The publication of the European Construction Product Directive in 1989 marked the beginning of the gradual introduction of European standardization. European standards are to replace existing Belgian standards, or at least require them to be thoroughly revised. By affixing a CE mark, the manufacturer declares that the performance characteristics of his product have been determined by the appropriate European standard and that measures have been taken for the product to continue meeting these declared characteristics.
As the actors in the road equipment branch were concerned about the impact of this European standardization, a steering committee on European standardization in the road equipment branch was formed at BRRC in the spring of 2003. The first task of this committee was to increase the awareness of, and disseminate information to, the various actors in the field: road authorities, manufacturers, specialized institutions, etc. For that purpose, a series of thematic sessions on the standardization and CE marking of road equipment was held in March 2004.
The speed adopted when driving over a round-top road hump will depend on the discomfort it generates (expressed in terms of vertical acceleration felt by the driver). A road hump should cause little discomfort at the design speed (V85), but sufficient vertical acceleration at higher speeds to encourage drivers to reduce their maximum speeds.
BRRC has been monitoring the growing interest in road safety audits and inspections for a number of years. As early as in 2002, the Centre participated in the activities of the European Road Federation (ERF).
On 29th November 2008, directive 2008/96/EG of the European Parliament and the Council of 19th November 2008 on road infrastructure safety management was published in the Official Journal of the European Union.
Each road traffic “participant” is liable to be involved in an accident. Various factors play a role in this risk. Accidents are very rarely the result of a single unsafe action; they generally imply a chain of circumstances and events that may lead to an accident-prone situation. The following diagram (known as the Swiss Cheese Model) suggests that various types of error (“latent errors” and “unsafe actions”) must be present at the same time to cause an accident.
A little less than 40 % of all road fatalities result from collisions with roadside obstacles. Collisions with such isolated obstacles are about twice as lethal as on average and cause 1.6 times more serious injuries as on average. Natural obstacles (such as trees) are by far the largest group. Additionally, considerable numbers of lives are lost in collisions with lighting columns and other road equipment.
Collisions with lighting columns and other robust support structures account for slightly less than 10 % of the total number of road deaths. Yet for lighting columns and for sign or signal poles there are alternatives that are not inferior in functionality to conventional rigid structures. This makes a major difference for the occupants of a passenger car running into such a support structure.