Paper presented at the 26th Annual Southern African Transport Conference 9 - 12 July 2007 "The challenges of implementing policy?", CSIR International Convention Centre, Pretoria, South Africa.
ABSTRACT:The Sustainable Safety programme in The Netherlands is a proactive road safety approach focussed on the prevention of unsafe human acts. The Sustainable Safety programme is based on three main principles: the functionality of roads, and the homogeneity of masses and speed. The definition of a functional classification of all roads within the road network is a very important aspect of the programme. For each road category in the classification system, dedicated safety characteristics, such as speed limits, are defined.
The Sustainable Safety programme has been successful in reducing the number of road accident fatalities in The Netherlands over the last 15 years. This is mainly the result of the (relatively) low cost infrastructure measures that have been realised following an agreement between the national Ministry of Transport and regional and local authorities.
In South Africa the number of road accident fatalities per million inhabitants has strongly been increasing over recent years. The lack of high quality road safety engineering is an important cause of the worrying road safety situation in South Africa. A Sustainable Safety programme based on the Dutch model could provide South Africa with a valuable framework for the implementation of road safety engineering improvements. The road classification that is proposed by the National Department of Transport in the RISFSA document would be a very suitable starting point for a Sustainable Safety programme in South Africa.
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