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TECHNOLOGY Simulation and modelling


Start as you mean to go on E


As Sonja Koesling reports, road safety begins in the planning process. Lives depend on choosing the right software


very day, 3400 people lose their lives on the roads. This is an aston- ishing figure that raises aware-


ness of the need to improve road safety. Around the world, this topic is becoming a priority. There are many approaches, but especially on the administrative level, there is a need for new ways to keep pace – with changing traffic behaviour, new scientific insights and innovative technologies. The availability of high-quality acci-


dent data is not a given in many regions, yet accident data and related informa- tion are the keys to proactive road safety work. Paolo Vadi is well aware of this. He has 12 years’ experience in road safety, and has spent half of them in charge of the Office of Sustainable Mobility of the Province of Arezzo in Italy. Thanks to a region-spanning project, he can now access good accident data. “In 2002, the Road Network


Department of the Province of Arezzo established a Road Traffic and Safety Office, whose main task is to identify and analyse the critical points in the


network,” reports Vadi. Ten years ago, the office started the SIRSS – Sistema Integrato Sicurezza Stradale (Road Safety Integrated System). This is a project in the course of which a high-quality database of geo-referenced accidents involving injuries and deaths has been created. Each accident is recorded with 76 attributes such as date, time, place, description of place, type of accident, weather conditions, road characteristics and state of the driver (for example under the influence of alcohol or user distrac- tion). For Vadi, this information provides an important basis for the road safety work in his region.


HILLY LANDSCAPES AND THEIR HAZARD POTENTIAL The Province of Arezzo encompasses 3,200km2


20 years thanks to modern methods, by contrast, represents less than ten percent of the total. “In order to take the right traffic planning measures given these cir- cumstances, it is essential for us to know the distribution of the accident points”, says Vadi.


FATAL HESITATION The region counted approximately 1,200 accidents each year between 2001 and 2011, with around 30 accidents each year resulting in a fatality. “However we see that the require-


ments of the Italian National Plan for Road Safety and those of the European Community are catching on”, according to Vadi. “Since 2001, fatal accidents have declined significantly”. In order to do more, however, road


and is home to approximately


350,000 people. The 1,300km road net- work runs through the hilly landscape of Tuscany. Some streets are the result of successive adaptations of Etruscan, Roman and medieval roads. The infra- structure which has arisen in the past


safety must be taken into account as early as during the strategic planning of the traffic infrastructure. Previously, most road maintenance measures were decided reactively. For Vadi, this is the wrong approach. He was seeking an innovative approach


In PTV Visum Safety, heat maps highlight particularly dangerous roads and junctions


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Scenarios have been simulated in PTV Vissim on a microscopic level in order to verify their feasibility and avoid creating potential congestion


thinkinghighways.com Vol 8 No 2 Europe/Rest of the World


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