Achieving strategic objectives is under the joint responsibility of all stakeholders.
To achieve the traffic safety objectives, we need an objective-oriented leadership, strong cooperation, strong management, and the collective work of the society. The analysis of traffic safety, understanding the progress made, solution of the problems arising, and determining new objectives will be properly ensured through a well-organized information-sharing between the stakeholder ministries, institutions, and organizations.
An effective traffic safety management necessitates effective system management because traffic safety management is primarily system management. Highway safety system requires the collaborative efforts of several units at a local and national level. The common denominator for all stakeholder institutions should be to follow the Safe System Approach in the decision-making mechanism of institutions and fulfilling the duties they were allocated pertinent to the objectives of traffic safety.
Effective leadership and the coordination ensured between the stakeholders are of great importance for a well-functioning system.
International efforts refer to the importance of leadership and the coordination between stakeholder institutions to implement an effective traffic safety strategy. One can see that the change to be adopted in traffic safety is protected and different society sections and stakeholder institution come together for the same purpose in countries developing in terms of traffic safety.
Everyone working in the field of traffic safety should know what is tried to be achieved with traffic safety, believe in this objective, and become a part of the change. Another method appealed to for this purpose is to ensure the establishment of the structure and sufficient allocation of resources to put into practice this strategy at central management and local administrations.
It is necessary to explain the importance of traffic safety to society better and receive their support.
It is considered that people are sensitive in terms of traffic safety, they will notice the importance of the priority on traffic safety when explained adequately, yet the fact that the criminal or financial consequences of traffic rules are hard to accept by people isn’t overlooked. Therefore, it is necessary to make an effort on and invest in the works to be performed to explain the traffic safety risks to the society, and it doesn’t seem possible to achieve the traffic safety objective without the support of the management and society.
The division of responsibility in traffic safety is only possible through developing a common understanding with all stakeholders as a priority. It is necessary to firstly develop a new common understanding in the presence of stakeholder ministries, institutions, and organizations due to the complex structure of traffic problem and to generate solutions. Moreover, it is necessary to discuss the traffic problem amongst society and develop common solutions to explain the objective and vision put forth with the 2021-2030 Traffic Safety Strategy Paper.
It is necessary to improve the achievement made in the field of traffic safety in recent years.
One should know of the steps taken and results obtained for the ones in the decision-making mechanism to make the right decisions and explain the justifiability of these decisions to the society. For this reason, it is necessary to collect accurate and quality information with each stage of traffic safety, to follow the developments in the field of traffic safety, especially the ones in the social and technological fields, and use these for traffic safety.
The central organizations of stakeholder institutions need to share the data sets explaining the aspects of their field of duty associated with traffic safety, the accurate, suitable for analysis, and comparable best practices in terms of traffic safety, and how to solve which problems to the relevant local units and extents and with their subunits.
It is necessary to measure the effectiveness of measures taken so far and the measures and interventions to be taken henceforward.
There is a need for developing interventions and measures leading to accurate conclusions from the experiences gained so far, and commonly implementing in line with the assessment and evaluation. The planning of new measures to be taken should be ensured with the evaluation of effort made in each field.
As explained in detail in the chapter allocated to assessment and evaluation of the Strategy Paper, basing the decisions on data and analyses albeit planning new measures according to the results attained will increase the strength of the management.
Performing data and analysis makes a big contribution in directing investments to proper fields and strengthening accountability. Data regularly explained to the public helps the society to adopt the strategic objectives and the supervision of whether these objectives are achieved.
The intervention method and speed in traffic accidents and the methods followed up after the intervention ensure that the victims stay alive.
Interventions made on traffic accidents ensure the prevention of loss of live and permanent injury of persons involving in the accident. One of the important focus points of the 2021-2030 Traffic Safety Strategy Paper is the post-accident interventions to decrease the post-accident loss of lives.
Performing effective interventions in traffic accidents necessitate the collaborative work of more than one institutions and organizations. The process starting with the notification of traffic accident to be received in a way to predict the first glance of a traffic accident, its severity, and what kind of intervention is required with a professional approach requires the coordinated intervention of ambulance, emergency rescue, fire department, and police teams. Performing life-saving intervention on site of the accident then the victims of accident clinging to life, transported to the treatment unit with sufficient equipment and speciality as soon as possible depending on the consistent organization of these steps.
The healthy functioning of the system established in this field containing the post-accident intervention, treatment, care, and rehabilitation stages depends on the integrity of the chain mechanism.
Within the frame of the Safe System Approach, according to the Road Traffic Safety Management System diagram developed by experts as a result of the efforts made by the World Health Organization and the World Bank, performing controls, in the planning of road network, its design and management, in stages where the road users and vehicles enter and exit the road network, and the treatment and rehabilitation stages of victims by not being limited to the traffic controls conducted by traffic units, is considered necessary to provide a safe traffic system.
