Background

Through the development of Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) major steps have been made to increase road safety in the EU, and fatalities have decreased overall. The success of Intelligent Transport Systems has been achieved primarily through infrastructure and passive and active safety equipment for vehicles. However, Vulnerable Road Users have not enjoyed the decrease in fatalities experienced by other traffic participants. While fatalities of all other categories are decreasing, fatalities among VRUs are flat or even increasing. According to the CARE database 2009, inside European urban areas, pedestrian fatalities represent more than 35% of all fatalities, according to the CARE database 2009. Motorcycles account for 16% of fatalities, which is much higher than their contribution to traffic. Together, pedestrians, motorcyclists, mopeds and cyclists account for 68% of the fatalities in urban areas.


Fatalities by transport mode in EU-27 - inside urban areas (CARE database, 2009)

Thus, there is hence a national and European societal imperative to address VRU safety in traffic in a dedicated way. In addition to ITS based on vehicles or infrastructure, the possibilities of ITS to improve VRU safety have to be assessed. Tied into this is the need to also address the mobility and travel comfort of VRUs. Lack of (perceived) safety may impact mobility and comfort, and vice versa, mobility patterns may influence safety.