in 2020 was estimated as well as the barriers in the fields of knowledge, public support and money that now presumably prevent introduction of the measure. For each measure relevant organizations were identified. We actually contacted 36 organizations and explored the following questions: 1. What prevents the implementation of (new) road safety measures? 2. What does your organization think of the eighteen measures and why? 3. Which ideas does your organization have to bring road safety to a higher level by 2020? The results indicate that many of the organisations see problems in relation with money, urgency and knowledge. Different types of organizations did put different accents. Most solutions that are mentioned are specific interventions, which mainly concern (offending) behaviour or behavioural measures. It seems possible to implement some of the eighteen measures that were presented without much additional effort (e.g. strategic transportation choices, progressive fining system, informative speed assist and ‘automatic brake assist’ for motorcyclists). Particularly, the measures that violate a target group’s feeling of freedom are experienced as controversial (e.g. compulsory helmet use for light moped riders and for cyclists (especially the elderly) and the alcohol lock for specific target groups). Better road lighting in particular encounters other interests which seem more dominant than road safety; infrastructural measures on particular often meet with the problem 'money'. Several scenarios may be considered for ’upscaling’ in the Netherlands and to realize greater reductions in the numbers of casualties. Based on different combinations of measures which find support to a greater or lesser extent, or measures of higher or lower cost, the following four scenarios for ‘upscaling’ have been designed: 1. Widely supported and cheap upscaling; 2. Widely supported upscaling, but requiring high investments; 3. Cheap upscaling but little public support at present; 4. Maximal upscaling. In each of the four scenarios, the target for fatalities seems feasible, whereas for serious road injuries only scenarios 2 and 4 may possibly bring the target within reach when the mobility developments are favourable. The purpose of this exploration was to identify additional measures that may have an impact before 2020, that can count on (some) public support and that are relatively affordable. This way, SWOV would like to contribute to the debate on the feasibility of the road safety targets and on underlying policies and measures. This approach is deliberately limited: it concerns additional measures as opposed to existing measures and measures from the Policy Stimulus Road Safety 2012. In addition, many other measures are conceivable and present developments that considerably influence road safety. These include continuous technological innovations in vehicles but also technological innovations on roads and alongside roads and by means of traffic management. The limitation of this exploration does not mean that the debate should be restricted to the listed eighteen measures or even to the ambitions until 2020. It is also clear that there are many actors that — in good cooperation — can contribute to road safety. In that respect, the four scenarios are primarily intended to be an inspiration. Like accessibility and sustainability, the goal ‘coming home safely’ is a core quality of our traffic system. An important question is: how far are we willing to go in the Netherlands in improving road safety? That, of course, is both a political and a social question. Taking into account the numbers of casualties, the suffering but also the costs resulting from unsafe traffic, we hope that this report will be a contribution to finding the best possible answer. Investing in road safety improvement pays off.


C 51675 [electronic version only]

Den Haag, Stichting Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek Verkeersveiligheid SWOV, 2014, 206 p., 37 ref.; R-2014-37A


Dit is een publicatie van SWOV, of waar SWOV een bijdrage aan heeft geleverd.