10 years of Duurzaam Veilig: considerable fall in death risk and number of traffic fatalities
An analysis by SWOV of trends in numbers of traffic fatalities and death risks demonstrates that the measures taken in the Netherlands over the period 1998-2007 within the framework of the Duurzaam Veilig philosophy have ‘in all likelihood’ been successful. The number of traffic fatalities in the Netherlands has fallen by an average of 5% a year over the period 1998-2007. The implementation of measures has led to a decrease by 300 to 400 deaths, over 30%, in the above-mentioned period. The death risk has fallen as well. The decrease was stronger than in the preceding period and more than expected beforehand.
Over the period 1998-2007 quite a number of measures have been taken, particularly in infrastructure and traffic enforcement in combination with information campaigns. These measures were a result or part of the Duurzaam Veilig philosophy. Improvements to vehicle safety have occurred as well, but these are mainly the result of European policies and car manufacturers’ initiatives.
Over the period 1998-2007, for instance, almost all road authorities have drawn up classification plans and approximately well over 41,000 km of 30 km/h roads have been constructed, as well as over 33,000 km of 60 km/h roads. Currently at over 70% of all 30km/h neighbourhood connector roads speeds are reduced at intersections and/or stretches of road, as is 45% on 60km/h roads. The 80km/h district connector roads meet the Duurzaam Veilig guidelines in general to a lower extent than the 50km/h district connector roads.
It is estimated that thanks to the construction of 30km/h roads some 51 to 77 traffic fatalities have been prevented in 2008, and that by construction of 60km/h roads some 60 traffic fatalities have been prevented compared to the 1998 situation. In addition well over 2,300 roundabouts have been constructed in 1998-2007. The roundabouts constructed in 1999-2005 have prevented an estimated 11 traffic fatalities in 2007.
In addition to infrastructural measures a number of measures have been taken in traffic enforcement in combination with information campaigns. Overall these measures have (in 2007) led to a reduction by 300 to 400 traffic fatalities, in other words well over 30%, SWOV has calculated.
The measures have proven to be socially cost-effective, as benefits are a factor of four higher than costs. The fall in the number of hospitalizations considerably trails the fall in the number of traffic fatalities.