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Policy Assistance to Improve Road Safety in Local Governments
||Sangjin HAN, Seung Kook WU, Jaeick SHIM, Kyungwook PARK, Kijong EOM, Dongyoun LEE
August 31, 2019
||The Korea Transport Institute
||Transport Safety, Transport Policy
The number of road deaths in 2018 was 3,781, a 9.7% reduction from that of 2017. This achievement was possible through the central government’s traffic safety policy efforts. The contributing policies include more penalties on driving while under the influence, mandatory seatbelts for all seats, the 5030 speed limit program, school zones, village zones. These programs or policies were supported by the central government’s traffic rule amendment and matching fund aid to local cities. To continue this road death reduction, local governments’ role is as important, because 72% of road deaths were on local roads under the management of local cities.
The traffic safety targets of the government are reducing road deaths to under 2,000 a year and pedestrian deaths under 1,000 by 2022. To reach these targets, the traffic safety of local cities should be quickly improved. Local cities have different socio-economic characteristics, so the policies should be customized. Local governments should develop their programs, and the central government should support them through rule amendments and financial support.
This study assessed the traffic safety policy systems of local cities, developed a manual for lowering speed limits, and suggested how to prevent illegal parking on fire truck zones. Through intensive investigation of pedestrian crash data, it found critical crash factor combinations on road deaths. Based on this, safety improvement measures were suggested for differen types of combinations.
Road crashes are known to be highly related to driver error. However, human error is more likely when combined with a low-quality road environments. Thus, public authorities should make more of an effort to improve road environments. Local governments should develop programs and measures, and the central government should support them by improving the legal framework and funding.