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Urban Road Safety How to deal with complexity? D. Fleury – INRETS Conference Physics and the City. Bologna 15-17 December 2005. Department of Accident Mechanisms (INRETS) Research in the field of Road Safety

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Urban Road Safety

How to deal with complexity?

D. Fleury – INRETS

Conference Physics and the City.

Bologna 15-17 December 2005


Department of Accident Mechanisms (INRETS)

  • Research in the field of Road Safety

  • A multidisciplinary team (cognitive psychology, ergonomics, civil engineering, town planning, law, political science, vehicle engineering)

  • The “system” 'approach as a theoretical framework

  • Interdisciplinary modelling

    In Depth Accident Investigation (IDAI)

    Études détaillées d’accidents (EDA)


Complexity in the traffic system

  • The result of situational heterogeneity and multiple retroactions

  • The most common modelling of the road traffic system: [man]-[vehicle]-[road environment]

    Specific research issues based on system analysis


Micro-regulation of the traffic system

Man (driver-pedestrian) regulates the (M/V/R) system in real time

Macro-regulation and social management of safety

Regulation performed in “response” delay time, with the observation of user behaviour (driving speeds, accidents, perceived risks, opinions, etc.)


Accidents are the symptom of a dysfunctional situation in the interactions between components in the M/V/R system


Simplified functional model for the analysis of safety (INRETS)

Information

input

Processing

Choice and

decision-making

Action

Conse-

quences



Phased models
Phased models (INRETS)

Baker and Fricke (1986)


Phase analysis and space analysis
Phase analysis and space analysis (INRETS)

General conditions

network and choice of

itineraries

Driving situation

characteristics of the

carriageway and section

Accident situation

break related to a section

or particular location

(intersection, for example)

fine characteristics of the

location

Emergency and collision situations


Consistency (INRETS)(between the different levels) of the layout in question

  • Improve the overall consistency of the entire (socio-technical) traffic system to improve safety.

  • Parallel between individual user control and actions on space.

    Accident analysis, not restricted to immediate interaction, leading to actions for treating black spots as well as town planning and transportation policy.


A field of research: the notion of typical scenarios as “road pathologies"

Example

Wide through road, problems of visibility (night, wetness, age, advertising, etc.)

Driving situation

High speed, low attention

Pedestrian preparing to cross outside a pedestrian crossing

Accident situation

View obstructed by a standing vehicle, the pedestrian crosses

Emergency situation

No manoeuvre (surprise)

Collision situation

Pedestrian hit


Example of research on accident scenarios : from IDAI (EDA) to intelligent safety diagnosis

1. Construction of “scenarios” on a panel of accidents

2. Scenarios recognition through police reports (and accident files)

Structure of the knowledge field

Symptoms (data) for recognition

Statistical inferences

3. Links between road environment and accident scenarios

Road types

Scenarios profiles (% of each scenario)


Modelling micro regulation
Modelling Micro-regulation to intelligent safety diagnosis

Systems with decision-making and memory centres (ref.: Boulding)


Models coming from psychology and safety diagnosis of large socio-technical systems

On the role of memorisation.

Rasmussen model (1980), level of cognitive operation: problem, procedural and automation resolution.

On decision-making and motivation.

Risk models:

  • risk homeostasis (Wilde, 1988),

  • zero risk (Näätänen and Summala, 1974),

  • threat avoidance (Fuller, 1984).



To improve safety, we have to understand the Functional descriptions of the system and the regulation goals

  • Understanding how the system operates (functions)

  • Understanding the process of action

  • Analysing the implicit models on which this action is based


Research example: descriptions of the system and the regulation goals

Urban Travel Plan design (Plans de Déplacements Urbains)

Obligations in:

Law on the Air and Rational Energy Use – 1996

Law on Solidarity and Urban Renewal – 2000

Follow-up work meetings for nearly one and a half years


Design Process descriptions of the system and the regulation goals


The relatiogram fr d rique hernandez
The “Relatiogram” – Frédérique Hernandez descriptions of the system and the regulation goals


The Urban Travel Plan as a scene for actors descriptions of the system and the regulation goals

Construction of a “reference project” by clustering "operational projects":

  • technical objects (tramway…)

  • technical layout concepts (traffic calming…)


Marseille urban travel plan hernandez 2000
Marseille Urban Travel Plan (Hernandez, 2000) descriptions of the system and the regulation goals

Three main scenarios:

  • “town centre” scenario grouping together projects such as "pedestrian priority hypercentre", "tramway" and "cycling",

  • “periphery” scenario with secondary centres, 30 km areas, Southern Urban Boulevard, etc.

  • “cluster” scenario with the “regional express rail network” and the “Blancarde Aubagne route"

    Referring to an "island strategy" concerning automobile traffic


Some conclusions
Some conclusions: descriptions of the system and the regulation goals

Safety research entails modelling

Different levels of representations of unsafe situations

Both aspects: techniques and decision making

How to make explicit the models of action

Stressing the “unspokens” of planning (importance of Ring roads, forgetting mopeds and motocycles, etc.)

The possible consequences on safety (accident scenarios)


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