While motorized travel provides many benefits, it can also do serious harm in the form of road-related accidents. The problem affects millions of human lives and costs billions of dollars in economic and social impacts every year. The problem could be addressed thorough several approaches with engineering and enforcement initiatives being usually recognized as sustainable and cost effective. The success of any initiative in reducing accident occurrences hinges upon the existence of reliable methods that provide accurate estimates of road safety. This paper focuses on the enforcement side of safety improvement programs where the aim to identify and rank hazardous traffic violation types. From our perspective, a dangerous/hazardous violation type is the one which may lead to more severe accident occurrences. Identifying violation types that are considered more “hazardous” is essential for refining the traffic law penalties so that a violation type that would be considered more hazardous should be more rigorously penalized. An extensive empirical investigation was carried out using drivers’ violations and accidents databases of Abu Dhabi Emirate, the capital of the UAE for a period of 8 years (2008-2015). Different methods to identify and rank hazardous violation types were applied and compared; the confidence interval (CI) method, the rate quality control (RQC) method, and the percentage of drivers involved in severe road accidents. A survey was also undertaken to solicit experts and drivers’ opinions on how they perceive the hazardousness of each violation type. The results of the survey were also used to rank the violation types according to their hazardousness. In terms of identification, the CI and RCQ methods showed different outcomes. Nonetheless, for the same two methods, the results were identical for the ranking. Ranking violation types by the percentage of drivers involved in severe road accidents was very similar to the ranking using the CI and RCQ. Nevertheless, experts and drivers’ opinions were shown to be significantly different from the results of CI and RQC methods. Legislation and enforcement efforts focusing on “more hazardous” violation types, if properly designed and implemented, are believed to be effective in reducing the overall number of severe accidents.
Mohamed Shawky, Mohamed El Esawey and Abdulla Al-Ghafli
Middle East and North Africa (MENA)
United Arab Emirates