Traffic safety is a major challenge in most of cities in South Africa particularly on the arterial roads passing through the sub urban areas. The major contributing reasons for the occurrence of traffic accidents emphasized include human related factors, road related factors and vehicle related factors. However, the influence of the urban development related factors such as, land use and urban functions, urban form, urban pattern, accessibility, and density on the occurrence of traffic accidents have been least explored, particularly in the sub urban residential areas of the cities of South Africa. Therefore, this paper pertains to investigate the influence of various urban related factors on the occurrence of vehicular traffic accidents on the sub urban arterial roads of a South African city. The investigation was conducted by considering Bloemfontein City as the study area and by employing survey research methodologies, statistical analyses, development and consequent application of empirical regression models. It was revealed that level of accessibility (number of accessible roads) from residential areas to arterial roads is the major variable, which causes traffic accidents. Road geometry variables like median and road width influence the occurrence of traffic accidents to a certain extent. However, variables belonging to land use and urban functions, urban form, urban pattern, location of important urban functions in convoluted areas, and density of population have relatively lesser impact. Reduction in the number of access roads from the sub-urban residential areas to the arterial roads, provision of adequate medians in roads with no divided facility along with urban planning interventions, such as, appropriate urban pattern, and avoidance of location of urban functions in convoluted areas will enable reduction in the occurrence of traffic accidents and improve road safety in the cities of South Africa.
Paper presented at the 34th Annual Southern African Transport Conference 6-9 July 2015 "Working Together to Deliver - Sakha Sonke", CSIR International Convention Centre, Pretoria, South Africa.