ASSESSMENT OF SAFER ROAD USER BEHAVIOUR
Free (open access)
755 - 767
ABEER KHUDUR JAMEEL, HARRY EVDORIDES
Road users are the primary and most important aspect of the transport system. Providing for user needs is the primary characteristic of a sustainable transport system. Road user behaviour is considered the main contributory factor to the majority of road accidents. Therefore, successful and effective strategic road safety plans focus on improving road user behaviour by considering seven road user risk factors: drinking-drivers, seatbelts, child restraints, speed management, wearing helmets, using a mobile phone while driving, and driving while under the influence of drugs. Law legislation and enforcement regarding these factors are adopted by the United Nations and the World Health Organisation as the most effective long-term approaches for improving road user behaviour, thereby improving the level of road safety. This research assesses the implementation of strategies for improving road user behaviour, and measures the extent to which these strategies have been successful in improving the overall level of road safety at a national level. An index is developed for each of the road user factors and aggregated to develop a road user assessment index. This index is used for monitoring progress in implementing the action of road safety law legislation and enforcement at the national level, and for comparing countries according to the behaviour of their road users. The results of the research show that not all countries consider all of the above noted risk factors in their road safety laws; furthermore, the ranking of countries according to the results of applying the developed index is different than the ranking calculated according to road deaths for roughly 60% of countries. It is recommended that other factors of road safety be addressed, and additional strategies for improving road user behaviour be adopted, according to how they have been implemented in countries that have achieved a significant decline in road fatalities.
road user behaviour, road safety indicators, laws legislation and enforcement