Road Safety Measures
Usti nad Labem/Czech Republic CIVITAS ARCHIMEDES | 2008-2012
Usti nad Labem has a target to reduce the amount of traffic accidents in the city and their consequences through road safety measures. This package includes four CIVITAS Archimedes tasks: a safety audit (research task), a road safety audit & actions (demonstration task), traffic speed reduction (research task) and a traffic speed reduction publicity campaign (demonstration task). Accident data was studied to identify necessary safety actions and to determine how to implement speed reduction in the city. Based on the findings, required actions and suitable promoting campaign were designed.
Implementing sustainable mobility
Usti nad Labem is committed to improving its living environment. Within the long-term goal, the city aims to increase the safety level on local roads, encourage walking and cycling in the city and improve the urban space. It focuses at reducing number of deaths and injuries caused by traffic and consequently decreasing the number of road accidents.
Accident data were studied to identify safety actions necessary to achieve improvements and to determine how to implement speed reduction areas in the most effective way. The measure was supported by a Traffic Speed Reduction Publicity Campaign.
How did the measure progress?
Road safety audit was performed in the city to assess the existing state of traffic infrastructure in Ústí nad Labem and reveal safety deficits. The task was performed in the following fields:
Development of methodology;
Training of personnel;
Selection of localities with the majority of road accidents;
On-spot inspections of the selected localities in terms of safety deficits, traffic load, potential for accidents and other hazards;
Proposal of actions to improve safety, assessment of costs and benefits;
Measurements of traffic speed by static radars;
Analysis of traffic flow characteristics based on measurements;
Data collection from local school and preschool facilities;
On-spot safety inspections by the local school and preschool facilities;
Analysis of traffic safety situation at school and preschool facilities;
On-spot inspections of all the major roads in the city; and
Analysis of the current safety conditions of major local roads, identification of safety deficits and proposal for corrective actions.
The safety audit also revealed significant failure of compliance with the speed limit. Usti nad Labem conducted a feasibility study for implementation of calm zones restricting traffic speed to 30 km/ hour. Characteristics of calm zones were described, including traffic signs, construction requirements, and related valid legislation. Individual localities suitable for applying traffic speed reduction were identified and traffic calming measures were analysed for each section.
Within the measure, Usti nad Labem acquired a mobile traffic court for traffic education of children. This included child scooters, mobile horizontal and vertical traffic signs, mobile traffic lights, pedestrian traffic cones and safety stop disks for safe street crossing. The mobile traffic court supplements the permanent traffic court in the city operated by the Municipal Police and allows training in distant and less accessible areas. Thanks to the mobile court, preventive training is undertaken with all fourth grade pupils in Ústí nad Labem. Children are taught basic traffic rules and practice the correct behaviour in city traffic both as pedestrians and as cyclists. They learn how to move safely on the streets and how to read traffic signs and understand traffic signals. Major importance is placed on their safety on roads of the city. The CIVITAS team provided the Municipal Police with evaluation tests in order to assess progress of children from their first to last lesson on the traffic court.
Furthermore, Usti nad Labem launched the Traffic Speed Reduction Campaign in order to increase awareness of safety hazards caused by driving above the speed limit and of road safety issues in the city. Activities were aimed at encouraging drivers to reduce their speed, promoting the importance of safe driving and on prevention of traffic accidents. The target group consisted of both drivers and non-drivers, especially vulnerable users. The campaign was supported through local media, including radio, newspaper, local TV and a Facebook page.
What were the outcomes of the measure?
The road safety audit revealed many deficits, some of which are quite serious and pose major safety risks. The emphasis of remedial solutions was placed on improving the safety level and assessing requirements of proposed modifications.
According to the findings from the safety audit, it is necessary to systematically follow these steps:
Identify localities with the majority of accidents by periodic analysis;
Systematically eliminate safety deficits on the basis of detailed inspections;
Determine efficiency of realised measures by periodic analysis;
Remove the most serious safety deficits identified by the inspections;
Systematically find solutions from the most dangerous roads to less severe ones;
Prioritise detailed inspections for individual road sections;
Educate administration and maintenance personnel performing the periodic inspections according to the Road Act and its implementing regulations directing to deal with safety deficits and deficits;
Include reconstruction of intersections and road sections with high accident rate as a priority in the action plan for investment measures; and
Conduct the safety inspections of the road network periodically.
Based on the audit results, individual steps for improvements were identified and this action plan will be an incorporated part of the new Sustainable Urban Transport Plan for Usti nad Labem, which is currently being developed within the CIVITAS project.
In order to improve road safety in the city, locations suitable for implementation of 30 km/hr zones were identified and suitable traffic calming solutions for each locality were proposed. It was revealed, that Usti nad Labem is not fully utilising the potential of calm zones. Vast majority of local roads in residential parts of the city lack any calming elements. Forty-two locations were identified as suitable for implementing calm zones.
As a next step, appropriate traffic calming measures will be incorporated into the SUTP for Usti nad Labem, which is currently being developed.
Furthermore, new website dedicated to road safety in Usti nad Labem was launched on www.bezpecnepousti.cz. The website includes individual sections with advice and recommendations for safe behaviour of drivers, pedestrians and cyclists. It also contains an interactive map of dangerous locations in the city with safety warnings and videos. Specific sections are devoted to accident rate in the city, traffic intensity on individual roads, traffic control and traffic training.
The measure was evaluated together with the measure 40 - Drive safely campaign.