Avoiding pitfalls

Research has shown that there are several pitfalls which need to be avoided in setting quantitative targets [2][16]

  • Targets that do not have political support are unlikely to obtain the level of funding or other resources needed for their attainment.
  • A purely symbolic target has no value. Targets should be accompanied by safety programmes designed to realise them. A realistic programme should exist to ensure progress towards a target. The national target should have currency in the actions and goals of all responsible key agencies.
  • Many things can go wrong with implementation. Detecting problems early is important in order to steer the right course.
  • Good practice shows that targets set within the specific time frame of a national road safety strategy or programme need to be ambitious but realistic. If unrealistically ambitious for the time-scale, requiring a rate of progress well in excess of what has been achieved previously, they will be perceived as being out of reach and will not be accepted. On the other hand, if the national strategy target for the next 5 to10 years is too easy then a major opportunity for saving lives will have been lost.
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