Several actors are in charge of constructing and maintaining road infrastructure. They may be regions or municipalities, but also managers of specific facilities such airfield strips, port areas, industrial areas, etc. All of them, however, are faced with the same challenges raised by ageing infrastructures, ever increasing traffic loads, and budget restrictions.
The quality of road infrastructure is important to all actors, but is perceived in different ways:
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.
With support from the Belgian Federal Public Service Economy, SMEs, Middle Classes and Energy, BRRC operates a standards support office that goes by the acronym “NAN”. The object is to inform SMEs in the road branch and make them aware of developments in the field of standardization and, where necessary, to offer them additional support in implementing new standards (which are often mandatory).