road safety

Road Safety Simulation Conference 2013 | Rome, Italy

Laporan Roma_Oct2013

This file shows lessons learned at the third road safety and simulation conference, which was held in Rome, Italy, 23-25 October 2013.

The reason this file is being updated is simply to remind the author of what he has learned, and more importantly is to remind him of where he save this file. In addition, he would like to share this to everyone who might be interested.

Last but not least, since this is only an ordinary report, there must be some mistakes here and there. You are welcome to comment and give correction.



Road Safety FFM 4 Report | 2013 | Australia

FFM4 report – andria mf

This report describes lessons learned I’ve got at the fourth road safety fact finding mission in Vicroads, Melbourne, Australia, 18-22 March 2013.

It contains heaps of valuable information regarding road safety such as:

1. Brief information of vicroads, the ‘bina marga’ of Victoria Australia
2. safe system approach
3. partnership and coordination in road safety
4. road safety public awareness, including link of amazing ads on youtube
5. roadside hazard management
6. road safety in design
7. blackspot investigation
8. road safety audit
9. speed management
10. best practices of one of victoria toll road projects
11. road safety challenges in indonesia



Addressing Road Safety Problems in Indonesia

Indonesia is facing a serious road safety problem. Approximately 20.000 people die and nearly 84.000 people suffer non-fatal injuries each year due to road accidents (Indonesian National Police, 2010). It means that every thirty minutes one person dies on the road. Without any improvement, this number will inevitably rise. The data shows that eighty nine percent of the deaths were vulnerable road users: i.e. pedestrians (15%), cyclists (13%), and motorcyclists (61%) (WHO 2009). In fact, ADB (2005) indicates that the actual number of the victims might be three times greater due to severe under reporting in Police Data. The economic loss from road accidents was projected to be around US$ 4.5 billion or 2.9 % of the Indonesian Gross Domestic Product (UGM 2002 as cited in Pasek 2006).

There are three main contributing factors to road crashes: human, vehicle, and road. Human factors include road users who do not comply with the road rules, such as motorcyclists who do not wear helmets, drivers who do not wear seatbelts, road users who ignore the traffic lights, riders who drive on the wrong lane, and so on. Vehicle factors include vehicles without proper safety equipment, i.e. seatbelt, flat tire, broken braking system, etc. Road factors include road infrastructure with bad horizontal or vertical alignment, poor surface condition, lack of adequate signage and line marking, etc. One study recorded that human factors contributing roughly 78% followed by vehicle 6% and road 3% with 11% remaiing unknown (Directorate of Technical Affairs 2009). On top of that, road crashes happen because of the interaction of these three factors, but since the data shows that road factors only contribute 3 % to the crashes, people often neglect it and blame all crashes on the road users. However, the data should be analyzed more deeply because often when road safety engineers conduct an inspection of the crash site, they reveal many other findings that have not been covered in the police records. Therefore, this essay will discuss how far road infrastructure contributes to the crashes, and how improving it can reduce the number of fatalities.

International studies found that the road condition plays a major role in the occurrence and fatalities of road crashes (IndII 2010). The Global Plan for the Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020, released by the World Health Organization (WHO 2010), stated that there are five pillars that should be addressed in improving road safety problems, and ‘safer roads pillar’ is placed prior to ‘safer vehicle pillar’ and ‘safer people pillar’. It can be concluded that road aspect should be improved first before improving the vehicle and human factors.

How to determine whether or not the road contribute to a road crash? Phillip Jordan, who has over thirty years of road safety experience in 24 countries (2009) says that it can be done through road safety engineering. It consists of two main processes: Blackspot investigation, a tool to obtained detail information about the crash and to decide what type of countermeasure is needed to prevent another crash in the future; And road safety audit, a comprehensive assessment to find the safety deficiencies at a specific link of the road. Jordan has conducted numerous blackspot investigations and road safety audits along Indonesian National Highways since 2007. His report (2009) shows that most of the highways have enormous safety deficiencies. In fact, nearly 47% of the 34.600 km roads are still sub-standard, which means most of the roads are undivided and less than 5.5 m wide (MPW 2009). Moreover, approximately 17% of the road surface is in poor and very poor condition, let alone proper safety devices such as signage, marking, and delineation.

The gap between the actual condition and the standard is very significant. As stated in the Government Regulation (Number 34 2006), arterial roads are supposed to be minimum 11 meters wide and have a median at the centre of the road to divide the traffic. However, fulfilling the standard only is not enough. Herrstedt (2006) points out that the new paradigm in safer road planning is called a “self explaining and forgiving road”. Self explaining road means that the road should be equipped with signage and delineation, so that the road users have a clear direction in driving their vehicle. While the concept of forgiving road is based on the understanding that road users are ordinary people who can make mistakes which lead to crashes. In this case, their mistake should be ‘forgiven’ and not be punished by death (ibid). This method consists of fulfilling the gap of safety deficiencies, include removing hazardous obstacles along the roads, installation of crash barrier, sealing the shoulders, etc. In a forgiving road, even if a crash occurs, the severity of the victim is significantly decreased.