Figure: Road Traffic Safety Management System
The safe system approach, in short, is the formation of all elements of the traffic system such as the road, vehicle, and legal regulations constituting the traffic according to the weaknesses and strengths of human, and people to act in line with the rules put into force and arrangements made to protect them.
As such, the following elements of effective traffic safety management were discussed in this section:
b. Organizational Structure
e. Tools, Equipment and Materials
f. Strategic Efforts and Budget
g. Data Collection, Analysis, and Evaluation
h. Accident Investigation
i. Relations with Non-Governmental Organizations
j. Collaboration, Coordination, and International Efforts.
The safe system approach, briefly, is the protection of human by being taken into the centre of the traffic safety system. The legislation is set forth as the relevant legal instruments determining the legal roles, responsibilities, accountabilities, and interventions of institutions, and their relevant institutional management functions to achieve the expected result-oriented approach.66
Ensuring traffic safety is possible through the provision of infrastructure services, emergency response and first-aid, post-accident rescue services, training, relevant legislation, regulation, and control services.
As such, paying attention to the following steps is important in the making of legislative amendments:67
It will be beneficial to pay regard to the following matters in legislative arrangements on road user behaviours:
otherwise didn’t have any effect.
Amendment Made in the Road Traffic Law in the Last Five Years
Amendments were made in Article 23 and 131 of the Road Traffic Law No 2918 with a Decree in the Provision of Law dated 29/10/2016 and No. 676. With the amendment made;
Amendments were made on Articles 21, 22, 24, 27, 28, 32, 35, 81, 115, Annex 2, and Annex 18 of the Road Traffic Law No. 2918 with the Decree-Law dated 06/01/2017 and No. 680, the Articles Annex 18, Temporary 23, and 24 were added to the Law. With the amendment made:
The Article 65/A was added to the Law under the Decree-Law dated 09/02/2017 and No. 687. The vehicles used in the passenger and
The Article 5/A was added to the Law with the Decree-Law dated 24/12/2017 and No. 696. The duties and authorities of General Command of Gendarmerie traffic agencies on traffic control and the central, regional, provincial, and subprovincial traffic agencies of the Turkish National Police were regulated in the Law in line with their duties and authorities with the amendment made.
Amendments were made in the Article 4, 35, 65, and 98 of the Decree-Law dated 02.07.2018 and No. 703 and the Law No. 2918 published in the Official Gazette with repeating number dated 09.07.2018 and No. 30473, and the Article Annex 19 was added to the Law. With the amendment made;
Amendments were made in the Law dated 18.10.2018 and No. 2918 published in the Official Gazette dated 26.10.2018 and No.30577, and the Article7, 21, 26, 32,34, 46, 47, 52, 67, 68, 73,74, and Annex 2 of the Law No. 2918. In the amendment made;
3 new subclauses were added to the first paragraph of Article 7 of the Law 2918 with the Law dated 29.11.2018 and No. 7153 published in the Official Gazette dated 10.12.2018 and No 30621 regulating the duties and authorities of the Directorate General of Highways to determine the responsibilities on the protection of wildlife in places where the highways divide the habitats.
Along with the Law dated 27.12.2018 and No. 7159 published in the Official Gazette dated 28.12.2018 and No. 3039 and the Temporary Article 25 added to the Law No. 2918:
The traffic administrative fines were ensured to be subjected to re-evaluation ratios and be imposed over the amounts in 2018 without increasing.
Along with the Law dated 06.12.2019 and No. 7196 published in the Official Gazette dated 24.12.2019 and No. 30988; amendments were made in the Article 5, 41, 42, and 71 of the Road Traffic Law No. 2918, the Article 5/A and Annex 7 of the same Law, and the Additional Article 22 of the Law No. 3201 was abolished. Along with the regulation made:
The Traffic Presidency Services and the affiliated Traffic Presidency Implementation and Control, Traffic Presidency Planning and Support, Traffic Presidency Training and Research, and Directorate of Traffic Research Centre were closed to be regulated in the Presidential Decree to save on staff, simplify, and reduce the units by reuniting these units performing similar tasks in the restructuring of the Turkish National Police.
Concerning traffic, the duties assigned to the Turkish National Police and the General Command of Gendarmerie with the Law No. 2918 were allocated to the Ministry of Interior, and the determination of it in the regulation to be made by the Ministry of Interior with the principles related to the duties, authorities, and responsibilities was ensured.
Vehicles indicated on the list No. (1) added to the Law pertaining to the higher authorities of the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of the government and the ones identified in the Regulation as having the priority of way due to duty or service requirements or safety were included in the scope of priority of way.
