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Road safety in urban Santa Fe de Bogota D.C CODATU IX Conference, Mexico City, 11 – 14 April 2000

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Department For International 1 ) ~Development TITLE: by. Road safety in urban Santa Fe de Bogota D.C. Y H Granne, B L Hills, E P Walteros and S H Perez Transport Research Laboratory 1Crowthorne Berkshire RG45 6AU United Kingdom PA3622100 GRANNE,Y H, B L HILLS, E P WALTEROS and S H PEREZ (2000). Road safety in urban Santa Fe de Bogota. CODATU ]X Conference, Mexico City, 11 -14 April 2000. Urban Transportation and Environment, Diaz Gonz~Iez, Palomas & Jamet (eds) © 2000 Balkema, Rotterdam, ISBN 90 5809 128 7. Road safety in urban Santa F6 de Bogotat D. C. Seguridad vial en la Ciudad de Santa F6 de BogotAt D. C.. Yngve H. Granne & Brian L. Hills Ross Silcock Limited and Transport Research Laboratory, London, UK Elber Perez Walteros & Santiago Henao Pere& Ingeniero de la Secretaria de Trdnsito y Transporte, Alcaldia Mayor and Escuela Colombiana de Ingenieria, Santa F~ de Bogotd, Colombia ABSTRACT: The City authorities in Santa F6 de Bogotil have recognised that the city has a serious road traf- fic accident problem. This concern prompted the City authorities to decide to start the project for development of an accident data system for Bogota. The systems which were available, were of little use for accident in- vestigation in relation to engineering remedial measures. A road safety project was therefore initiated by the Secretaria de Tr~nsito y Transporte, the transp ort authority in the city. The project consisted of two main * parts, the establishment of an accident data system, and the establishment of an accident investigation unit. RESUMt: Les responsables locaux de Santa F~ de BogotA ont reconnu que la ville avait un s~rieux prob~l~me * de s~curit6 routi~r. De ce fait; ils ont d~cid6 de lancer un projet de base de donn~es `Accident" pour Bogots. Les syst~mes existants n'offrent pas les specifications requises en mati~re d'enq~te accidents en relation avec les mesures correctrices. En consequence, la Secretaria de Tr~nsito y Transporte, autorit6 comp~tente pour la ville, a initi6 un projet de S~curit6 Routi~re. e projet est compos6 de deux parties principales, la costitution d'une base de donn~es Accident et 1'6tablissemnents d'une unit6 Enqu~te' apr~s accident. RESUMEN: Las autoridades de Santa F6 de Bogotii han identificado que la ciudad tiene un serio problema de accidentalidad vial. Esta preocupaci6n, motiv6 a las autordes del Distrito. Capital, adelantar un proyecto para el desarrollo de un sistema de manejo de la informaci&n sobre accidentalidad en Bogotd. El sisterna ex- istente no tenia mucha aplicaci6n desde el punto de vista de la investigaci6n en seguridad vial, y en relaci6n con el andlisis de medidas rernediales de Ingenieria. En consecuencia, se inici6 un proyecto de seguridad vial, para la Alcaldia Mayor de Santa F6 de BogotS, liderado por autoridad local correspondiente, la Secretaria de TrAnsito y Transporte -STT. El proyecto estuvo const6 de dos partes principales, el establecimniento de un sistemna de rnanejo de datos de accidentalidad, y la conformnaci6n de una Unidad de Investigaci6n sobre acci- dentalidad. I INTRODUCTION 1. 1 Concern The City authorities in Santa F~ de BogotA recog- nised that the city has a serious road traffic accident problem. This concemn prompted the City authorities to decide to initiate a project for the development of an accident data system for Bogota. The systems which were available, were of little use for accident investigation in relation to engineering remedial measures. 1.2 Project Design The project consisted of two main parts, the estab- lishment of an accident data system,' and the estab- lishment of an accident investigation unit. There were five elements in the project plan: 1. Accident attendance. 2. Location of accident data and data entry. 3. Data analysis. 4. Accident investigation unit. 5. Road Safety Action Plan for Bogotd. 1.3 Project Period The project started officially on 13th January 1998 The first visit of the consultants took place in Janu- ary, February and March 1998. The second and third visits were in May/June and September/October with the final visit in January 1999. 905 1.4 Bogotc~~~~~~ ¶~~~ problem ~~~Table 1: Road Accident Deaths and Injuries in BogotA Concern over road deaths was being expressed by local politicians and by the local and national press. The Bogotfi problem relates particularly to pedes- trian accidents. 1.5 Remedial Action Remedial action taken prior to the project, includes an education programme designed to raise respect for red lights at traffic signals and drink drive en- forcement campaigns aimed specifically at week-end and holiday travel. Legislation requiring wearing of seat belts and crash helmets was introduced at the same time. A publicity program to encourage cy- clists and motor cyclists to wear helmets is ongoing at present. These measures have had some effect. 1.6 This Paper This paper describes the road safety problem and the work undertaken during the project period. 