Our transport system is not on a sustainable path. Achievements in terms of mobility have come at some considerable environmental, economic and social cost. Sustainability is a long-term concept, also demanding attention to its social dimension. For transport, this underscores a need to link considerations of the environment and traffic safety together. An integrated strategy implies systematic translation of a broad field of goals into a set of mutually reinforcing packages of measures. The focus is on improving the manner in which different actors recognise the need for co-operation and their readiness to implement it. The starting point is in improving communication. There are clear benefits in integration, in regard of both the synergy of actions as well as improved optimisation, but integration may also bring problems. This article is based on an international survey of an expert group formed by the OECD to review the issues and opportunities of integrating environmental and traffic safety strategies. The group assessed case studies from 12 countries and the European Union, using a classification scheme focusing on the decision contexts and life stages represented by the cases. The group's full report was published in 1997. In its conclusions, the group presents a pragmatic way ahead, and identifies some basic research needs. There are some important persisting questions: how to influence transport demand, how to increase the role of non-motorised traffic and public transport, how to find packages of measures relevant for entire regions surrounding large urban areas, and how to respond to the process of rapid motorisation in developing countries. There are as yet few measures dealing effectively with these issues, or taking them up with a concern for both safety and environment. While the approaches that have shown some success underline the importance of tailoring policies and strategies to the concrete situation of each country, they also demonstrate the importance of the international exchange of know-how.
Document type: Article
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