With the Law dated 06.12.2019 and No. 7196 published in the Official Gazette dated 24.12.2019 and No. 30988; the amendment was made in the Article 5 of the Road Traffic Law No. 2918, and the Article 5/A and Annex 7 of the same Law, and the Additional Article 22 of the Law No. 3201 were abolished. Along with the regulation made; the duties related to traffic, assigned to the Turkish National Police and the General Command of Gendarmerie were allocated to the Ministry of Interior with the Law No. 2918, which ensured the determination of the essentials related to the duties, authorities, and responsibilities with the regulations to be made by the Ministry of Interior.
The Regulation on the Performance of Tasks of the Ministry of Interior, prepared to determine the authorities and responsibilities regarding the duties allocated to the Ministry of Interior with the Article 5 of the Road Traffic Law No. 2918, entered into force being published in the Official Gazette dated 26/6/2020 and No. 31167.
Amendments Made in the Road Traffic Regulation in the Last Two Years
Amendment was made in Article 8 and 9 of the Road Traffic Regulation published in the Official Gazette dated 03/08/2019 and No. 30851. With the amendment made:
The establishment of the gendarmerie central and rural traffic units was determined.
Amendments were made in the rules and procedures on the evaluation and examination with the qualifications to be required in drivers in the psycho-technics evaluation and psychiatrist examination, and the procedures on Psychotechnics Evaluation and Psychiatrist Examination and the opening of Psychotechnics evaluation centres, some regulations were made on the standards of centres and opportunity was provided for the approval of reports to be compiled in electronic media with a sign with the amendments made in the Article 79 of the Road Traffic Regulation with the Regulation published in the Official Gazette dated 21.03.2020 and No. 31075 and in scale No. 4.
The rules and procedures on the use of vehicles in Turkey with the driver’s licenses received abroad were regulated reserving the articles of the bilateral and plurilateral agreement and laws on the amendments made in the Article 88 of the Road Traffic Regulation with the Regulation published in the Official Gazette dated 05/06/2020 and No. 31146.
Amendments Made in Other Regulations and Directives
Along with the regulation made, an opportunity was provided to the provision of temporary traffic document and registration plate to vehicles regardless whether they had registration in Turkey or a foreign country, and inquiring any other document by the Turkish National Police, in case the vehicles, confiscated due to being involved in the criminal activity of producing and trading narcotics or stimulants, were brought into the use of the Turkish National Police, General Command of Gendarmerie, or Turkish Coast Guard Command with the approval of the Ministry of Environment and Urbanization:
An effective road safety management is considered essential by several international institutions and organizations to ensure that this progress, in terms of decreasing the loss of lives and serious injuries in traffic accidents and improving, is sustainable.
In reports, published by the World Health Organization (WHO), European Transport Safety Council (ETSC), and World Bank68,69,70, some common advice are given for the traffic safety management. This advice, in short, are observed to have been collected under the result-oriented, coordination, legislation, financing and resource allocation, advertisement/promotion, monitoring and evaluation, research and development, and information transfer headings.
At this point, strengthening the road infrastructure stipulated by the Safe System Approach, enhancing the vehicle safety standards, and simultaneous and holistic monitoring of an effective post-accident intervention strategy, as well as the training of road users and control strategies, followed up conventionally in ensuring road safety will help in decreasing the road traffic accidents and lowering the costs arising. A safe road safety system allocates responsibilities to all stakeholders responsible for the operation of the system in a manner to move simultaneously and collectively. 71
Correcting institutional deficiencies is of great importance in terms of developing and implementing effective national road safety programmes. A structure, equipped with specialist and qualified labour force, with the capacity of sufficient financial resources and sanction power, to ensure the coordination of large-scale road safety interventions and programmes at a local and regional level and across the country.
Therefore, as part of the international best practices, traffic safety management is expected to fulfil seven of its institutional management functions for the adoption of the Safe System Approach, and these functions are72:
The staff structure of traffic safety stakeholder institutions being in line with the duties fulfilled in terms of quality and quantity is an important factor in terms of traffic safety quality. The staff assigned in all stages of the traffic safety system in terms of recruitment process of the staff, required qualifications, basic and in-service trainings, promotion, working conditions, appointment and relocation, and the rights attributed to the staff, should be supported with the most appropriate conditions.
Therefore, the assignment of staff with the quality and quantity to fulfil the requirements of traffic safety is essential in all traffic safety stakeholders. Staff selection, specialization, and developments related to the working system of staff with the training activities conducted in this context should be ensured complementarily in the entire sector.
Within this scope, the staff receiving quality traffic safety training and put into practice the traffic rules as a road user by internalizing them is should be given a priority. The traffic safety stakeholder institutions should primarily prepare plans and in-service trainings on the accordance of staff actions to the traffic rules and carry into effect the practice directions reinforcing compliance with the traffic rules, especially for the staff using official vehicles.
