Monday, July 27, 2009

Non-motorised transport, sustainable yet vulnerable!

In 2007 I had the honor of addressing the World Road Congres with a speech on the vulnerable road user. Benoit Beroud of BB MobiliT France (ex-SaĆ“ne Alpes Mobility Consultant), and I prepared this speech with a research document. In 1990, road accidents were the 9th most common cause of death in the world. If no action is taken, they will become the 3rd most common cause by 2020. In 2002, according to the report of the WHO1, there were 1.2 million deaths and between 20 and 50 million people injured, a very sad track record for road accidents in the world. 90 % of these road accidents take place in developing countries, and around 90% of the victims are vulnerable people: pedestrians, passengers or bicyclists2. How can we better their traffic conditions and improve their safety? The users of “green” transport do not expose themselves to the same risks as with motorised ones; the twin needs of safety and comfort are therefore partly at odds. First of all, their resistance to collisions with vehicles is insignificant. Secondly, they do not reach the same speeds. Thirdly, they look for the shortest way in order to save energy and reduce their efforts sometimes at their own risk and peril! Read the article here, both in French and in English.