New EU-wide guidelines to assess safety of road infrastructure
The European Commission is making available guidelines on methodology for network-wide road safety assessments. Although not mandatory, these guidelines aim to help public authorities in EU Member States to carry out the safety assessments of their road networks as required under the Road Infrastructure Safety Management Directive.
The guidance documents comprises a framework addressing both a reactive (accident based) and a proactive (feature based) safety assessment, covering issues such as the lane width, road curvature, design of junctions, roadside layout and potential conflicts between motorised vehicles and vulnerable road users. It also suggests a methodology for a common safety rating system for classification of the existing road network which should allow to rate each road section according to a 5-level scale. This would enable authorities to identify priorities for future actions and investment to address road safety concerns.
The guidelines have been prepared for the Commission by external contractors further to an evaluation of existing safety assessment methodologies and data, pilot testing and extensive discussions and feedback in the Expert Group on Road Safety Infrastructure (EGRIS) made up of road infrastructure experts from the EU Member States.
In accordance with the RISM directive, Member States must carry out the first network-wide road safety assessment of Motorways and Primary roads by 2024, and regularly thereafter.
To support the authorities, road managers and road safety professionals in making Europe's road infrastructure and management safer, each EU Member State has adopted guidelines on meeting certain key legal requirements concerning:
- road safety impact assessments
- road safety audits
- safety rankings
- management of the road network in operation and
- road safety inspections.
The objectives and basic requirements on the above are laid down in EU Directive 2008/96/EC on road safety infrastructure management.
The Nationals guidelines of the EU Member States and of the United Kingdom:
- Czech Republic
- United Kingdom
Disclaimer: these are the most recent guidelines sent to the European Commission by national authorities. We cannot guarantee that they are the most up-to-date.