Bicycling is a sustainable and affordable method of transport.
Bicycles require less to be spent on road infrastructure than heavier, larger vehicles. Owning a bicycle significantly improves the opportunities for education and employment of people on low incomes, particularly in rural areas of low income countries (Bicycle Empowerment Network, Bicycle reference manual for developing countries). In higher income countries cycling is an environmentally friendly and healthy activity.
However, cyclists are amongst the most vulnerable of all road users. In some countries where cycles are a primary mode of transport, cyclist death and injury can form a significant component of all casualties. The severity of cyclist crashes is often much higher than passenger or heavy vehicle crashes in similar situations, due to lack of physical protection.
The level of risk experienced by cyclists is related to the following contributory factors
• Interaction with larger vehicles (cars, trucks and buses)
• Road surface issues (such as roughness, potholes or debris on the road)
• Speed environment – both for cyclists and other vehicles
• Road design and traffic management
• Inadequate physical separation from traffic
• Other obstructions on the road.
The severity of cyclist crashes is strongly dependent on the speed of traffic. Research shows that the chances of a cyclist surviving an impact with a motorised vehicle reduces dramatically above 30 km/h, and even at lower speeds than this, serious harm can be caused, especially to elderly or child cyclists.
In many places brakes and a bell are required for a bicycle to be ridden on the road (WHO World report on road traffic injury prevention). Bells are useful to alert other road users to the presence of a bicycle, and can help avoid collisions with other non-motorised road users. Many also require that the bicycle has front and rear reflectors, and sometimes battery powered front and rear lights if the bicycle is to be ridden after dark (Bicycle Laws and Penalties – RTA Centre for Road Safety). Wearing a helmet is also often required (Treatments\Safe People\Helmet and Protective clothing ).
To reduce the risk of falls and collisions, bicycle riders should be encouraged and educated to
• Wear appropriate safety clothing and helmets
• Use designated cycle routes, tracks and lanes where available
• Keep tube tyres inflated to the pressure printed on the side of the tyre
• Ensure wheels are properly tightened to the frame of the bicycle and spokes are not broken
• Ensure that brakes are in good working order – this can be checked by applying the brakes while walking the bike
• Keep the chain oiled to slow down wear and reduce the likelihood of it breaking.
Well designed cyclist training courses with on-road components can also be effective (RoSPA road safety advice- Cycling).
In many developing countries, there are few skilled repairers, and repairs are rarely made with the correct spare parts (Bicycle reference manual for developing countries). Therefore, programs such as the Bicycle Empowerment Network, which imports recycled bicycles and also trains people to become bicycle repairers are of value.
Further information on bicycle safety can be found at the FHWA’s BIKESAFE website (BIKESAFE – The Bicycle Safety Guide and Countermeasure Selection System). This is an online resource providing practitioners with up-to-date information about how to improve the safety and mobility of cyclists within the
Case Studies related to Road Users
|Related Case Studies||Project Leads||Description|
|Safer Road Design for LBS Marg in Mumbai||Bloomberg Initiative for Global Road Safety (BIGRS)||This case study presents the improvements made for pedestrian infrastructure on LBS Marg in Mumbai which has been developed as a safety demonstration corridor under the BIGRS.|
|Safety at heart of urban road concession design||Sociedad Concesionaria Vespucio Oriente SA||Designs for the Américo Vespucio Oriente I (AVO I) concession in Chile, one of the largest infrastructure projects in Latin America, have been assessed and improved using the iRAP Star Rating methodology prior to its commission in 2022|
|Safety Improvement for National Highway G109||iRAP||This case study describes the upgrades which were implemented on a 96km stretch of National Highway G109 in Beijing, China. Several treatments and upgrades were implemented on the section at an overall cost of 1.4 million dollars.|
