Country Report - The Netherlands
van Vliet, P.
van der Horst, A.R.A.
TNO Defensie en Veiligheid
This paper provides an overview of the most significant developments in the area of road (geometric) design practices and standards and related research in the Netherlands in recent years. The paper describes the importance of the Sustainable Road Safety policy in this context. Furthermore, it provides a summary of a number of new initiatives and developments with respect to road and intersection design with a specific focus on related (road safety) research and its role in the development and application of guidelines. Since 1998 the Netherlands has applied the principles of Sustainable Safety in road design and over the years these have been researched and in varying degrees been adopted into geometric design standards and guidelines. In recent years the strategic direction of road safety has shifted from being focussed on predominantly infrastructure to concentrating on regular traffic offenders and vulnerable road users and where technological innovation plays an important role. The newly adopted road safety strategy for 2020 is a testament of this shift. However, road authorities, standards and research organisations continue pursuing the long term vision set out by the Sustainable Safety programme by adapting the road environment and related standards and guidelines to meet the ongoing challenge of further reducing road accidents. To facilitate and support these developments, extensive research programmes have been carried out and these include driving simulator research into the (behavioural) effects of, for example narrow cross-sections, research into safe and credible speeds and research into the effects of road design and layout on road safety. The results of these research programmes are used in the development and/or amendment of road design guidelines and standards. Examples discussed in the paper include the implementation and evaluation of the essential characteristics for the recognition of road infrastructure, the further expansion of 30 and 60km/h zones and 2+1 roads. The paper further elaborates on the following significant and related developments: − Optimising the use of available road space through innovative design and traffic management procedures (e.g. network approach; emergency lane etc.) − the planned new guidelines for national highways − guidelines for signing and marking at road construction zones − the guidelines for essential characteristics for the recognition of road types − experiences related to the use and design of turbo-roundabouts (traffic circles) and subsequently adopted design guidelines − design guidelines for 2+1 roads − the Dutch traffic safety handbook − the relationship between road design and (direction) signing and in-car/roadside information systems − Human factor guidelines (the so called Golden Rules). The focal point of Sustainable Safety is that the human and consequently human factors still play an increasingly important role in road design in the Netherlands. The Sustainable Safety programme has been around since 1997 and has had a major impact on infrastructure design and the way in which the Netherlands approaches road safety. This has resulted in 10 years of re-engineering major parts of the Dutch road network and making a significant contribution to the 300 to 400 fewer road traffic fatalities in 2007 when compared to 1997. This paper will briefly touch on these effects. The paper closes with an overview of other future developments and their possible consequence on road design practices in the Netherlands.
To reference this document use:
Peripheral Detection Task
Readiness to respond
International Symposium on Highway Geometric Design : Proceedings Fourth International Symposium on Highway Geometric Design, Valencia, Spain, June 2-5, 2010, 1-15