Public Realm Information & Advice Network


Road Safety

Road safety is one of the highest priorities for highway and public realm professionals. Even though the number of accidents is decreasing, more than 2,500 people were killed on the roads in 2009.

The aims are:
Road safety for all users.
Reducing the number and severity of accidents.
Ensuring drivers travel with care and attention suitable for the road environment they find.
Balancing the need for speed cameras, road design, road signs and lines with cost and effectiveness.
Designing for safe highways and all public realm
70% of all accidents are the result of driver error. If the road is perfectly safe for the majority of drivers, could anything be done to the design of the road to make it safe for everyone.
Are safe looking roads, unsafe?
Safe looking roads may encourage drivers to relax, stop thinking and so take more risks.
There are also many examples of highway junctions that look dangerous but have good safety records.
People may take more care when they consider the road to be dangerous. They make constant judgements about the situation rather than assuming they will be safe.
Road safety equipment clutter the highway and public realm and confuse the driver.
Excessive amounts of road safety features can create a confusing highway and ambiguity for the driver.
Managing the process for safe highway design & assessing risk

Safety Audits are used to assess the likely safety risk of highway design. Quality audits, advocated by Manual for Streets, balance safety audits with a respect for the quality of place.

Wider contextual issues affect highway safety
Behavioural, cultural and physical environment affect the safety of roads. Psychological traffic calming can manage safety, improve streetscapes and create a balance between all road users
Road Safety






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