2 SCALE AN~D NATURE OF THE PROBLEM 2.1 Present Position The road safety situation in Bogoth is by any stan- dard serious. Table 1 below shows the number of deaths and injuries caused by road accidents in BogotA from 1991 to 1996. In 1996 there were 1073 deaths on the road in BogotA with 71 % of the deaths being pedestrians. Compared with similar size cities in the industrialised world, this figure is very high. The number of deaths in the whole of Colombia in 1996 was 7445. At 32 deaths per 10,000 registered vehicles, this is nearly 26 times the rate of deaths in countries like the UK, Sweden, Denmark and Nor- way. 2.2 Causal Links In BogotA the high number of pedestrian fatalities is undoubtedly linked to the use of alcohol. The num- ber of deaths and injuries are greater toward the end of the week, particularly Saturday and Sunday mornings, after the traditional nights for the enjoy- ment of alcoholic drink. There is also no doubt that the major reason is the total lack of facilities for pe- destrians to cross the road or even to walk along roads. 2.3 Pedestrian facilities On some major roads, pedestrians are expected to cross 4 or more lanes of traffic without any form of Deaths Ttal 1995 1996 1073 10454 11527 Total crossing facility or with badly designed facilities. Research has shown that pedestrian safety is seri- ously compromised if pedestrians are expected to cross more than 2 lanes. It is very difficult for pe- destrians to walk along the land between the kerb and the building line, (Figure 1) as he has to walk around parked cars, climb walls and other obstacles. The surface is varied, in a bad state of repair and with the obstacles in the way, it is impossible to use a wheelchair. 2.4 Road Infrastructure The road infrastructure in BogotA has been designed primarily with the motorised traffic in mind with lit- tle consideration given to pedestrian requirements. The major routes in the city are of variable design, some of very poor design from a road. safety point of view, with dual carriageways with between 2 to 6 lanes in each direction. The major problem in terms of road safety in Bogotd is therefore the provisi on of pedestrian facilities which pedestrians are either likely to, or forced to use by restricting their other options. 2.5 Road User Behaviour Road user behaviour in Bogota is very bad. Red light violation is extremely common. Pedestrians are not regarded, by the drivers, as legitimate road users. Figure I: Indiscriminate parking on the footpath and surface making it difficult for pedestrians 906 Deats nres Ttal 1991 1089 5086 6175 1992 1284 5086 6370- 1993 1260 150 1994 1.4 BogoWs problem Figure 2: Poorly designed pedestrian guardrail Outside peak hours, speeds tend to be very high on main routes, which adds to the potential hazard by both pedestrians and vehicle occupants. 2.6 Pedestrian Guardrail Where pedestrian guardrail has been used, it is often of a dangerous design. This can be seen in Figure 2. The vertical curved plates on the roadside are par- ticularly dangerous as car which hits the guardrail would sustain serious damage, and likely cause seri- ous injury to its driver and passengers. 3 ACCIDENT ATTENDANCE 3.1 The Traf~fic Police (La Policia de Trcinsito)and the Judicial Police (La Fiscalia) Bogota has a dedicated traffic police force. The Policia de TrAnsito in Bogotfi are part of the National Police and are responsible for the detection 'and en- forcement of traffic offences and the recording of details following accidents. The Traffic Police com- plete the accident report forms as part of their acci- dent attendance. This form is the basis for the acci- dent data base, and is completed reasonably well by the Police. 3.2 Accident Management If involved in an accident, causing injury to a person or damage, drivers are obliged to stop and remain at the scene, with their vehicles in situ, until the arrival of the Traffic Police. The Traffic Police are not prompt at attending the accident location. These of- ten serious delays can cause both danger to other road users and, more commonly in Bogotd, serious congestion. It is suspected that there is an under- reporting problem, particularly with minor injury and damage only accidents, as a result of the long waiting time. On arrival at the location of the acci- dent the police action is determined by the degree of severity of the accident. There are three degrees of severity, fatal, injury or damage only. Fatal and in- jury accidents are investigated further by the Fis- calia. Damage only accidents are simply recorded and any infringements noted and appropriate tickets issued. In injury accidents, the Traffic Police trans- port drivers to the office of the Fiscalia where any further investigations are carried out. Following road death the Fiscalia attend the scene and the vehi- cles are left in place until they have completed the initial investigation. 3.3 Training of the Police Only very limited training of police officers were possible under the Terms of Reference for the Proj- ect. Much more training is desirable, but had not been allowed for in the Project. However, in the January 1998 a training day was held for selected of- ficers from the Traffic Police. The training was held to address the minor problems discovered on the ac- cident report forms. Further. training of selected po- lice officers was carried out in January 1999 in as- pects of forensic accident investigation. This training should be built upon, and advice was given with re- gards to courses available in the UK. 3.4 Technical Notes Detail technical notes were prepared as advice for the police on the subjects covered in the all too brief seminars. 