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Saving lives with better road safety indicators

17 January 2013

A new study,  Sharing Road Safety - Developing an International Framework for Crash Modification Functions  published by the International Transport Forum, provides a standardised approach for estimating the benefits of road safety initiatives, facilitating the transfer of knowledge that can save lives.

With almost 1.3 million people dying in road crashes every year and between 20 and 50 million injuries, road traffic accidents are a leading cause of death - at the top of the list is the 15 to 29 age group. In the face of these facts, the need for effective road safety policies is undeniable.

A new study,  published by the International Transport Forum provides a standardised approach for estimating the benefits of road safety initiatives, facilitating the transfer of knowledge that can save lives

The new study will allow governments to make better use of indicators that reliably quantify the causes of reduction of crashes. So-called Crash Modification Functions (CMF) provide measures of how changes in road system affect the number and gravity of road crashes. Standardised CMFs reduce the risk for policy-makers to adopt measures that have little or no impact on improving road safety.

"This is a pathfinding report that reinforces the importance of understanding the effectiveness of road safety countermeasures", commented Dr Steve Lawson of the International Road Assessment Programme (iRAP). "It will be useful to practitioners, researchers and policy-makers alike. iRAP's work towards enabling a world free of high risk roads relies heavily upon reports such as this where best-in-field come together to establish the theoretical framework and add available knowledge to that."

A free summary of the report is available here

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