|Sakhalin Seatbelt Campaign, Russia||Sakhalin Road Safety Partnership||Seatbelt campaign through publicity and enforcement in Sakhalin Island, Russia has shown significant improvement in compliance. Campaign used media outlets such as television, radio, billboards, internet etc. along with enforcement. Success measurement using video sampling revealed that seatbelt wearing rate increased from 3-4% to 80%.|
|Saving lives with car seats in the Philippines||Global Health Advocacy Incubator (GHAI)||With the support of Bloomberg Philanthropies, we at GHAI joined international partners, including the World Health Organization and the Global Road Safety Partnership, to support a small group of non-governmental organizations in the Philippines who identified the need for legislation that promoted road safety, specifically protecting children on the road.|
|School Zone Safety Improvement using SR4S||Government of Haryana, Trax||Case study presents the pedestrian facilities implemented around selected schools in Haryana, India.|
|SE-30 Highway, Centennial Bridge||Spanish National Government||The case study involves adding a lane and providing a median barrier and assessing the impact of this under different traffic conditions. The SR4D carried out shows how the road standard on and around the Centennial Bridge will have been improved significantly, and the Star Ratings increased by 1 or 2 stars in the different scenarios. Thus, the proposed countermeasures for the road section under design are considered very effective.|
|SE-40 (CH. 0+000 – CH. 41+300, Seville)||Spanish National Government||This case study involves an assessment of the safety and influence of a bypass, including one section built in a tunnel. The SR4D carried out shows how the road standard will have been improved substantially, and the Star Ratings were increased for car occupants and motorcyclists. Thus, the proposed countermeasures for the road section under design are considered very effective.|
|Slow Zones, Safe Zones in pilot project in Vietnam||Asia Injury Prevention (AIP) Foundation||Two pilot schools (Phan Dang Luu school and Nguyen Luong Bang school) were selected to receive infrastructure upgrades, speed reductions and education awareness campaign.|
|Somoa Central Cross Island Road Star Rating for Designs (SR4D)||Asian Development Bank (ADB), Land Transport Authority (LTA), SMEC||The Central Cross Island Road (CCIR) is one of Samoa’s most critical arterials. It stretches 22 km with 20km upgrade providing access to 8 villiages, 7,000 residents and hundreds of businesses between the capital, Apia, and the island’s south. It is an important alternative route for cyclone evacuation and post-disaster relief. Star Rating for Designs (SR4D) enabled improvements prior to construction, increasing the 3-star road length for vehicle occupants from 23% to 73%|
|Speed management in Philippines||Global Road Safety Partnership (GRSP), UN Road Safety Fund||The UNRSF project trained more than 170 speed enforcers in best-practice speed enforcement, supported high-level officials in developing speed enforcement plans, and raised awareness among more than 75,000 people through social media engagement on the importance of appropriate speeds.|
|Speed Variation Analysis: A Case Study for Thailand’s Roads||Global Road Safety Facility (GRSF)||The importance of speed in influencing road user risk is highlighted in two case studies on different road types in Thailand — the Outer Ring Road and Hathai Rat Road in Bangkok — to demonstrate the effects of different speeds on the iRAP Star Ratings.|
|Speeding Campaign: “COVID-19 Speeding” in Brazil||Bloomberg Initiative for Global Road Safety (BIGRS), Government of Salvador, Vital Strategies||Driving is down, but speeding, especially among motorcyclists, is up during the COVID-19 crisis in Brazil. To address this, the city of Salvador launched a mass media campaign in May 2021 with doctor testimonials calling on riders to obey the speed limit, paired with increased enforcement operations.|
|SS 114 Orientale Sicula||EuroRAP||The case study concerns an intervention carried out to upgrade an intersection on SS 114 Orientale Sicula in Italy. After the intersection was upgrades as a roundabout, a 77% percentage reduction was observed in the average annual number of injuries.|