4 LOCATION OF ACCIDENT DATA AND DATA ENTRY 4.1 The Accident Data System The Terms of Reference for the project specified that a major part of this project should consist of the installation a new microcomputer based road acci- dent data system. The Transport Research Labora- tory has developed a system named MAA (Micro- computer Ac cident Analysis Package), which was originally developed for use in developing countries. The system, which was DOS based, has been in- stalled as the main analysis tool for road accident in many countries in South America , Africa, Asia and the Pacific. The system has developed over a num- ber of years as needs were identified, and many ad- ditional analysis tools have been added. Similarly, as computers have improved, the system has been re- fined, been converted to operate in Windows, and become more user friendly at the same time as graphics have replaced character based facilities. 4.2 A City-wide Database Over 45,000 road accidents are recorded in BogotS every year. The full data from the police accident 907 reports was entered into the database system of Fondo de Prevencion Vial Nacional, a national road safety organisation funded by the insurance industry. It is generally agreed that this has been an excellent system as it has provided a city-wide database. However, the la Secretaria de Tr~nsito y Transporte (STT) needed to take over this to obtain a compre- hensive database which. was also useful to the engi- neer. 4.3 Location of accidents The location of an accident is one of the most essen- tial pieces of information to be recorded. The Co- lombian accident report form requires the reporting officer to give the street address of the accident lo- cation. Whilst the street address for many accidents can give quite an accurate location for the accident, for many accidents, it is of little use to the accident investigator. However, the reporting officer also normally draws a sketch of the accident that, if done well, can give an almost precise location for the ac- cident. A number of countries require the police re- porting officer to give the geographical co-ordinates ('Eastings' and 'Northings'). However, these loca- tions are not always accurate. Therefore, the police co-ordinates are checked by someone specially trained in coding locations. As a result, the TRL, al- ways recommends that in all implementations of the MAAP computer system, a specialist member of the office unit should be trained to do the location cod- ing, thus avoiding the need for a massive training programme for all police recording accidents. 4.4 Checking and Data Entry The checking of the data, and the data entry is now carried out by two members of staff in the new Ac- cident Investigation Unit. The data is entered straight into the newly established M1AAl' for Win- dows accident data system. 5. DATA ANALYSIS 5.1 MAAP for Windows MAAl' for Windows is relatively new, and has been dev.eloped to run in the up-to-date Windows 98 op- erating system. It is the latest system which has been installed for use in Bogotfi. 5.2 Hardware As part of the requirements for this project, one computer was purchased for the use of the project staff mainly as a word processing tool. A further two computers have been purchased for the use of the STT Accident Investigation Unit. The M4AAP sys- tem has been installed on these computers, and the two have been networked. 5.3 Installation of Software The installation and adaptation of MAA to suit the circumstances in Bogotit has required a much greater effort than was originally envisaged. This has been largely due to the problem of locating accidents within the system to the place they happened on the ground. One major reason for these problems is the very complicated street name/number system which is used in Bogotd. A GIS based map locating system is now operating. 6 TRAFFIC ENGINEERING IN BOGOTA 6.1 Priority to Motorised Traffic Traffic management has been carried out in BogotA over the years, mainly aimed at keeping traffic moving as fast as possible. BogotA employs traffic signals extensively, and most signal sets are rela- tively new, but using reasonably old technology. 6.2 One-way Streets One-way streets have been employed extensively throughout the city, even down to the streets in mainly residential areas. The one way system is very badly signed and marked. This indicates that the only priority has been to keep traffic moving. Many wide one way streets speed the traffic up, which is hazardous to pedestrians, and is making it difficult for pedestrians to cross 4 lanes of traffic without any assistance in the form of pedestrian refuges or pe- destrian crossings. However, some recent work in one of the main north-south routes in northern BogotS, has the purpose of narrowing down the road space used by vehicles, and to widen the area used by pedestrians. This has substantial safety benefits for pedestrians. 