Benchmarking road safety with municipalities

Local and regional governments are to a large extent responsible for road safety improvement in their area. A method that can be of assistance to them is ‘benchmarking’, Roughly speaking a comparison with other local and regional authorities with the purpose of learning from the best performing government.

Research objectives

In 2015, the first two test benchmarks were done with the four largest Dutch municipalities and with four ‘cycling municipalities’. Based on the experiences gained SWOV sees three possible directions for future elaboration (and/or):

  1. Development of a road safety benchmark prototype (fixed parts, customization, indicators to be developed).
  2. Further study of specific topics that were encountered in the test benchmarks.
  3. Substantiation of theoretically plausible indicators (e.g. the relationship between investments and road safety).


By far the most fatalities and serious road injuries are registered at the municipal road network and the proportion of serious road injuries is increasing. Municipalities in particular find it difficult to get a grip on their road safety problem, among other things due to inadequate crash registration, but also due to lack of money, manpower and knowledge. Benchmarking provides a structured method with as many substantiated elements as possible for working together on finding learning points and thus to improve road safety policy.

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Project nr.



Start date: 01 Jan 2016
End date: 31 Dec 2016