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Accid Anal Prev. 1993 Oct;25(5):569-83.

Quantified road safety targets: a useful tool for policy making?

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Institute of Transport Economics, Oslo, Norway.


The safety performance of Norwegian countries where quantified road safety targets were set is compared to the safety performance of countries where only qualitative road safety targets were set. Quantified targets are classified according to their ambitiousness. Safety performance is compared for two four-year road planning terms: 1982-1985 and 1986-1989. The study shows that countries where quantified safety targets were set succeeded in reducing the accident rate per kilometre of travel more than counties relying on qualitative targets only. The best performance was achieved by counties with highly ambitious quantified targets. Safety performance was related both to targets and to the level of spending on road safety programmes. Improving safety did not lead to reduced mobility, with the exception of lowered speed limits on less than 10% of the road system. The possibility that confounding factors generated these results is discussed. It is concluded that none of the confounding factors included in the study exerted a major influence. A number of potentially confounding factors could not be included, due to lack of data. The chief policy implication of the study is that setting ambitious quantified road safety targets can help policy making by making it easier to implement effective countermeasures and set priorities effectively.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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