Development of Speed Management Methods for Use on Rural Roads

by Lene Herrstedt


3rd International Conference on Highway Geometric Design

Denmark and other European countries have a growing road safety problem on rural roads. About 70 % of road fatalities and 45 % of road casualties in Denmark are on rural roads and high speed is a fundamental factor. Speed limits are exceeded more and more. Speed control outside build-up areas is very problematic. This is the background for the project concerning development of speed management methods for use in rural areas initiated by the Danish Road Directorate.

A Catalogue of Ideas for potential speed management measures for use in rural areas has been worked out. Ideas have been collected from national and European traffic experts and practitioners. In parallel a dialogue between traffic psychologists and traffic engineers has been mobilised with the purpose to discuss and describe the general principles for speed behaviour. 

Some of the ideas from the Catalogue have been selected for implementation. Special marking along the centre lines on regional rural roads has been established. A narrow rural road – including three road sections with signed speed limits on 40 km/h, 50 km/h and 60 km/h has been re-designed by introduction of the “2-1”(two minus one) cross section profile supplemented by speed reducers – designed as narrowing – and road surface treatments. Another rural road has been provided with different electronic devices combined with rumble strips and coloured road surfaces. Variable message signs have been installed at intersections and speed detection has been connected to illumination of signs in horizontal curves.

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