Vision Zero: road safety newsletter from Brake about global research and initiatives in road safety and sustainable transport.
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Global initiatives

Sweden leads the way on reducing emissions

The Swedish government has committed to reducing the country's net greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2045.

The goals of the framework include plans to cut domestic transport emissions by 70% by 2030.

The strategy, along with its targets, will be one of the most ambitious national climate projects currently in effect, and will put responsibility on both current and future governments to pursue climate goals.


Research: Safety technologies
The EC has released a report on workable and cost-effective vehicle safety measures, recommending 19 measures that should be considered for inclusion when the EU's General Safety and Pedestrian Safety Regulations are next reviewed and updated.  

Although it has been estimated that EU vehicle regulations and standards have reduced the number of annual road deaths by 50,000, the report recommends more safety features are made mandatory for all vehicles across the EU to further improve safety.

Research: Carbon emissions
Current and planned policies to mitigate carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from global transport will not be sufficient to meet the international community’s climate goals, according to a study from the International Transport Forum (ITF). The report’s most optimistic scenario shows increased demand for transport globally will mean emission levels in 2050 are the same as in 2015. Its less optimistic baseline scenario shows a doubling of global transport demand, leading to an increase in emissions of 60% on 2015 levels. Changing global trade patterns and increased car use in urban areas are of particular concern.

The report identifies technology, shared mobility, changes in supply chains and new transport modes as measures that are needed in order to reach climate goals.


Research: Fatigue
A study by CARRS-Q of crashes from 2000-2009 in Queensland, Australia concluded that sleep-related collisions on low speed roads resulted in more severe outcomes than non-sleep related crashes in those areas. The study found that 41% of sleep-related crashes occurred on low speed roads, and also identified that male and young novice drivers were overrepresented in those crashes.

Research: Young drivers
Despite differences in income, licensing programmes and enforcement measures, a study by CARRS-Q found there were more similarities in risky behaviour between young drivers in New Zealand and Colombia than in New Zealand and Australia, and suggests further investigation would be worthwhile.

The study used the Behaviour of Young Novice Drivers Scale, self-reported crash involvement and driving offences to look at the relationship between self-reported crashes and risky driving. It found young drivers across all three countries engaged in a similar breadth of risky behaviours, but those in Colombia engaged in more than New Zealand, and significantly more than in Australia.

Road crashes involved mobile phone usage, drink driving and driving with passengers, suggesting interventions should target these three risk factors.


Action: Zebra crossings
Following a trial period, illuminated zebra-crossings are being installed across The Netherlands, replacing traditional light-reflecting paint with electric lightboxes, and reducing the likelihood that vulnerable road users go unnoticed, even in poor visibility. These zebra crossings are powered by either the streetlight system or solar energy, depending on the area, and can be augmented using sensor equipment designed to monitor vehicle and pedestrian movement.

Research: Cycling
The London Cycle Superhighways need a greater level of design consistency to ensure that cyclists remain safe on London roads, according to research from Southeast University, China and Imperial College, London. The study found that the Cycle Superhighways have resulted in a dramatic increase in cycling traffic, with no significant impact on collision rates. Segregated cycle lanes in particular have been beneficial in protecting cyclists on the CS3 route, in comparison to those routes with limited segregation.

Road safety regulation, enforcement and criminal justice

Research: Workplace regulations
Research from Monash University, Australia, recommends that current road risk management practices in the country be reviewed. Currently, more than 30% of the traffic volume in Australia is work-related vehicles, and this study benchmarked existing road risk management programmes against a best practice framework.

The study found that driving was often seen as a secondary function to a worker’s primary role, and that recruitment, induction and training activities focused solely on the primary role. The results highlighted the need to improve accountability, communications, journey management, and driver competency among other measures.


Research: Collision investigation
TRL has released the initial findings of the Road Accident In-Depth Studies (RAIDS) programme, commissioned by the UK’s Department for Transport to collect detailed evidence on the causes and consequences of road collisions to inform safety interventions.

Over 1,250 in-depth studies were carried out by Loughborough University and TRL between 2013 and 2015 and the report contains examples of potential research applications, offering an insight into the richness and variety of the dataset.

Awareness raising

Euro NCAP has celebrated its 20th anniversary of vehicle testing. Nine out of 10 cars now sold on the European market hold a Euro NCAP rating.

The Transforming Transport 2017 conference took place in January, focussing on sustainable travel for all. Presentations are now available online.

The European Traffic Police Network (TISPOL) has released its 2016 annual report, discussing the implementation of its long-term strategic plan for European traffic policing, and the impact of reduced resources and traffic police internationally.
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