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Feasibility study on a European Road Safety Information System, financially supported by the European Commission


Brouwer, Drs. M. ; Poppe, F. ; Blokpoel, A. ; Kars, V



In its European Road Safety Programme 1997 - 2001 the European Commission stresses the importance of the dissemination of data and knowledge. There exists a lot of information which is not optimally used because the people involved do not know of its existence or the information is not easy accessible. This is a situation asking for improvement, because good information supports rational decision taking. An information system, bringing e.g. tables, graphs and conclusions from research projects to the users' desks, is one of the ways to meet the objective of dissemination. This is why the Commission supported a feasibility study, having the following main question: Is it, with reasonable efforts, possible to develop and maintain a European Road Safety Information System with relevant and internationally comparable information? For this study, we used our experience with national information systems. E.g. in the Netherlands it has shown to be possible to develop and maintain a Road Safety Information system. The system is operational since 1993 and is used by a growing number of enthusiastic road safety professionals. Although the requirement of international comparable information introduces extra complexity, the functioning of the Dutch information system appeared to be a useful example. Besides that, international experts were involved in the study, to judge the items raised: are those items indeed the main questions and is the right balance found between describing concrete solutions and leaving options open for decisions (SWOV report A-99-4A). The general outcome of this study is that it is possible to develop a European Road Safety Information System for professionals and citizens. Of course it has to meet certain criteria: the contents must match the subjects that occupy the users and the system must be intuitively in its use. We propose to develop an Internet application to reach potentially every European citizen and to develop a concise paper version for a selected target group not having access to Internet yet. We recommend to involve national correspondents in the organisation of the system, to make sure that the best use is made of national knowledge. We also recommend to develop the system step by step. A first version of the system could be developed within a year, containing enough interesting information to be attractive for the users. This study contains the outlines of the system and clarifies what has to be decided and arranged in order to make this system operational.

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SWOV, Leidschendam