All institutional staff carrying out infrastructure vehicle, training, control, and health interventions being elements of traffic safety have to receive the basic and speciality trainings pertinent to traffic safety. All staffing activities, from the entrance upon the career of the traffic police to their appointment and relocation, should be planned in line with the traffic safety control perspective.
The staff structure working in the field of traffic has great importance in the local administrations having a part in terms of ensuring the traffic safety in the residential areas where a large part of the population, having an important part in urban traffic safety dwell.
As the Turkish National Police Traffic Presidency , to ensure that the traffic regulation and control duties fulfilled by the traffic units to be performed by sufficient number of and quality staff “effectively, consistently, and intensively” with high performance without wasting public funding, and that the number of staff assigned in the traffic units to meet the needs, a total of 5.934 staff graduating from Police Training Institutes were assigned in traffic units, namely:
and then the “Traffic and Accident Investigation Basic Training” based on the branch was provided by the TNP Traffic Presidency within the process to ensure the adaptation of the staff to the duty and competence.
Besides, 356 Gendarmerie staff were appointed to traffic units directly within 2019.
One of the key factors of traffic safety is the assignment of the qualified staff in each stage of traffic safety. The following are the essentials of the Safe System Approach; the road infrastructure work to be carried out by staff trained in the field of traffic safety, infrastructure safety controls to be conducted by competent staff, the staff assigned in the production, maintenance, and repair of vehicles or the self-employed worker to act with the awareness of traffic safety, the formal education in schools to be provided by teachers with traffic safety training and pedagogical formation, trainers with traffic safety training and pedagogical formation to be assigned in motor vehicle driving courses, staff being an expert on traffic safety and communication to be assigned in campaigns, staff trained in the field of traffic safety to be assigned in the legislative arrangement of traffic and strategic management, trainings essential for traffic branch and specialization trainings at law-enforcement level to be provided at the desired level in the field of traffic safety, emergency medical technicians, fire fighters, search and rescue staff receiving training on intervention in traffic accident to be assigned in post-accident emergency response and first-aid, health care professionals proficient in traffic accident traumas to be assigned in hospitals and emergency response units, staff provided with the traffic safety and accident analysis training to be assigned in accident investigations, and thus staff trained in the field of “Road Traffic Safety” to be assigned in all stakeholder institutions and organizations with the responsibility for ensuring traffic safety.
To establish and manage a safe system as part of the Safe System Approach, the inclusion of system designers in the training activities is of capital importance, for the responsibility is shouldered over them. Planners, engineers, health care professionals, traffic police officers, and other actors should have a good grasp of the Safe System Approach.
Regarding the traffic polices assigned on the control and regulation of traffic, Basic Traffic and Accident Investigation Training, Accident Research and Expertise Training, Safe Driving Techniques Training, Tachograph Use Training, Radar User Training, Alcoholmeter User Training, Hazardous Material Transport Control Training, Drug Test Kits User Training, Public Relations and Communication in Traffic Controls Training, and Motorcycle Traffic Teams User Training and several other in-service traffic trainings are organized in different fields at basic and training of trainer levels, to increase professional information and skills, enhance the efficiency and quality of services, meet the trained staff needs of the traffic units, and to inform the staff on the developments and innovations on their working areas. In-service trainings were provided to more than a total of 95.052 traffic polices in the last
five years by developing the trainings organized along with the advancing technology within these headings.
All stakeholder institutions need specialized staff with necessary competencies. A construction engineer graduating from engineering faculty needs to take courses on road construction before being assigned in road construction, the mechanical engineer assigned in the scientific inspection of vehicles needs to participate in speciality training on vehicle technologies and vehicle safety systems, and the traffic officer assigned in traffic controls needs to receive adequate training on traffic control as well as general law-enforcement training. To that end, it is observed necessary;
As such, the institutional means and capacities should be reviewed specific to the road traffic safety trainings, improvements should be made in service delivery, and the scope of supply of the road traffic safety training should be expanded in a way to include life-long learning outside class.
Related to the police assigned to control and regulate traffic, service traffic trainings such as basic Traffic and Accident Investigation Training, Accident Research and Expertise Training, Safe Driving Techniques Training, Tachograph User Training, Radar User Training, Alcoholmeter User Training, Hazardous Material Transport Control Training, Drug Test Kit User Training, Public Relations and Communication Training in Traffic Controls Training, and Motorcycle Traffic Teams User Training in 10 main headings at basic and training of trainer level are organized to increase the professional information and skills of relevant traffic police assigned, enhance the efficiency and quality of the service, meet the trained staff need of the traffic units, and inform the staff on the developments and innovations related to their working areas:
A total of 11.992 persons were provided with in-service training in 2017, which are;
A total of 23.511 persons were provided with in-service training in 2018, which are:
A total of 25.721 persons were provided with in-service training in 2019, which are:
To improve the “Perceived Risk of Being Caught” under the Chapter 3 “Increasing the Staff, Training, Support and Capacity in Traffic Safety” of the Traffic Safety Implementation Policy Paper; a total of 5.061 staff in 2017,2018 and 2019 received training in the Headquarters in accordance with the objective to continue the Traffic Violation Detection Report trainings for the general law enforcement officers.