In addition, WHO (2004) states that one of the road safety problems in Asian countries is the mixed of traffic on one carriageway which can increase the risk of crashes. It claims that a road network should have clarity in terms of the hierarchy of roads. For example, high-speed roads should have limited access, large curve radius, or special lane for motorcyclists.  Rural roads should have periodic lanes for overtaking, median barriers to prevent overtaking in hazardous locations, removed road side hazards, etc. In terms of pedestrian and cyclists safety, WHO states that the pedestrian and cyclist lane should be separated from the motorized lane, and it also should be connected to public transport facility.

ADB (2003) supports these approaches and also adds more detailed information about the importance of knowing the characteristic of developing countries’ road condition before practicing such strategy. In developing countries, the road is mostly used by vulnerable road users. It fact, in Indonesia, the number of motorcycles is four times greater than the number of cars. Therefore, from the planning stage, the focus should be given to the motorcyclists and other vulnerable road users. ADB notes that there are several things to consider in safe planning, such as: Land use should be spread out so that the traffic conflict can be reduced, direct access from local to major road should be limited, e.g. no access should be allowed at sharp curves and hill crests. In terms of safe design, ADB mentions the fundamental aspects such as: cross-section including the width of the road according to its hierarchy, sight distances are not obstructed by anything, sufficient curve radius including the horizontal and vertical alignment, speed limits signs should be clearly installed, road signs and marking should be conspicuous and clear, drainage ditches should not located too close to the road, obstacles and safety fencing to prevent collisions should be introduced, street lighting should be installed at intersections, bus stops and lay-bys should be provided to prevent rear-end crashes, intersections should be obvious, and pedestrian facilities should be provided particularly in urban roads (ADB 2003)

As mentioned earlier, there is a huge gap between actual Indonesian roads and the ideal condition. The implementation of road safety development might be classified into two terms: short term and long term countermeasures. Short term countermeasures are a low cost improvements which can carried out immediately and have direct impact, such as routine maintenance (e.g. patching the potholes, cutting the vegetation which obstruct the sight distance, removing roadside hazard, covering the ditches, etc),  installation of proper safety devices (e.g. signage, marking, crash barrier, delineation, etc). Since these improvements are low-cost, funding would not be a problem, yet, the awareness of road authorities to perform such improvements is the real challenge. In contrast, long term countermeasures include things that need appropriate planning before being carried out. It includes realignment of the road, planning new infrastructure, capacity building, etc. These improvements will need both the willingness of the road authorities and the funding.

To implement such strategies, there should be clear calculation about what are the benefits from a road safety improvement. One way to present it is through a Benefit Cost Ratio (BCR) Analysis (Phillip 2009). But, to be able to calculate the benefits and costs, there should be information about Crash Reduction Factor (CRF). It is a percentage reduction in crashes that can be expected after implementing a treatment or program, and used in selecting appropriate countermeasures and in economic appraisal of road safety project. Vicroads, road authority in Victoria, has been developing the CRF since 1980s. Some of the examples are, improving sight distance by removing roadside hazard can reduce the crash to 50%, sealing the shoulder and painting the edge lines can reduce the crashes to 30%, and so on. CRF has also been studied in Denmark, for example, Herrstedt (1997) found that providing special lane for bicycle along urban road can reduce deaths among cyclists by 35%. From this CRF, the BCR can be calculated, hence, we can get the information about the priority of which countermeasure should be implemented.  However, Indonesia does not have such studies at the moment. It is strongly suggested that Indonesia starts developing its own CRF.

In conclusion, there is a lot of evidence to show that improving road infrastructure can reduce the number of fatalities significantly. However, the reduction will not happen overnight, it will need continuous process. In fact, improving the roads per se will not solve the problems, it should be followed by improving the vehicles as well as the people in order to address the road safety problem successfully.


Asian Development Bank, 2003, Road Safety Guidelines for the Asian Pacific Region, ADB. Philippines.

Asian Development Bank-Association of Southeast Asian Nations Regional Road Safety Program, 2005, Country Report CR-3: Indonesia, Philippines

Directorate of Technical Affairs Directorate General of Highways Ministry of Public Works (MPW), 2009, the Mapping of Blackspot Location at Sumatra East Corridor and North Coast Java Corridor, Indonesia (unpublished)

Directorate General of Highways (DGH) Ministry of Public Works, 2009, DGH 2010-2014 Strategic Plan, Indonesia.

Government Regulation, 2006, Peraturan Pemerintah Number 34 Year 2006 Concerning Road, Republic of Indonesia.

Herrstedt, L. 1997. Planning and safety of bicycles in urban areas, in: Proceedings of the Traffic Safety on Two Continents Conference. Swedish National Road and Transport Institute, Denmark.

Herrstedt, L. 2006. Self-Explaining and Forgiving Roads – Speed Management in Rural Areas. Trafitec, Denmark.

Indonesian National Police Data, 2010, Traffic Accidents Data 2004-2009, Traffic Police, Indonesia.

Indonesia Infrastructure Initiative (IndII), 2010, Making Indonesia’s Roads Safer: An Australia-Indonesia Partnership in Road Safety Engineering, Indonesia.

