Last Monday, 16 January, the European Commission published guidelines on methodology for network-wide road safety assessments. Although not mandatory, these guidelines aim to help public authorities in EU Member States to carry out the safety assessments of their road networks as required under the Road Infrastructure Safety Management Directive.

The guidance documents comprises a framework addressing both a reactive (accident based) and a proactive (feature based) safety assessment, covering issues such as the lane width, road curvature, design of junctions, roadside layout and potential conflicts between motorised vehicles and vulnerable road users. It also suggests a methodology for a common safety rating system for classification of the existing road network which should allow to rate each road section according to a 5-level scale. This would enable authorities to identify priorities for future actions and investment to address road safety concerns.

The guidelines have been prepared for the Commission by external contractors further to an evaluation of existing safety assessment methodologies and data, pilot testing and extensive discussions and feedback in the Expert Group on Road Safety Infrastructure (EGRIS) made up of road infrastructure experts from the EU Member States.

In accordance with the RISM directive, Member States must carry out the first network-wide road safety assessment of Motorways and Primary roads by 2024, and regularly thereafter.

Source: European Commission