A total of 1.849 staff were provided with training following the objective of increasing the accident research capacity of the On-Site Investigation staff in the same department.
The Eskişehir Traffic Police Training Centre was linked to the TNP Traffic Presidency with the Ministerial Approval dated 09.03.2020 in accordance with the objective on “Restructuring the Traffic Polic Training Centre in Eskişehir and Transforming it into a Traffic Training Plans Implementation Centre for the entire country”.
Besides, the project of the field was completed and approved in 2019 as a result of the efforts shown in line with the need for the construction of a new field allocated to the Turkish National Police to build a “Police Training, Service, Residence, and Social Facility” over the premises with 100.084.69 m2 acreage located in the Ihlamurkent (Mamuca) Neighbourhood of Odunpazarı District in Eskişehir.
In accordance with the objective that “Public Relations and Effective Communication Trainings will be improved and continued”, a total of 6.647 staff received Public Relations and Communication Training in 2017, 2018 and 2019.
It is an affirmed fact that the investments made in traffic safety and transport sector serve commerce, the delivery of products and services, and the spirit of the society with its social and economic dimensions, and act as a locomotive for several sectors. Source allocation to road infrastructure, increasing the safety of vehicle fleets, organizing more traffic safety trainings, control and post-accident intervention, rescue, and care services is necessary to ensure comfortable and safe road transportation.
The resources allocated to the road infrastructure constitute a major part of the investments made in traffic safety. Although the infrastructure investments come to mind as traffic safety investments, the Safe System Approach needs to be followed up in the fields of tools, equipment, and materials.
The traffic safety has additional headings becoming prominent when unavailable as well as the core elements to be summarized in general such as traffic safety management, infrastructure, vehicle, training, control, and post-accident intervention activities. All parts of traffic safety need to be discussed as part of the safe system approach. Strengthening all ministries, institutions, and organizations being a part of the system in terms of tools, equipment, and materials will have a high and tangible contribution to traffic safety by taking into consideration that:
in all interventions for the management of traffic safety, infrastructure efforts, vehicles, all training activities, control activities that shouldn’t be only limited with road users, and rehabilitating people to their condition before the accident.
The Safe System Approach considers the underlying causes of loss of lives and serious injuries occurring as a result of traffic accidents that people may make mistakes and are vulnerable along with the responsibilities of the government towards the citizens. This approach derives from the idea that loss of lives and serious injuries can be prevented even if mistakes are inevitable.
According to the “Safe System Approach”, the road system should be designed to ensure that the mistakes people make don’t have severe and fatal consequences.
When discussed by traffic safety, it is accepted that the vehicle factor is 5-10% responsible for the accidents, the road infrastructure 10-20%, and eventually the road users (human behaviours) 80-90%, in the happening of traffic accidents across the world in general. The effect of human, vehicle, environment, and road factors accepted as being a part of the Safe System Approach on traffic safety is as follows schematically:
Figure: Interaction of Driver, Vehicle, Road, and Environment Factors
Source: US Department of Transportation, National Road Traffic Safety Administration, Highway Safety Improvement Program Manual, 3.0 Planning: Countermeasure Identification, Washington, DC 20590 | 202- 366-4000, 2011, p.3
As schematized above, as ensuring the safety of the road system in which several factors are involved in such a fragile duty to be shouldered by only one institution, protection of human life and division of responsibilities should be the basic principle in all strategies put forth regarding the fact that the material output of traffic safety is human life. It is necessary to pay regard to the following matters in strategic efforts made in the field of traffic safety and budgeting:73
73 WHO, Road Traffic Injury Prevention Training Manual, ISBN 92 4 154675 1, 2006, p.60-65
f. Strategic Efforts and Budget
Evaluations on the outcomes expected from traffic safety strategies were also made in various publications. According to a study performed by the World Health Organization, it is recommended to include the following elements:74
According to the public health approach, the prevention of problems threatening human life places less burden on the economy when compared with treatment. For this reason, it is considered less costly to prevent the threats on public health.