Jordan, P. 2009, Introduction to road safety engineering, Ministry of Public Works, Indonesia. (unpublished)

Ministry of Public Works (MPW), 2010, the role of Ministry of Public Works in Developing Safer Roads, MPW, Indonesia. (unpublished)

Pasek, G. 2006, Indonesia’s Country Report for Expert Group Meeting on The Development of the Asian Highway Network: Regional Experiences and Lessons in Financing Highway Infrastructure and Improving Road Safety, Indonesia.

World Health Organization, 2004, World Report on Road Traffic Injury Prevention, WHO, Geneva.

World Health Organization, 2009, Global Status Report on Road Safety: Time for Action, WHO, Geneva.

World Health Organization, 2010, Global Plan for the Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020, WHO, Geneva.

reduce crashes by reducing surprises

The world is experiencing a serious road safety problem. More than 1.2 million people die each year on the world’s roads, and between 20 and 50 million suffer non-fatal injuries[1]. In Indonesia, almost 100 thousand people died on the roads and more than 400 thousand people injured over the last 5 years[2]. It is known that road accidents are caused by multiple factors including human (91%), vehicle (5%), road (3%), and environment (1%)[3]. There are three basic steps in improving road safety, known as “3 E”: Engineering, education, and enforcement. Engineering means improving the road infrastructure and the traffic management; Education means increasing the road users’ awareness about how to safely use the road; Enforcement means the traffic police ensuring that the road users obey the traffic rule. This essay will discuss about the first step, which is, improving safety through engineering, because the condition and design of the road contributes largely to road safety outcomes.

Road conditions in Indonesia vary from national level, provincial level, and regency level. Indonesia has approximately 34.000 km national highway, where slightly below 50% of the length are in good condition. 34 % of the roads are in fair condition, 13 % of the roads are in poor condition, and 3% of the roads are in very poor condition. In provincial level, approximately only 6 % of 48.000 km road are in good condition, the rest are in fair (34%), poor (28%), and very poor (32%) condition. The regency road, which length is 288.000 km, the road condition is good (22%), fair (25%), poor (31%) and very poor (22%) (Status 2008)[4]. In terms of safety, road condition only is not enough. If there is a good road condition, but without adequate sign, it can not counted as a safe road. In Indonesia, there are still many “surprises” found on the national highway. “Surprises” here means that the road users did not know what they are facing on the road and there are no advanced warning, for example: Sharp bend after the long straight without warning sign; potholes after long straight road; many “unseen” access road along the national highway, it could be covered by the shops, the advertising banner, or many things. Another example is visual deceit, where road users think that the road goes straight but actually the road goes left or right. Another problem is a transition from four-lane divided road to two-lane undivided road, this sort of situation can lead to head-on collision.  There are also many schools, shops, or houses across the national highway, but the road users did not informed about those. These kinds of “surprises” are common along Indonesia’s national highway.

These “surprises” can lead to crashes where the outcomes could be minor injuries or even fatal injuries. If the “surprises” location caused many crashes, it can be a “blackspot”. Blackspot is a location where many crashes occurred. In Indonesia, the responsibility to investigate the blackspot goes to The Road Safety Engineering Unit under the Directorate General of Highways Ministry of Public Works Republic of Indonesia. It can be found from their blackspot investigation report that many crashes are happen due to the “surprises” on the road. One of the examples is in North Sumatera, on Medan – Rantau Prapat national highway km 101, there were fatal crashes where an oil truck that run from Medan towards Rantau Prapat, hit the motorcycle that came from an access road. The crashes occurred at 1 am where the traffic volume is low, the road condition is flat, the road surrounding is dark, and there were no sign to inform that there were an access road. In Surabaya-Lamongan National Highway, East Java Province, there is a transition from four-lane divided road to two-lane undivided road. There are no warning sign to inform the road user about this transition. This situation can lead to head-on collision. In South Sulawesi Province, there is one primary school on the national highway and there was one boy hit by a truck. Again, the problem is lack of delineation and warning sign to the road user.

Road safety can be improved not only with high cost countermeasure such as improving the geometry, but also low cost counter measure such as improving the delineation. Many of the crashes occurred because there is no adequate warning sign and delineation to inform the road users about the road, that known as “surprise”. Therefore, these problems can be solved with low cost countermeasure, by improving the delineation such as installing warning signs before access road, install school safety zone on the school road, install street light, install speed limit sign,  install chevron alignment markers on the side of the curve. With these improvement, road users know what to anticipate on the road, whether they need to reduce their speed, or to pay attention to the following access road, or to negotiate with the curve, and any other deficiencies.

As stated earlier, reducing crashes can be done by reducing “surprises” on the road. Reducing surprises can be made by improving the delineation. When should we start improving it? Well, talking about safety is talking about people’s life, and talking about “people”, not only means “other people”, but they could be us or our family. When should we do something to make our family’s life safe? No doubt, we should make road safety happen, now!

[1] WHO Global Status Report on Road Safety, 2009

[2] Indonesian National Police, Crash Data 2004-2009

[3] ADB-ASEAN Regional Road Safety Program Country Report CR 3

[4] DGH Strategic Plan 2010-2014 Book, Page 21, 2009