A Conceptual Framework for Evaluating Traffic Safety System Measures

by Martin Wohl

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A description of a conceptual framework for evaluating measures to promote a traffic safety system, and a discussion of the research required to make the system analysis and evaluation framework operational. An evaluation of a traffic safety action requires that a value be placed on the adverse, beneficial, present, and future effects of the action. A cost/benefit analysis reveals that the most economically worthwhile plan will be the one that has the highest nonnegative net present value. Six research categories have been established to provide a format for analyzing and evaluating safety actions: accident prediction; criticality prediction; severity prediction; market behavior; cost and resource commitment prediction and valuation; and travel forecasting. Although these categories are not mutually exclusive, they conform to the current stratifications of the traffic safety system and provide a mechanism for judging worth, priority, and time-sequencing of the research. (See also RM-5631, RM-5633, RM-5634, RM-5635, RM-5636, RM-5637.)

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