“A Safe Systems approach to road safety would mean that, as an ethical imperative, no human should be killed or seriously injured as a result of a road crash, as the blame lies partly with the system. People make mistakes – they don’t deserve to be killed because of a mistake. Once this imperative is accepted we will no longer blame the driver but will look to change the system.”
In a sustainably safe road traffic environment the infrastructural layout considerably reduces the risk of crashes.
“In case crashes do still occur, the process that determines the crash severity is conditioned in such a way that serious injury is virtually excluded. Protagoras’ assertion that ‘man is the measure of all things’ is used as the point of departure. Nearly all crashes have their origin in human error. Hence, the purpose is clear:
(1) to reduce the number of errors that are committed by providing clear traffic rules and road design and at the same time; and
(2) to construct infrastructure and vehicles in such a ‘forgiving’ way that errors do no longer have fatal consequences.”
“For every €1 spent on road safety you get €3-4 back in benefits and measurable sustainability,” he argues. “Road safety innovations are good value for money as they have many social benefits.
“Human factors are the primary focus: by starting from the demands, competencies, limitations and vulnerabilities of people, the traffic system can be realistically adapted to achieve maximum safety.”