EDITOR’S NOTE: Spacing senior editor Shawn Micallef is in Germany this week attending the International Transport Forum. He’ll report throughout the week on workshops and seminars.
LEIPZIG, GERMANY — I’m here at the International Transport Forum in Leipzig, Germany, on assignment for Spacing. The latest road safety annual report was released by the International Traffic Safety Data and Analysis Group this morning; you can get the summary report here (pdf) or the full report here (pdf).
Overall the group found that road fatalities fell between 2011 and 2012 by 1.7% in the 31 participating countries, though it isn’t improving for the most vulnerable users (pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists). With cyclists the stagnant fatality rating is partially due to more people cycling, leading to more crashes. An interesting proposal that the group is working on is a kind of rating system for roads based on how dangerous they are, much how car makes have standardized safety ratings. In Canadian cities we tend to base our idea of how dangerous a road is by yearly “most crashes by intersection” stories, which are certainly valuable information, but a rating on the type of road, with, say, busy one-way arterial roads in city centre’s getting a poor rating, could lead to a wider rejection of certain kinds of roads (or political will to fix them) then they are simply deemed entirely dangerous.
You can get a sense of some of the trends in this chart from the summary report. I asked about why Canada was conspicuously blank (warily, given our county’s aversion to data sometimes) but was told because transportation stats are collected by province here, they hadn’t been all collected in time.
Over on Twitter I’m chirping out updates as I see them as well.