The fact that environmental conditions will change in time should be considered and the planning should be done as an average of 5 years while preparing the national traffic safety policies, and the activities to be conducted at a country level and lower geographical fields should be predetermined. The inclusion of the following sections is recommended in a traffic safety strategy with clear, realistic, and measurable objectives and anticipated to be activated based on a budget:75
While conducting traffic control within the Safe System Approach, it is necessary to control whether the resources allocated are suitable in terms of police measures. It is understood from the governmental practices that 20% of the total budget allocated to the police has been used to ensure traffic safety. One should remember that the traffic safety campaigns, conducted to raise the awareness of road users, are the greatest supporter of police controls.76
Furthermore, the road traffic safety issue is suitable for project-based investment by international organizations established with this design along with being subjected to the budget and resource allocation of governments, and among these organizations are the leading funders such as:
The proper operation of data systems is important to prevent road traffic accidents and develop measures against the types of accident occurrence. Traffic police, health care institutions, insurance companies, the vehicles related to the structure of road of national and local units responsible for infrastructure, and the presentation of records of the features of vehicles to use by vehicle producers to ensure traffic safety by making a part of data systems is important.
The effective traffic policing recommendation principles were published by the European Transport Safety Council (ETSC). The importance setting time-limited, concise, clear and applicable goals on the factors causing traffic accidents by conducting detailed accident investigations is specified amongst these principles.78
There are the hardware and software of the data systems and institutions included in the process of collecting data related to traffic accidents and management of these data, and the staff assigned in these institutions within the traffic accidents data systems, data collection process.
The traffic accident data systems are recommended to have the following features: 79
Accessing the information on the following factors in addition to the above information is also essential:
The progress of procedures in four main steps is recommended to establish an ideal traffic safety data system. 80These steps are:
Step 1: Determining the persons and institutions involved in the process of collecting, managing, and using the road safety data,
Step 2: Focusing on matters such as detecting available data resources and systems, identifying the features of these, and accuracy, integrity, and underreporting and carrying out evaluation on data quality,
Step 3: Identifying the needs and expectation of the latest users of traffic safety data,
Step 4: Setting up the necessary legal infrastructure to gather available data, collect the necessary but haven’t yet been systematically collected data, and bring together in a joint database.
World Health Organization suggests the inclusion of the following data on traffic in the recommended data systems to be established to be used in evaluations in terms of traffic safety:81
a. Data on the road:
b. Vehicle data:
c. Driver data:
All stakeholders need to be able to access the information stated above through electronic systems in evaluations on traffic safety, especially the investigations of traffic accidents.
Moreover, the creation of a data bank to collect all data on road traffic safety in one centre, establishment and preservation of data systems where necessary data will be collected and analysed to support the road traffic safety policy determination process, and the collection, evaluation, and analysis of the data in the Data Centre to ensure that these data are accessible by researchers and public opinion are recommended in the report entitled “Highway Safety Strategy (2021-2030) and accompanying Action Plan and Investment Plan” prepared within the “Highway Safety-100% Safety in Traffic” Project conducted as part of the National Programme of Turkey 2013-Pre-Accession Financial Aid Tool. Accordingly;
should be collected, inspected, evaluated, analysed in the Data Centre.
Traffic accidents are accepted as one of the important public health problems according to the efforts made by international organizations, and the deaths due to traffic accidents;
According to the 2018 World Traffic Safety Situation Report published by the World Health Organization,83 road traffic accidents constitute the loss of lives of an average of 1.35 million people annually (3.698 people daily, and 1 person per 24 seconds), and cause the injury or disability of around 50 million people annually. The leading cause of death of persons between the ages of 5 and 29 is traffic accidents.
Again, according to the other evaluations of the World Health Organization on the same subject,84 the road traffic accidents constitute the main reason for 2.1% of deaths on earth separately and comes in 8th amongst the causes of death (It came in 11th in 2011). In case this percentage is lowered by 2030, it is predicted that road traffic accidents will rise to the 5th place in the ranking of causes of death. The cost of road traffic accidents is equal to 3% of their gross domestic product in several countries.
The pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorcycle riders, identified as the vulnerable road users and don’t have any safety measure against motor vehicles constitute more than half of all road traffic accidents involving death.
Performance of in-depth accident analyses and re-enactment of traffic accidents
Detailed information is required to perform accident analyses thoroughly. Detailed information on all elements should be included in the accident reports to detect the happening of the accident as well as the general information on the incident.
The staff assigned with the accident investigation role should have received a decent training and been trained to have a good grasp of the situation as well as a detailed collection of information on accident detection.86
Sample surveys should be primarily conducted to perform accident analyses objectively and scientifically, and the gaps in available reports should be detected comparatively. Type of road, the features of the vehicle, safety measures, horizontal and vertical signalization, the conditions of other road users, traffic rules violated in the happening of the accident, medical and driving records of the drivers, accident histories and violation records of the drivers, environmental information on the potential causes of an accident, obtaining witnesses or footages if any, information on the other accidents happening in the same place in the recent years, constructions made on the infrastructure of the road, the lighting of the road, vegetation, buildings, and other factors in the road perimeter, safety measures available in the car as factory production, additionally whether any changes were made in the structure of the vehicle, the latest technical inspection information of the vehicle, whether the vehicle underwent modification or repair, and all the other information regarding the accident are included in the report on the accident as much as possible.
