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A new approach to road safety – road danger reduction and Bristol Council UK
  1. T Calvert*,
  2. P Pilkington,
  3. A Davis,
  4. M Baugh
  1. Correspondence University of the West of England, Bristol city council, NHS Bristol, 2 Portland Street, Kings Down, Bristol, UK


Although in industrialised countries recent reductions in road casualties look encouraging, this reduction is partly due to decreased exposure to the road environment as fewer people walk and cycle. This reduction in walking and cycling has been facilitated by our traditional casualty reduction approach to road safety, which has neglected the needs of vulnerable road users. With the need to promote sustainable active travel, to tackle obesity and climate change, a new approach is needed. The presentation reports on an innovative partnership in Bristol, UK, between the University of the West of England, Bristol Council and NHS Bristol. This project examines an alternative road safety approach: road danger reduction. This holds that the surest way to improve road safety is to reduce the volume and speed of motorised traffic, while promoting walking and cycling. It states that there should be equity of danger experienced and ease of travel, between road users. These concerns of equity, accessibility and justice offer a new approach to road safety. Analysis of the literature reveals initiatives that share aspects of a danger reduction approach: Vision Zero in Sweden and Sustainable Safety in Netherlands highlight the potential of the approach to save lives. These offer valuable lessons. The next stage of the project, for completion in August 2010, involves expert stakeholder interviews and an audit of local road safety measures. The strength of this project is that it presents both the academic conceptual underpinning of road danger reduction and how it could be applied in practice.

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