Engineering for safer road use behaviour in South East Asia
King, Mark J. (2000) Engineering for safer road use behaviour in South East Asia. In Wang, Kelvin C.P., Xiao, Guiping, & Ji, Jialun (Eds.) International Conference on Traffic and Transportation Studies, 31 July - 2 August 2000, Beijing, China.
Less motorised countries in Asia exhibit a variety of road safety problems. The behaviour of road users contributes significantly to these problems, together with road environment and vehicle factors. As well as addressing road environment issues, engineering measures provide a convenient way of modifying road user behaviour, and have been widely implemented in Asia for this purpose. However, implicit assumptions about road user behaviour which have their origin in motorised countries can lead to the implementation of engineering measures having impacts which run counter to expectation. This paper reviews some of these cases, and demonstrates that a fuller understanding of the factors determining road user behaviour in the countries concerned would probably have led to better outcomes. An approach for improving the road safety outcomes of engineering interventions is proposed, involving explicit identification of assumptions, research using qualitative and anthropological techniques, and development of local research expertise.
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