8. Design for Road user Characteristics and Compliance
Human factors is a well-established scientific endeavour. Many of its findings are incorporated into road design standards for various countries.
Roads should be designed and managed to take account of human factors, otherwise it is unlikely that a Safe System can be achieved.
Speed management is a key step towards creating a Safe System. Speeds are the result of choices made by road users but they can be heavily influenced by the design of roads and the provision of signs and markings.
A skilful combination of design elements can create ‘self-explaining’ roads where appropriate actions, including speed choice, are obvious to road users. Self-explaining roads lead road users to behave in a way that road planners and designers expect, thereby resulting in low crash rates.
In addition to road design, a range of techniques for directly influencing road user behaviour should be used, including education, publicity and enforcement.
Good practice in each of the above areas is now well-understood, and guides to good practice are available.