Quantifying the impact of infrastructure based traffic calming on road safety; A case study in Cape Town

Author(s): Jobanputra, Rahul
All authors:
Jobanputra, R.
Host organisation: CoE Cape Town, South Africa
Country: South Africa
Publication year: 2010
Published in:
Conference paper, 12th WTCR, July 11-15, 2010 - Lisbon, Portugal
Research theme: Mobility and Access, Traffic Safety
traffic calming
Conference proceedings
Transport is an essential component of today's society. It brings huge benefits, but it also has many costs. One of the major costs in South Africa is related to, and due to, road accidents. Annually, between 14 000 and 18 000 persons are killed ( on South African roads. According to the World Road statistics (IRF, 2006), South Africa has one of the highest number of people killed in road accidents per 100 000 population in the world. National statistics reveal that between 40% and 60% of accidents involve pedestrians, and for around 30% of accidents, speeding is one of the main contributing factors. Locally, in Cape Town, pedestrians accounted for 59.2% of all persons killed. An analysis of data in 2003, revealed that the main contributory human factors were speeding and pedestrians jaywalking, at 23% and 40% respectively (CoCT, 2005). Although infrastructure based traffic calming measures, including the use of feasible Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS), have been proven internationally, they have not been thoroughly investigated in the South African context. Furthermore, textured paving, speed humps and tables are the only road-based measures implemented thus far. Road based traffic calming projects can vary from a few minor changes, to modifications of local streets, area wide changes and major rebuilds. Impacts range from moderate speed reductions to arterial design changes with various degrees of success in reducing crashes. The study described in this paper reviews potential traffic calming measures, including volume and speed related road infrastructure change. A microscopic simulation model is used to model detailed measures, either in isolation or in combination, and estimate likely effects. The results provide an overview of common (inter)national road based traffic calming strategies and devices by category and their relative degree of success based on an extensive literature review. The findings are compared to modelled outcomes and differences discussed.
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