INFLUENCE OF HUMANFACTOR ON ROAD TRAFFIC SAFETY IN LATVIA Aldis Lāma Accident database expert of Road Traffic Safety Directorate, Road safety expert of Road Traffic Research, Member of „CARE & RSPI national experts group” from Latvia in European Commission, Road Safety PIN panelist from Latvia in European Transport Safety Council.
The objectives of the presentation • To give an overview of road traffic safety level in Latvia; • To compare the road safety level of Latvia with that in the countries of EU; • To analyse the main causes of road accidents and impact of human factor; • To reveal the impact of implemented measures on road traffic safety; • To analyse different excuses of road users to blanch over own behaviour in traffic.
Road traffic safety indices in Latvia • During the last eleven years number of vehicles has increased 2,2 times and that of drivers 1,5 times; • As road infrastructure remains practically the same the traffic has become more intensive; • Number of injury accidents and number of injured personswent up 1,1 times in the last ten years, but number of killed decreased 1,6 times.
The system “Road user-Vehicle-Environment” The system “Road user-Vehicle-Environment (condition of roads and weather)” sets specific problems of road traffic. Causes of the occurrence of road accidents can be divided in three main groups: • Action of road users; • Technical condition of vehicles; • Impact of environment (condition of roads and weather).
Action of road users • According to statistics the occurrence of road accidents is mainly related with road users’ actions. • The increase of the level of roadtraffic safety mainly depends on human factor. • The behavior of road users is one of the most important and most sophisticated factors in road safety. • It must be in the centre of attention of all society as well as in the centre of attention of particular sciences.
The target of European Union • The EU has set itself a target of halving the yearly number of road death between 2001 and 2010; • The ETSC set down three key areas of road users behavior to improve overall road safety: • speed; • alcohol; • use of seat belt and other protective systems.
Important causes of serious road traffic accidents in Latvia • Speeding- 22,6% of all fatalities registered in 2006; • Driving under the influence of alcohol- 20,6% of all fatalities registered in 2006; • Manoeuvring and aggressive driving- 7,6% of all fatalities registered in 2006. Reducing the consequences of crashes • Not using of a seat belt– only 77% of drivers and passengers in front seat used a seat belt in 2006.
How to affect the road users? • To educate and to train the road users to behave safe; • To create public opinion about safe behavior; • To enforce the road users to behave safe; • To improve the infrastructure of road network; • To improve passive safety of vehicle.
Penalty point system – a powerful tool! The aim of the penalty point system is to separate the malicious and regular violators from those who are driving according to the road traffic rules. • In 01.07.2004 Penalty point system entered into force in Latvia. • It means that drivers for committed violations are punished both by fines and by receiving penalty points. • The penalty point system besides punishment includes also information, rehabilitation and re-licensing.
Driver’s skills improvement course If the number of received penalty points have come to 8 penaltypoints – a notification about the amount of received penalty points and the obligation to attend courses about road traffic safety “Driver’s skills improvement course”is sent to the violator. „Driver’s skills improvement courses” are split into two parts (each part is a three hours long lecture 3 x 45 min): • „Behaviour of road traffic participants and factors that can have an impact on it”; • „Assured behaviour of a driver in different road traffic situations”. Proposal to improve contents of courses with issue about psychologically correct attitude of road users towards safe moving in road traffic for offenders of Traffic regulations.
Speed and road traffic safety • There is an increased risk to be involved in an accident both for vehicles driving slower or driving faster than the average traffic flow; • Higher speed increases risk of occurrence of an accident because it shortens the period of time for drivers to take decision in critical situation and to perform manoeuvre of escape; • Higher speed increases the damages of vehicles and severity of injuries of drivers; • In its turn, the severity of the consequences of the accidents doesn’t increase straight proportionally to the increase of speed, but much faster; • In the accident with pedestrians the possibility that the pedestrian will be killed increases rapidly if the speed at the moment of crash is higher. For example, if the speed of the vehicle at the moment of crash is 50km/h instead of 40km/h the risk that the pedestrian will be killed increases 2,5 times; • Although speed limits are increasing the level of road traffic safety they are the most unpopular measures by the view of drivers.
Injury accidents in Midsummer day The three holidays of Midsummer Day (from 23rd to 25th of June) in 2000 were named “Bloody Midsummer days” when 26 people were killed.
Main conclusions • The road safety in Latvia is improved during last years; • Despite of achievements the level of road safety in Latvia is worse than the average level of European Union; • The road safety mainly depends on actions of road users; • It is necessary to build up psychologically correct attitude of road users towards safe moving in road traffic.
Thank you for attention! All information is collected from following home pages: www.csdd.lv www.csizpete.lv www.etsc.be www.erso.eu