Road Safety Vision, Plans, and Targets
The German federal road safety policy, "Programme for more safety in road transport" (Programm für mehr Sicherheit im Straßenverkehr) dates from 2001 and is derived from an overall view on the societal dimension of mobility and safety. Mobility is seen as an expression of freedom and quality of life, and as a prerequisite for economic wealth and growth. Human and social behaviour are considered as an important part of a road safety culture: road users should behave more responsibly, less aggressively, and should have respect for more vulnerable road users. Road safety should be improved by joined efforts and by creating consensus, although not all road accidents are unavoidable. The potential of research should be fully utilised, and road safety work should be intensified in a European context. Lastly, the implementation of the road safety programme requires continuous monitoring, evaluation and optimisation.
To date, the German federal road safety programme does not have fixed numerical targets or a target year. The general indicators are non-specific, difficult to measure, and not time dependent.
Road Safety Priorities
In order to improve road safety, the actual dangers and problems need to be identified, and measures should be targeted to tackle road safety problems. The Federal Ministry for Transport, Building and Housing has identified the following priority tasks:
- To improve the transport climate in Germany
Aggressiveness and road rage are becoming a serious problem on German roads, making it one of the top priority areas.
- To protect vulnerable road users
Children, the elderly, pedestrians, cyclists and moped riders are particularly vulnerable, and are exposed to high accident and injury risks.
- To reduce accident risk of young drivers
Young drivers are disproportionately involved in road crashes, with 18-24 year old road users involved in about 22% of all road crashes although constituting only 8% of the total population.
- To reduce the potential danger of heavy goods vehicles
Heavy goods vehicles are often experienced as potentially dangerous. When they are involved in an accident, they constitute a high fatality or injury risk to other road users.
- To improve road safety of rural (inter-urban) main roads
About two-thirds of all fatalities occur in road crashes on rural main roads. Because the fatality rate on other roads (motorways, urban roads) is decreasing, intensified attention needs to be given to rural roads.
A host of road safety measures are part of the road safety strategy to address the identified priority areas.
Road user behaviour
- Measures will be taken in order to improve understanding and the sense of responsibility of road users, particularly with respect to motorised road users versus "weaker" road users. This covers improvements in driver/rider training and education, targeted road safety publicity campaigns, and further preventive measures. More emphasis should be given to traffic education for children in school curricula in all years of their education.
- Many accidents are caused by not observing and obeying traffic rules. Therefore, measures will be taken to improve enforcement of traffic rules. The system of monitoring, surveillance and sanctioning needs to be reinforced.
- Complementary to sanctioning undesirable behaviour, good road use behaviour needs to be rewarded, such as voluntary taking of preventive measures.
- Further harmonisation of requirements for driver licensing at European level. The introduction of quality management for driver testing, licensing and checking.
- Hand-held phone use while driving is prohibited in Germany since 1 February 2001 and only hands-free phone use is allowed.
- Enforcement of driving and working hours for professional heavy goods vehicles and buses needs to be intensified.
- The transport of dangerous goods needs to be made even more safe.
Safer vehicles and telematics
- Active safety: Driver assistance systems, ABS for all vehicles in Germany and all heavy goods vehicles circulating in the EU, active systems for motorcycles, improving ways to secure loads on goods vehicles, and appropriate sanctioning. Better distribution of loads in goods vehicles and better field-of-view for lorry drivers.
- Passive safety. Improve passive vehicle safety for all categories of road users. Enhanced crashworthiness of vehicles, improved crash compatibility between vehicles, improved front and side underrun for lorries, improved child restraint systems. Better motorcycle crash helmets. Pedestrian and cyclist protection.
- Telematics. Use of telematics systems to improve safety: promoting route-guidance systems, collision avoidance systems, accident detection and warning systems. Further deployment of dynamic traffic management systems. Preparation for a European satellite system. Testing and evaluating intelligent speed adaptation.
- There is a need to lower overall speeds and to encourage traffic calming measures, particularly in those cases where various categories of road users have to share the same space and road infrastructure.
- Accident prevention, by improving the work of accident investigation teams, by identifying black spots, and by reducing the number of road signs.
- Improved performance of emergency services, by improving First Aid training for road users, use of roadside emergency call boxes, correct location of actual accident spots, and the introduction of a single and unique road accident emergency phone number in Europe.
Road Safety Management Organisation
In general, the German Federal Ministry for Transport, Building and Housing is responsible for the implementation and evaluation of the road safety programme.
The German Road Safety Council (Deutscher Verkehrssicherheitsrat, DVR), founded in 1969 as a non-profit organisation, aims to support measures aimed to improve traffic safety of all road users. The main emphasis is given to questions related to engineering, education, legislation and enforcement. DVR co-ordinates various activities of its members, develops programmes and adapts them to new challenges and research findings. It puts the human being and education and information at the centre of its work, relying on the philosophy of partnership and self-responsibility. The organisation has about 270 members including the Federal Ministry of Transport, Building and Housing and the transport-related state ministries as well as the road safety clubs, work accident insurance associations, automobile clubs, insurance sector, vehicle manufacturers, churches, industrial sector, employer associations and trade unions. Five of its members come from foreign countries.
Road Safety Programme Monitoring and Evaluation
The Federal Ministry for Transport, Building and Housing and Building is responsible for programme evaluation, which takes place every two years, but it is not clear who actually carries out the evaluation itself. No details are given concerning monitoring road safety indicators, and due to the fact that no numerical targets are given, it will be hard to assess the actual progress of the programme. Performance that is monitored concerns investment in federal road construction, technical inspection of vehicles, driving and resting hours of heavy goods vehicle drivers, and performance of emergency and rescue services.
INVENT - four-year cooperation project supported by the Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF) developing driver assistance and traffic flow management systems to improve traffic safety: http://www.invent-online.de/
Federal Ministry for Transport, Building and Housing (Bundesministerium für Verkehr, Bau- und Wohnungswesen, BMVBW): http://www.bmvbw.de/
Federal Ministry for Transport, Building and Housing Projects (Bundesministerium für Verkehr, Bau- und Wohnungswesen, BMVBW):
do-it - Data Optimisation for Integrative Telematics (Datenoptimierung für integrierte Telematik)
German Road Safety Council (Deutscher Verkehrssicherheitsrat): http://www.dvr.de/
BASt - Bundesanstalt für Straßenwesen
The Federal Highway Research Institute (BASt) was first set up by the Federal Ministry for Road Traffic (BMV) in 1951 as the Federal Institute for Road Building. It resulted from the merger of the existing Federal Institute for Materials Testing in Road Building at Oelde, Westphalia, and the Hamburg Field Office of the Federal Institute for Hydraulic, Geological and Foundation Engineering.
Technical University Hamburg-Harburg - Research Unit Transportation
Looks at transportation, land use, travel behaviour, logistics
Technical University of Dresden: Faculty of Transportation Science
Transport planning; ground and air, traffic information systems, vehicle and automotive engineering, transport economics
Allgemeiner Deutscher Automobil-Club e.V. (ADAC)
Institut für Fahrzeugsicherheit (GDV)
Volkswagen AG (VW)
Verband der Automobilindustrie (VDA)
The VDA nationally and internationally promotes the interests of the entire German automotive industry in all fields of the motor transport sector, for example in economic, transport and environmental policy, technical legislation, standardisation and quality assurance
Project DIWA Driver Information and Warning Application: .pdf (1260 KB)