Necessary efforts should be made to re-enact the traffic accidents happening previously in accident investigations. A full incident scenario should be drawn by including the statements of the witnesses and effort should be shown to detect false statements, if any during the accident re-enactment. The road section where the accident happened should be observed on-site and the statements of staff intervening in the situation on-site should be referred to in the study made for accident re-enactment. If it isn’t possible to take the witnesses on the site of the accident, the statements of the witnesses should be placed over the live footage of the site of the accident and the re-enactment of the incident should be ensured.
Staff with infrastructure, vehicle, and driver speciality, as well as the traffic police, should participate in the accident investigation team to investigate the accident with a multidisciplinary approach.
Using technological facilities, integrating three-dimensional photograph processing technologies, digital maps, and databases, integrating vehicle and driver data in the same database, the vehicle and driver history records and the constructions made in the road structure to be open access in the same database, the master plans on the site of the accident to be open to the use of accident researchers, and presenting technical facilities such as drone to the use of accident researchers in the accident re-enactment efforts.
Performance of complementary traffic safety analyses based on accident researches
Conducting complementary researches is necessary to analyse the results obtained from road traffic accidents in detail and draw conclusions. Within the complementary researches the following factors should be fastidiously put into practice; 87
Inclusion of non-governmental organizations and their initiatives in traffic safe strategies is important in terms of receiving the contributions of voluntary bodies to take responsibility and be able to suppose the public institutions in a matter concerning the entire society such as traffic safety.88
Division of traffic safety responsibility
One of the essentials of the Safe System Approach is the division of responsibility and the fact that all actors being active in traffic safety has responsibility is crucial for this approach in nature.
Constructive contributions should be provided by the traffic safety stakeholders; transportation sector, road infrastructure, environment, education, police, public health, justice mechanism, tourism sector, associations and foundations established by the road users, NGOs, insurance sector and vehicle producers, researchers, etc. from many fields for traffic safety.89
Ensuring the participation of citizens and transparency
Providing confidence to the citizens, announcing the inputs and outcomes of the efforts made to ensure constructive contribution to traffic safety to the citizen through proper means are important elements to increase support. Presentation of annual reports, facilitation of access to the data for the researchers being willing to, and to carry out effective information exchange between stakeholders and coordinated efforts are also important in terms of accountability.90
Improving advocacy in traffic safety
Awareness-raising activities to positively improve policies pursued in any subject, programmes, and allocated resources, are referred to as “Advocacy”. Advocacy activities are considered to be one of the factors to be paid regard to by international organizations in traffic safety efforts.
Taking the support of Non-governmental Organizations being active in the field of victims of accidents in the field of traffic safety in general, explaining the material, social, and cultural consequences of traffic accidents to the society from their own voice are important in terms of receiving social support to all kinds of traffic safety efforts made.
The placement of Safe System Approach, grounded on the protection of humans and the division of responsibility amongst stakeholders, into law, organization of institutional structures according to this approach, the performance of all traffic safety interventions as part of this approach are important in terms of meeting the expectations of the citizens of Turkey.
Improving civil society in the field of traffic safety to support the decision-makers in the improvement of road safety in Turkey
The flexible of Non-governmental organizations, the fact that they can easily reach all layers in lobbying, their identifiability by international organizations may contribute to the promotion of actions taken by public institutions and giving support to these efforts. The advocacy services provided by non-governmental organizations are generally based on:91
Besides, the planning of the specific objectives of the advocacy activities with each campaign and its accompaniment to these campaigns are of great importance. The efforts to be made can be summarized as follows:
In advocacy strategy, it is suggested to attract the attention of the public by creating content concurrently and in cooperation with the campaigns planned in the communication strategy, generate demand, and make efforts to ensure legal and environmental regulations are in place through public pressure. Following a strategy to produce an effect in the presence of decision-makers and law-makers as part of the scientific methods and transparency principle, organizing workshops, trainings, and congresses to increase the capacity of NGOs carrying out works in the field of traffic and traffic safety in Turkey and setting up projects, and laying the foundations of evidence-based efforts in medium and long-term is essential.
j. Cooperation, Coordination, and International Efforts
As Road Traffic Safety is a subject involving several disciplines, it is crucial to ensure coordination between institutions. The general outlook, obtained from the examples around the world, reveals that the stakeholder institutions and organizations make separate efforts on traffic safety, yet, as the interdivisional coordination falls short in the efforts made, they haven’t been that effective in decreasing the number of accidents and deaths.