6.3 Traffic Safety EngineeringlImprovements Investigation of the existing databases in BogotA during the first visit revealed that by far the major accident problem in the city was pedestrians being hit, often on the major roads, and frequently killed by the impact. The pedestrian problem also applies to most of the major road network with concentra- tions along certain lengths. When examining the network, it was quite obvious to a road safety pro- fessional that the total lack of pedestrian facilities, apart from pedestrian bridges, must be the major cause of this problem. The number of potential sites which could be used for more thorough investiga- 908 tion, and which subsequently could be used as a demonstration site for the purpose of training STT staff, were so many that a decision had to be taken on a pragmatic basis. Two sites were therefore cho- sen: 1. Carrera 30 from Calle 6 to Calle 13; and 2. Autosur from Avenida 68 to Avenida BoyacA. Accident data from these sites was collected from the database at STT and analysed, and analysis was carried out by Medicina Legal y Ciencias Forences (a legal forensic bureau) on their database. The data was plotted, and detailed analysis was obtained about where within the sites the problem is particu- larly serious. The Accident Investigation Unit made several site visits with and without the consultants and the findings were discussed at length with the consultants and Medicina Legal staff. 6.4 Surveys and physical Data Collection A team of sociologists were consulted, and their proposed approach was discussed. The Accident In- vestigation Unit asked the sociologists to carry out a number of surveys of the sites. This included: a) Still photographs to be taken; b) Video recording taken of the sites; c) Surveys of traffic volumes to be carried out; and; d) Surveys of pedestrians crossing the roads to be carried out in 100 metre sections along each site. The collection of additional information was agreed which was more in the sociological field of work. This included: e) Interview surveys attempting to establish where people were coming from and going to when they cross the road at the site; and f) Attempting to establish whether or not the per- sons crossing the road in these locations are aware of the danger of crossing in these locations, and in fact feel it is dangerous when crossing. This information subsequently led to a suggestion of several potential solutions to the problem. 6.5 Physical Accident Site Improvements At the start of the project, it was hoped that physical accident site improvements would have been done by the end of the project period. However, for a number of reasons, this has not been possible. The STT Accident Investigation Unit therefore have follow up this work, determined final design, ar- ranged for the design work to be completed, estab- lished where funding was available from, and will in due course supervise the final works. 7 ACCIDENT INVESTIGATION UNIT IN THE STT 7.1 Establishment ofAccident Investigation Unit The establishment of the Accident Investigation Unit has been a major problem during this project, due to very late appointment of staff for the Unit. For that reason, the staff were not available to work with the consultants for the first half of the contract period. The Unit has now been established, and consists of one senior engineer, one systems technician, and two staff to enter data. This level of staffing is below that which was recommended by the consultants. How- ever, the Unit head is committed to the task of im- proving road safety, and hopefully fuirther staff will be appointed in due course. 7.2 Training of Staff The intention of the consultant was to bring selected staff to the Royal Society for Prevention of Acci- dents' (RoSPA) Accident Investigation and Preven- tion course in Birmingham, United Kingdom. This is a very highly regarded course, which is of great valuable for those attending. For various reasons, this has not been possible. The consultants have at- tempted to give the staff as much training locally as has been possible. A local course has been arranged by the consultant's local representative in BogotA to attempt to replace some of the content of the RoSPA course. 8 ROAD SAFETY ACTION PLAN 8.1 A costed Road Safety Action Plan A costed Road Safety Action Plan for Bogotd has been prepared for a five year period after the present project. The first page of that plan is shown in Fig- ure 3, and the whole plan will be shown in the con- ference presentation. The primary objectives of this Project and therefore of this plan is road safety engi- neering and the collection and analysis of accident data. However, road safety is a multi-disciplinary subject. Therefore the plan also includes some im- portant aspects related to public education and traffic policing. The plan, which is in a tabular form, schedules 58 activities over the five year period, and is costed to US$ 2,052,000. This is a relatively small investment over such a time period, and should be easily achieved provided the city authories are committed to improve safety on the roads of Bogotd. 909 * *,* ** * * ,** 910 1 m 9 CONCLUSION 9.1 A project such as the one undertaken in the City of Santa F6 de BogotS is only a beginning of the solution to a serious road accident problem. In the more industrialised countries of Western Europe, the improvement in road safety to the level of 'the present day has taken some 60 years. Providing the authorities in BogotAi has the commitment to tackle this serious problem with both effort and investment, there is no reason why a position such as in those conutries cannot be attained in a much shorter period through transfer of experience, maybe in between 10 and 20 years. This clearly also involves a commitment from the national government of Colombia, as the capital city is not isolated for the rest of the country. The authors have seen some good signs from the a uthorities. These signs will hopefully be transformed into action and success in the years to come. 10 REFERENCES: TRL (UK) & STT (Bogotd): Final Report 911