READING - A New Traffic Safety Paradigm

VTPI LogoThe Victoria Transport Policy Institute has released a document that recognizes the long term decline in traffic casualty rates is ending. According to the document's introduction "Crash rates have started to increase, indicating that current traffic safety strategies have fulfilled their potential. To achieve ambitious safety goals such as Road to Zero we need additional traffic safety strategies. This will require a paradigm shift, a change in the way traffic risks are measured and potential safety strategies are evaluated."

It goes on to say that "The old paradigm assumed that vehicle travel is generally very safe, and so ignored exposure as a risk factor. It argued that most crashes are caused by special risk factors, such as youth, senior, impaired and distracted driving, and so favors targeted safety strategies. The new paradigm recognizes that all vehicle travel imposes risks and so recognizes the additional crashes caused by planning decisions that increase vehicle travel, and the safety benefits of transportation demand management (TDM) strategies such as more multi-modal planning, efficient transport pricing, Smart Growth development policies and TDM programs.