Non-technical measures for influencing traffic behaviour

Recommendations based on Dutch experiences and projects in the period 1990-1995


Goldenbeld, Ch.



This report discusses legislation, police enforcement, information campaigns and citizen participation as instruments in a behaviour oriented approach to road safety. The acronym 'BITE' is used to summarise the general behavioural approach to problems of traffic safety. 'BITE' stands for: Behaviour, Intermediary, Target and Evaluation. Behaviour In the problem analysis phase, the traffic safety problem should be defined in terms of human behaviour. Legal measures and police enforcement are potentially strong instruments for influencing road users' behaviour. In this study we discuss these instruments in relation with their effects on behaviour. Intermediaries To reach the target groups and to change their behaviour, it is often necessary to mobilise intermediary parties (e.g. schools, neighbourhood councils, church, municipality) that can assist in changing behaviour in traffic. For instance, to improve the road safety behaviour of young children we will need the co-operation of school governors and teachers and of parents. This report addresses the possibilities to use intermediaries in a behavioural approach to traffic safety problems. Target In the problem analysis phase, the desirable target behaviour and target groups should be described. A very important instrument to reach a target group is a publicity and information campaign. We discuss this instrument in relation with speeding behaviour. Evaluation We evaluate in order to assess the ongoing process of the project and to assess the interim and end effects of our activities. Instead of evaluation after the introduction of a measure, it can be decided to involve citizens and road users in an early stage when measures are not yet taken and are only in a preparatory planning stage. If citizens and road users have the possibility to contribute to the planning of traffic safety measures, this will likely increase the acceptance of these measures. This report illustrates how the interaction between engineering planning and citizen involvement can contribute to road safety. The BITE-approach presented here is very general. In the paper we will focus on specific instruments that can be part of this general approach: legal measures, police enforcement, publicity and information campaigns, and citizen participation will be discussed. The report was originally used as a background paper for the International Masters Programme in Transportation and Road Engineering in the City of Delft in the Netherlands, 23rd March 2000.

Print this page