ARSRPE Conference Paper Database

The Dutch model for Making Walking and Cycling Safer

Parker, Alan A.

Pedestrian Safety


In the long struggle to reduce road deaths in the Netherlands and Australia the Dutch have been more successful in making walking and cycling safer.While 28% of all trips made by bicycle their road system is safer for everyone. The Dutch peak road death rate was 24.7 deaths per 100,000 population in 1972 and the Australian peak death rate was 30.4 in 1970. By 1998 the rate was down to 7.5 in the Netherlands and 9.5 in Australia. The Death rates for motorists are similar but the pedestrian death rate per million km walked is five times higher in Australia and the death rate per million kms cycled is twice as high.

Walking and cycling are necessary for human health, but Australians walk much less than 20 years ago. Not so the Dutch who have better facilities for walking and bicycling; urban design more sensitive to their needs; lower speeds on urban roads; restrictions on motor vehicle use and parking; more rigorous traffic education; and strict enforcement of traffic regulations protecting non-motorised users. The peak cyclist, and pedestrian bodies and the TCPA say that there is much to learn from the Dutch model and their common recommendations for action are presented here.