Dissemination & exploitation of the results

Dissemination plan

A primary objective of ERA-NET is to improve and increase awareness and acceptance of road authorities in relation with implementing road safety solutions. To this end, the project aims at developing suitable evaluation tools which support the recently adopted Directive for Road Infrastructure Safety Management (2008) and which assist road authorities in identifying and implementing effective, sustainable and cost-effective solutions.
A number of road authorities will be selected to act as an external user group, representing the external market and bodies such as ERA-NET and CEDR. In addition these members will be asked to act as referees of the guideline documents that will be developed as part of this project. These parties will be contacted once the project commences and will be asked to provide ideas and input in the proposed work plan. To conclude the project, a one day seminar or symposium will be held during which the results will be presented to external stakeholders and interested parties.

Exploitation of the results

RISMET furthers the work started in RiPCORD-iSEREST by bringing together this expertise and providing the platform on which to continue research and development through active cooperation, information sharing and capacity building. This will ultimately provide European road authorities and road safety engineering practitioners with the necessary tools for safely managing their road infrastructure as required by the recently published EU Directive. The Directive stipulates a number of requirements without providing a comprehensive set of tools. RISMET aims at facilitating this by providing the road authorities with a toolkit which can assist in managing and reporting road safety on the European (TEN) road network. RISMET is aimed at providing evaluation tools for the rural road network and this goes further than what the Directive aims at, namely the primary (TEN) network. To ensure that RISMET is successful, a first requirement would be that national road authorities make use of the RISMET tool kit. This can be achieved through organisations such as CEDR/ERA-NET.
A prerequisite for the effective management of road safety on the road network is good quality data to support the use of evaluation tools. In consultation with European road authorities, RISMET will provide the basis for defining these data requirements in appropriate guidelines. Furthermore, guidelines will be drafted on evaluation tools for road infrastructure safety management. These will be based on best practices and supplemented by the development and assessment of new tools such as APMs and network safety management approaches. Through bodies such as ERANET and CEDR road authorities will be requested to apply the guidelines. It is proposed that ERANET implement a monitor to assess the state of application and to identify and address problems should these occur in the future. Guidelines are not static documents and need periodic revision. Therefore a monitor is paramount to ensure that shortcomings are addressed in future versions.
Evaluation tools such as Accident Prediction Models (APMs) are ideal instruments to assess the road safety potential of new and future road infrastructure schemes. By developing unique APMs for various sets of disaggregated road design parameters, road authorities can apply a variety of models to a range of designs and estimate the road safety potential of a scheme or even a network of roads. The variables describing driving behaviour in the APMs will increase the value of the APMs by better reflecting the reality.  These models can be refined to incorporate certain geometric design and/or driver behaviour elements. This gives the road authority the further advantage of being able to test the road safety effect by varying certain parameters. APMs are used for predicting/estimating the safety performance of road networks or parts thereof. APMs can also be useful in benchmarking studies. Once developed, they can relatively easily be applied to estimate the road safety performance of different road categories in a country. Provided a uniform basis is used in the development of the models, these results can be used in cross-European benchmarking exercises to identify both high risk road sections and sections with high safety potentials according to actual risk figures.
Current Network Safety Management (NSM) approaches (such as the German "Guidelines for Safety Analysis of Road Networks (ESN)" and the French “User Safety on the Existing Road Network (SURE) procedures) use basic accident cost densities calculated for whole road stretches for the identification of stretches with safety potential. Their further development and sophistication by using APMs could enhance the process of identifying road stretches with safety potential.
Ultimately, the primary end users are the road authorities in the member countries. By improving the management of the road safety problems on their road networks, road authorities will be able to more effectively implement remedial solutions leading to a safer road network for road users. Other potential beneficiaries include researchers, scientists and engineers active in road safety infrastructure management and also in traffic and safety engineering.