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New Speed Management Manual

3 March 2008

The management of speed remains one of the biggest challenges facing road safety practitioners around the world which can only be met by a concerted, long-term, multidisciplinary response. A new ‘how to do’ manual published today by a collaboration of leading agencies committed to reducing death and injury on the roads of developing countries advocates a strong and strategic approach to creating a safe road system, with speed management at its heart.

Reducing motor vehicle speeds in areas where the road user mix includes a high volume of vulnerable road users such as pedestrians and cyclists is especially important. Many low and middle-income countries have a serious, and in some cases worsening, road safety problem. This manual provides advice and guidance for policy-makers and road safety practitioners in these countries and draws on the experience of a number of countries that have already initiated speed management programmes. Lessons from successful and non-successful initiatives are used to illustrate the advice provided.

The ‘easy to use’ manual consists of a series of 'how to' modules. It provides evidence of why speed management is important and takes the user through the steps needed to assess the situation in their own country. It then explains the steps needed to design, plan and implement a programme, including how to obtain funding, set up a working group, develop an action plan and, if necessary, introduce appropriate legislation. It considers the potential role of measures involving engineering and enforcement, as well as using education to change speed related behaviour. Finally, the manual guides the user on how to monitor and evaluate the programme so that the results can be fed back into programme design. It outlines in a practical way the various steps that need to be taken.

In preparing the material for this manual, the writers have drawn on case studies from around the world to illustrate examples of 'good practice'. It is hoped that the modular structure of the manual means it can be read and easily adapted to suit the problems and needs of individual countries.

The management of drivers' speed involves a wide range of measures including setting and enforcing speed limits, engineering measures designed to reduce speeds, and public education and awareness campaigns. Many countries also require speed limiters be fitted to vehicles such as buses and lorries. There is now a vast library of information available on the subject of speed management (and traffic 'calming') so the question of 'what to do and where' can be daunting. This manual presents good practice on speed management, and offers a framework that can be adapted to local conditions.

The manual was written to inform and support policy-makers and road safety practitioners involved in developing and implementing road safety and speed management programmes in low and middle-income countries.

The manual is available in PDF format to be downloaded free of charge or by writing to: Global Road Safety Partnership, c/o International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, PO Box 372 , 17 Chemin des Crêts, CH-1211, Geneva 19, Switzerland