This year and next the ANWB will test the safety and signage clarity of all provincial roads in the Netherlands. This will be done within the framework of the EuroRAP program that is being applied in all of Europe. A special measuring vehicle will record detailed images of the road. Based on these images, the characteristics of the road are scored, such as the distance between road markings, the distance to solid objects in the shoulder, speed limits, crossings, etc. The intent is to give the road authority the necessary information to make roads safer in a cost-effective manner. Whether this approach is also suitable for cycling facilities outside the city limits was the subject of an internship research project conducted by Robertjan Kuiten. He examined the influence on cycling safety of factors such as traffic intensity, obstacles, evenness, road markings, width, and similar items. The existence of a correlation with safety is generaly accepted, but little is known about the degree by which each of these factors are of influence. This poses a first obstacle to establishing a EuroRAP program for cyclists. Furthermore, the lack of reliable traffic accident statistics constitutes an obstacle. Even so, several experts who were interviewed saw promise in EuroRAP’s proactive approach, given that the black spot methodology is of little help thanks to the low incidence of accidents and due to the poor registration of traffic accidents. But before launching into rating attributes, further research should be done to clarify the relation between specific road characteristics and accidents.
Incidentally, some provincial road authorities (in Drenthe and in the Eindhoven region) are already busy registering the quality of their cycling path network, using among other things specially constructed measuring automobiles. In addition, the Cycling Council has various methods to register the quality of cycling paths using a measuring bicycle and measuring car.