Transport Safety Organisation in Public and Private Sectors

  • August 1, 2003

Transport safety, traditionally, is seen a matter of engineering roads and vehicles, trains and aircrafts and their control systems, ships and their navigation, educating users and training experts as well as enforcing laws and regulations. Hence, the three “Es”, engineering, education and enforcing, are generally seen as the three pillars of transport safety policies. Whether they result in successful measures is first and foremost a question of how well they are designed and implemented. But even the most thorough design and implementation of individual engineering, education and enforcement measures is likely to have little impact without appropriate integration. Successful safety polices are then determined by how well this integrated approach is organised. They are essentially a matter of transport safety organisation.

This review is thus dedicated to the organisational problems and solutions that determine contemporary transport safety policies. The importance of organisational aspects cannot be stressed enough. Only if policy-makers are able to integrate their objectives, strategies and measures are they able to deliver the kind of safety solutions that a highly complex transport system requires. Within this complex transport system, integration then is a product of the ability to organise the interplay of key functions such as engineering, education, enforcement and others. In other words, if it is not considered how these key functions impact upon each other, their genuine impact on the level of safety will be much lower than potentially possible.

This review seeks to map the various organisational aspects of transport safety and address a number of them more specifically in terms of their role and function within an overall transport safety network. At the core of this network we find an agglomeration of interrelated functions. The most significant of them have been identified in a specific figure, “The Policy Cycle”.