When we take into account the number of citizens, more road casualties are yearly calculated in Flanders than anywhere else in Europe. The risk of a fatal road accident is even twice as high as in the Netherlands, Sweden and the United Kingdom. The Flemish Government must increase efforts to drastically lower the fatal and seriously injured casualties. To be able to take the right measures, thorough scientific research is indispensable. Therefore the activities of the Policy Research Centre for Road Safety 2002 – 2006 (1st generation) and of the Policy Research Centre for Mobility and Public Works, track Road Safety, 2007-2011 (2nd generation) will be continued by the 3rd generation Policy Research Centre for Road Safety 2012-2015.
Policy Research Centre for Road Safety is a framework project, in which several subprojects were executed. In each of these subprojects researchers aimed to develop innovative and feasible measures to motivate drivers to drive more safely, and to evaluate the effectiveness of existing measures. Three broad categories of safety measures were considered: enforcement, infrastructural measures and educative insight programs. In order to provide solid answers, accident rates and indicators for accident risk and accident involvement were gathered and thoroughly analysed. Researchers paid specific attention to the interaction between human behaviour and road infrastructure, the relation between vehicle and surroundings.
Wide range of subjects
Various subjects and research questions were tackled. What does the transition to electric bicycles imply for road safety? Do junior and high school students think more consciously about possible consequence of their behaviour in traffic after having met a road victim or a related family member? Are there any road crash patterns to be deduced when examining the manoeuvres on a roundabout? Do drivers approach a junction differently when unmanned speed cameras are or are not announced? All reports were published on www.steunpuntverkeersveiligheid.be.
Policy Research Centre Programme
The Policy Research Centre Programme was launched in 2001 to provide scientific basis for policy. They were needed by the Flemish Government in order to quickly anticipate social developments and challenges and take proactive measures. The emphasis in the policy research centres is on structural funding. For the third time in a row, financing was foreseen for the topic of ‘road safety’.