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Road safety

Designing and building safer roads

It is not just human factors, such as speeding, not wearing seatbelts or careless driving, that increase the risk of a crash occurring. Poor road design, poorly executed roads and inadequate road maintenance can also cause crashes and increase the severity of injury.

Roads need to be designed with the needs of all road users in mind – including pedestrians, non-motorised road users and local communities and businesses (e.g. farmers who need to cross with livestock or women and children).

Roads should assist road users to keep safe – encouraging safe speeds, ensuring good visibility, providing warnings to drivers of potential hazards. A ‘forgiving road’ can assist safe road user behaviour and prevent or reduce injuries

Road design standards are quite outdated in many of the countries where the EBRD works, coupled with a lack of engineering knowledge in international best practice, safe road design and the overall process, including blackspot management, road safety audits or inspection requirements. We have been actively working in countries such as Kazakhstan and Tajikistan to train engineers and academics on international best practice and EU safety requirements.

Funding for road safety activities is often limited due to economic constraints. Thanks to the generous support of our donors, the EBRD has been able to support priority countries via the Bank’s Shareholders Special Fund (SSF).  Generally we are achieving around 75 per cent of recommendations in road safety audits being implemented into the final detailed design of road projects. 

Resources and links