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The road safety management system

The road safety management system



The road safety management system

The latest evolution of the road safety management system which is recommended for use by the World Bank and the OECD is shown below. Safety is produced just like other goods and services and the production process is viewed as a management system with three levels: institutional management functions which produce interventions, which in turn produce results.

This road safety management system model derives from New Zealand's comprehensive 2010 target setting framework which linked desired results with interventions and related institutional implementation arrangements (Land Transport Safety Authority, 2000).1 The New Zealand framework was adopted by the European Transport Safety Council (Wegman, 2001)2 which highlighted its results management framework, and it was further elaborated by the Sunflower Project (Koornstra et al., 2002)3 which located the institutional implementation arrangements in the broader context of country 'structure and culture'. The first World Bank guideline concerning the implementation of the World Report recommendations (Bliss, 2004)4 used the framework to introduce prototype safety management capacity review tools. This updated guideline refines these tools and further defines the organizational manifestation of the Sunflower Project 'structure and culture' in terms of seven institutional management functions.

Source: Land Transport Safety Authority, 2000 [40] and Bliss & Breen, 2008 [5]

Institutional management functions: The seven identified institutional management functions are the foundation on which road safety management systems are built. They are essential for the production of interventions which, in turn, achieve road safety results and for this reason they must receive the highest priority in road safety planning and policy initiatives. The institutional management functions relate to all government, civil society and business entities that produce interventions and ultimately results [5].

Interventions: Broadly, these comprise system-wide strategies and programmes of interventions to address safety targets. Interventions cover the planning, design and operation of the road network, the entry and exit of vehicles, and users into the road network, and the recovery and rehabilitation of crash victims. They seek to manage exposure to the risk of crashes, prevent crashes, and reduce crash injury severity and the consequences of crash injury. They comprise safety designs, standards, and rules and well as a combination of activity to secure compliance with these such as information, publicity, enforcement and incentive [5][6].

Results: In good practice management systems road safety results are expressed in the form of long term goals and interim quantitative targets. Targets specify the desired safety performance endorsed by governments at all levels, stakeholders and the community. To be credible, interim targets must be achievable with cost-effective interventions. Targets are usually set in terms of final outcomes. They can also include intermediate outcomes consistent with their achievement, and institutional output measures required to achieve the intermediate results [5][6].

The road safety management system has a number of generic characteristics that allow for its universal application to all countries, irrespective of their development status or road safety performance.

Generic characteristics of the road safety management system [5]

It places an emphasis on the production of road safety, and recognizes that safety is produced just like other goods and services. The production process is viewed as a management system with three levels: institutional management functions which produce interventions, which in turn produce results. Much of the day to day road safety discussion is concerned with interventions alone, and use of the management system opens up the discussion to the important and often neglected issues of institutional ownership and accountability for results.

It is neutral to country structures and cultures which will shape the way institutions function and the goals to be set and achieved. Any country can use this framework and adapt their road safety initiatives to it.

It accommodates evolutionary development. This is illustrated by the evolving focus on results that has been evident in high-income countries through to its ultimate expression in the Safe System approach. In any particular period of development the system can be used to review road safety management capacity and prepare related strategies and programs.

It applies to any given land use/transportation system and takes as given the current and projected exposure to risk arising from that system. However, it can also manage the land use/transport trade-offs by considering these as options in the desired focus on results and addressing them with interventions concerning the planning, design, operation and use of the road network and the entry and exit of vehicles and road users to this network.

It takes the road network as its frame of reference and locates the deaths and injuries that are avoidable. The three broad categories of intervention are defined in terms of the road network and have strong spatial dimensions. This distinguishes the system from earlier frameworks that emphasized safer roads, safer vehicles, and safer people, without locating them specifically in the network contexts where deaths and serious injuries occur.

Consideration of all elements of the road safety management system and the linkages between them becomes critical for any country seeking to identify and improve its current performance levels [5][52].