Thursday, 26 April 2012
A few days back, the local TV news covered the rate of road deaths in our province. They gave figures for the total of all traffic deaths, including drivers, cyclists and pedestrians.
In 2003, there were 46 transport related deaths in the province, but this has been dropping. 26 died in 2011.
The local government spokesman in the video explains that the reason for the reduction in deaths is that the roads have been re-engineered to reduce conflicts and remove danger, though of course he also says that behaviour of drivers is important.
Improving the infrastructure to make the roads more self-explanatory and to reduce conflict is an established way to improve safety. These are the principles of Sustainable Safety in action.
Sustainable safety not only improves conditions for cycling, but benefits all road users. This universality makes sustainable safety a good thing to campaign for in other countries as well.
Drenthe is the least densely populated province of the Netherlands. Just under half a million people spread across 2600 square kms - 190 people per square km. This density is lower than five US states and less than half that of England.