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Introduction to road safety

Road crashes and likelihood of serious injury are both predictable and avoidable if appropriate action is taken. They are also normally multi-factor events with a number of contributory factors which combine to create the particular unsafe circumstances at that specific location where an accident occurs. If a “Safe Systems” approach ( where the focus is on eliminating or minimising the factors in each of the key sectors which we know can cause crashes) can be applied in all relevant areas, the potential for occurance of road crashes can be reduced. Action is needed in a number of sectors to ensure that safe systems approaches are applied to deliver Safer Roads , Safer Vehicles , Safer Road Users and Safer Post Crash systems.

The UN Decade of Action on Road Safety identified 4 “pillars” to cover the above 4 sectors of the Safe systems approach and added in Road Safety Management as the 5th pillar and unifying umbrella under which activities were to be undertaken. During recent years, it has become increasingly apparant that Speed is now the single most important individulal factor that needs to be addressed if road safety is to be improved . IRSC will therefore provide guidance to address the 5 pillars previously identified plus Speed.

Since IRSc objectives include stimulating and encouraging development or road safety research in our partner universities we have also included road safery research amongst the topics on which we will provide guidance.

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