|SS 13 Pontebbana||EuroRAP||The improvement of 3 high-risk intersections on SS 13 Pontebbana in Italy showed a 38% reduction in the number of crashes. 2 intersections were upgraded as roundabouts and 1 was provided with channelization and lighting. The improvements proved to be economically viable in terms of savings in social cost with a benefit to cost ratio of 1.27.|
|SS 45 (Genova – Piacenza)||EuroRAP||In this Case Study, the Star Rating for Designs process is used to illustrate how the safety performance of a specific road location can be assessed when countermeasures are proposed at the design stage. These measures will increase the Star Ratings from 1 to 3 or 4-star for vehicle occupants and motorcyclists and from 1- to 2- or 3-star for bicyclists.|
|Supporting Road Safety Interventions and Building Sustainability in China||Bloomberg Initiative for Global Road Safety (BIGRS)||A series of World Bank-financed projects in China were benefitted from BIGRS 2015-2019. Under this initiative, several urban and rural roads in the country were iRAP assessed and investment plans were produced for implementation.|
|Sustainable Road Safety Outcomes in Brazil||Global Road Safety Facility (GRSF)||Under BIGRS 2015-2019, 371 km of roads were surveyed and assessed in Fortaleza and São Paulo. The suggested investment plans for the cities would prevent 15,900+ potential deaths and serious injuries over 20 years. Assessments made under the Bloomberg Initiative enabled early dissemination of the iRAP methodology in the state of São Paulo.|
|Swedish 2+1 with wire rope median||EuroRAP, iRAP||Sweden has been instrumental in introducing innovative protection on single-carriageways with the concept of a 2+1 design with median protection. Many existing single-carriageway road sections in Sweden have been provided with a wire rope safety fence to separate opposing vehicles, thereby effectively making them dual-carriageways, mostly within the existing roadspace required for a single-carriageway. Results from the before and after studies show a number of significant effects, with number of fatalities and seriously injured often decreasing by 50%.|
|The Coast Road Median Barrier||Transit New Zealand||Installation of median barriers on a 3.4km Coast Road section of State Highway 1 helped in significant reduction of fatal and serious injury crashes. 5-year crash data after barrier installation in comparison to previous 5 years show that fatal crashes dropped from 7 to 0 and serious injury crashes dropped from 3 to 1. Post improvement surveillance footage showed improvement in driver behaviour and confidence levels.|
|The Influence of Road Materials Characteristics on Road Safety||Alina Burlacu||Aspects such as skid-resistance, permeability, and evenness influence road safety. This study shows that by varying the source of pavement materials alone, stopping sight distance can differ with up to 20 meters.|
|Tribal Road Safety Audits: Case Studies||US Department of Transport Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)||Information for the case studies reported in this document was gathered during a series
of four RSAs conducted throughout the United States in 2005 and 2006, involving tribal
transportation agencies of the Standing Rock Sioux, Santa Clara Pueblo, Jemez Pueblo,
and Navajo Nation.
|Using the Power of a Public Opinion Poll + Digital Advocacy to Accelerate Road Safety Legislation in India||Global Road Safety Partnership (GRSP)||Since 2013, the SaveLIFE Foundation (SLF), an organisation focused on improving road safety and emergency care across India, has worked to pressure policy makers to develop a comprehensive road safety law that would provide safer streets for drivers and pedestrians.|
|Wuhan Implements Model Junction Channelisation for Pedestrians||World Bank||This case study describes the upgrades which were implemented to improve the safety of pedestrians at intersections under the Wuhan Urban Transport Project (WUTP). A model junction with treatments such as physical channelisation with pedestrian refuge, multi-phase traffic and pedestrian signal etc. was developed to illustrate the benefits to road agencies.|
|Roadside Safety – Barriers||Medium||40 – 60%|
|Roadside Safety – Hazard Removal||Low to Medium||25 – 40%|
|Rumble Strips||Low||10 – 25%|
|School Zones||Low to Medium||10 – 25%|
|Service Road||High||25 – 40%|
|Paved Shoulder||Medium||25 – 40%|
|Sight Distance (obstruction removal)||Low to Medium||25 – 40%|
|Skid Resistance||Low to Medium||25 – 40%|
|Speed Management||Medium||25 – 40%|
|Street Lighting||Medium||10 – 25%|