TZD: Lessons Learned from Other Countries

Lessons Learned from
Other Countries
Paper by:
Ezra Hauer,VHB Consultant
 Interpretation of time
All that glitters is not
Not every change in a
time series of fatalities
is due to the most
recent intervention
Fatality “mountain” is natural
Effect of rising travel and
declining risk per mile
 History
First fatality-reduction goal in 1997, but no change in
Major political “shift” in 2002 with new programs
France -- Lessons
 Public support for safety changed, quickly followed
by change in highest level political will – good
President Chirac had public support, made safety an
issue, and had functioning government machinery to
act intelligently and with resolve.
 Not clear whether safety researchers were involved
in decisions, but facts developed shaped public
debate and therefore politics
 No infrastructure initiatives – but probably because
chosen behavioral programs pay for themselves
France – Lessons (cont)
 Seat belts and helmets work (but had already
been emphasized)
99% percent usage
 Speed enforcement is important and
works, particularly if automatic!
In 2005, each driver monitored 7 times per month
Average speed of passenger cars decreased from
82.2 km/hr to 80.4 km/hr (2006 to 2008)
Percent above speed limit – 42.9% to 32.3%
Percent 10 km/hr above limit – 16.7% to 10.9%
Vision Zero part of National Transport Plan
VZ interpretation: Not likely to reach zero
fatalities or serious injuries but should see
continuous reduction toward zero
By 2020, reduce number of fatalities and
serious injuries by at least one-third as
compared with 2005-2008.
Norway – Lessons
Safety as part of National Transport Plan
Safety takes natural role as cost of mobility, not
as independent or overriding goal
Land use, transport and safety plans should be
developed together – integration
Hauer – don’t confine search to “new
programs/actions”, but ask how prevailing
arrangement need to be modified
E.g., attention paid to rural vs. urban safety
Norway – Lessons
 Quantitative safety targets?
 Norway has speed limit compliance, seat belt use and bicycle
helmet use 2020 targets
 Positives
 Communicates importance of safety, motivates stakeholders, holds
managers accountable, shows government is serious
 Negatives
 No clear evidence they matter in success
 Difficult to predict “baseline without change” -- what would happen in
future with current policies
 Possible dangers to safety programs of perceived failure
 Conclusion
 Overall quantitative target may not be necessary, but actions that bring
about change is
 Measures to be changed should be carefully chosen based on benefits and
 History
1994: New Minister for Transportation declared
safety as priority
1997: Bill on Traffic Safety included “Vision Zero
means that eventually no one will be killed or
seriously injured within the road traffic system.”
2007: Initial goal not met (i.e., 50% fatal
reduction), so new goals and objectives set
Management by objective – new interim “action”
goals and annual analysis and conference
 E.g. – Speeds, driver BAC, belt use, helmet use
 History
Sweden – Lessons
Shift from “blame the user” to “producer is
responsible for safety of the product”
New allocation of responsibility
Designers of system are responsible for design,
operation and use, and thus safety of system
Users are responsible for following rules of use
But if user fails and injuries occur, system
designers must take necessary steps to reduce
Sweden – Lessons
Based on simple rules (most related to
Pedestrians not exposed to cars > 30 km/hr
Car occupants not exposed to right angle
collisions with cars exceeding 50 km/hr or
head-on with cars exceeding 70 km/hr
These rules then lead to policies on speed
limits, roundabout use, barriers, etc.
Sweden – Lessons
Paradigm shift for U.S.
From benefit/cost analysis to “whatever it takes
to reduce fatalities”
From limited attention on speed enforcement to
speed management and design changes
To infrastructure changes based on speed “rules”
(e.g., separation of high-speed two-lane roads to
“2+1” design concept)
So do we need TZD or just better benefit/cost
based planning?
 History
1987: First long-term safety plan – traditional
treatments/countermeasures, 50% fatal reduction by
1996: Plan modified to include “Sustainable Safety” –
leave inherently safe road environment for future
 Still more emphasis on B/C analysis than in Vision Zero
1998-2002: First wave of programs
 Major change – lots more km classified for lower speed limits
 9.7% reduction in fatalities and 4.1% in severe injuries
2008: New 2020 plan places more emphasis on
behavioral treatments paid for by the violator
 History
Holland – Lessons
 Wide-spread support for SS, but
implementation seems to have stalled. Why?
Concept coined by scientists – but decisions by
politicians and they change over time
For long-term TZD success, must have support of
both US parties
 Continue use of BC analysis as kingpin – parties can
change both acceptable ratio and value of life
For long-term TZD success, must rely on and thus
train road professionals in safety (planners,
designers, traffic engineers, others)
Holland – Lessons
Must decide which generation will pay for
major changes in system – ours or future
Look to environmental debate
Dutch emphasis on safety in residential
areas and urban areas – will we shift to do
the same?
Holland – Lessons
 Independent research institute (SWOV) is instrumental
in Holland success due to influence on policy.
 SWOV is grant funded and has internal control of its
 US has no independent institutes – all dependent on
contracts with topics chosen by others. No long-term grants.
 Prestige and knowledge of US institutes are not well used.
 US model may be due to commitment to laissez faire
competition, but attraction may be in that it gives funders
control over questions asked and, to some extent, advise
 His conclusion: As demonstrated by SWOV, there is
another model for consideration.
 History
UK has long, strong history of safety programs
 E.g., driver licensing, roundabouts, safety engineer
training, mandatory safety audits, etc.
1987: First numerical goal – 33% casualty
reduction by 2000.
 Had 39% fatality and 45% serious casualty reductions by
2000: New goals for 2010 (e.g., 40% fatal/serious
injury reduction, 50% child fatal/serious injury,
 10 themes with progress review each 3 years (but really
done annually)
 History
2009: First mention of “vision” – “safety roads
in the world” (i.e., better than Sweden and
Holland re fatalities/100k population).
 “A vision is not a substitute for safety strategy”
 New goals for 2020 (e.g., 33% fatal reduction, 50
percent reduction in ped and bike KSI rates)
 13 “Key Performance Indicators”
UK – Lessons
 No new “breakthroughs”
 Continued reliance on cost-effective treatments perhaps with
some new measures (e.g., lower speed limits on two-lane
rural roads)
 Continued reliance on professionalism and cooperation
between research, civil service and elected representatives
 No Zero Death vision
 Achieving target no longer taken for granted and new
approaches might be needed in Netherlands and Sweden
 Intensified application of existing measures thought to be
sufficient in UK
 Where is US
UK – Lessons
Setting targets and monitoring progress is
challenging and requires resources
Must predict what would be the case in the
future under current program (baseline), which
is difficult
Must define cost-effective program of
initiatives and predict its impact
Must set up system for monitoring progress
UK – Lessons
 In UK, safety had to fit between poles of
increased mobility and improved environment
 If US road safety is to be elevated and based on
BC basis, estimates of dollar value of time and
life need to be re-examined
 TZD allies are more likely to be in
environmental camp than in mobility camp
 Both transportation planner and traffic
engineers are primarily mobility oriented
Must find out what needs to be changed to make
them friends of TZD