• English

Is a road just a road? Not if it’s safe

If many users don’t think twice about the roads they travel on, why is making roads “safe” so important? Roads demand as much consideration for safety as vehicles and users. Years of know-how and engineering experience go into building roads properly, signage and signals guide users to help protect them and others, and maintenance takes care of wear-and-tear to ensure a road is more than just navigable. A road becomes dangerous should any one of these elements go missing or not meet standards. Add to this the differences among road users; they have varying levels of understanding about road conditions and how they should behave. And, importantly, several large user groups require special safety considerations – cyclists, motorcyclists, pedestrians (including elderly people and children) and those disabled. Thus, making roads safer is a bit more complex than setting up a road sign.

The development of infrastructure leading to integrated and safe transport systems is a major priority at UNECE.

The European Agreement on Main International Traffic Arteries (AGR) provides all UNECE member States with the international legal framework for the construction and development of a coherent international road network, with a view to developing international road transport. The AGR defines the E-road network, consisting of the arteries channelling major international road traffic flows in Europe, and the infrastructure parameters to which those arteries should conform.
The 1968 Convention on Road signs and Signals establishes a system of agreed sign classification for over 250 road signs.
The Trans-European North-South Motorway project improves the quality and efficiency of transport operations, balances existing gaps and disparities between motorway networks and assists in integrating European transport infrastructure systems among Central, East and South-East European countries.
The Euro-Asian Transport Links project identifies main Euro-Asian road and rail routes for priority development and cooperation, creating a mechanism for coordinated development of coherent Euro-Asian transport links.