The following figure summarizes the mobility management with safe roads and ensuring traffic safety in efforts planned to be made within the control of traffic rules:
Coordination of research and development efforts
The coordination of research and development efforts made by institutes, universities, public and private organizations for traffic safety, and the coordination of public and private sector investments are important. According to the examples of countries, it is considered that the traffic safety research structure with sufficient budget and preferably an independent structure, has positive contributions to the conduct of traffic safety researches.
Interinstitutional coordination at the national level
Traffic safety is a field requiring the collaborative work of several sectors and dividing the responsibilities to various institutions. It is possible to achieve success in case activities in several fields such as road infrastructure, transportation, production of vehicles, importation, and field, training, health, information, and awareness-raising activities on its use, provision of budget to the entire traffic safety activities, and conduct of legislative arrangement, are carried out co-ordinately and in cooperation.
Making coordinated efforts at a local level
Traffic safety is a problem to be researched at a local level as well as being a public health problem at the national level. The most accurate observation on the traffic safety problems emerging in a certain region or neighbourhood is the one made by people dwelling in that region, going shopping, using the means of transport between house and workplace, or included in the road traffic as road users in various ways. That’s why developing measures based on the observations of these people contributes to the solution of traffic problems.
Therefore, developing relationships with the citizens at a local level and community representatives, especially the local authority being the representative of citizens, evaluating demands and complaints, making efforts on the solution of problems and informing the relevant person of their consequences is vital for the performance of coordinated efforts at local level.93
Contribution of international activities to traffic safety
The United Nations has different institutions, several international and regional organizations such as the European Union and Development Organization, and Organization of Islamic Cooperation has efforts they make to ensure traffic safety emerging as a serious problem on earth.
It is considered that developing international relationships in the field of traffic safety will make Turkey more powerful as a result of strengthening the sensitivity shown and the activities conducted in the field of traffic safety, utilizing in researches, and engaging in exemplary activities for other countries.
Figure: Coordination of Traffic Safety Elements
Performing collaborative works on traffic safety in natural disasters, especially earthquakes and emergencies
Serious progress was made on dealing with dangers and threats posed against humans resulting from disasters, especially earthquakes happening due to geological, topographic, and climatic characteristics in the recent years, serious progress was made in institutional and social fields, efficient and effective interventions were ensured by the Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency (AFAD) in disasters and emergencies both inside and outside Turkey, and serious success was achieved.
The duties and responsibilities of institutions and organizations in emergencies were indicated with the “National Earthquake Strategy and Action Plan-2023” within the “Turkey National Disaster Response Plan (2013)” prepared to create a prepared and resistant society in decreasing the risk of and dealing with an earthquake, prepare the institutional infrastructure for this purpose, and determine the priorities of relevant research and development activities. The fulfilment of duties to ensure safety and traffic in disasters and emergencies was planned to be under the coordination of the Ministry of Interior with the “Turkey National Disaster Response Plan”, and the following are amongst the main duties related to traffic:
In the aforesaid plan; the duties to ensure fast and safe access to the disaster area and organize navigation were planned to be performed under the coordination of the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure jointly with the Ministry of Interior, and other support solution partners, and amongst these duties were;
Making preparations in all necessary matters, strengthening institutions capacity with planning and organization efforts, and adopting collective types of movement by conducting trainings and drills are of capital importance for fulfilling the duties and responsibilities related to all natural disasters and other emergencies, especially earthquakes without a hitch.
TRAFFIC SAFETY MANAGEMENT
STRATEGIC OBJECTIVE: Strengthening Traffic Safety Management in line with the Safe System Approach and as Multidimensional along with All its Elements.
GUIDING STRATEGIES AND SUGGESTIONS
1. Establishing the “Directorate General of Traffic Safety” within the Ministry of Health and ensuring a strong traffic safety structuring and representation along with this structuring, to fulfil the duties assigned in the traffic safety legislation without a hitch, follow up the efforts on achieving these objectives in a full coordination between the stakeholder institutions without allowing diverging from the traffic safety objectives, identify, plan, and conduct of effective mechanisms and measures in traffic safety by allocating sufficient budget, perform the stages of evaluating the results and measure effects without a hitch, especially the relevant articles of the Road Traffic Law No. 2918 without any setback.
2. Providing necessary institutional capacity to the “Directorate General of Traffic Safety” to be established within the Ministry of Interior to ensure strong cooperation, coordination, and effective information exchange with all institutions being traffic safety stakeholders, strengthen the academic accumulation of knowledge in the field of traffic safety contribute to the implementation by conducting all necessary researches, and coordinate the efforts of stakeholder institutions in the field of traffic safety.
3. Highway infrastructure, road and road perimeter, motor vehicles, training, information, and awareness-raising of drivers and road users, accommodating the elements on care and treatment with controls on all elements constituting road traffic with traffic control and the post-accident response to the “Safe System Approach”,
4. Strengthening tools, equipment, materials, staff, and other institutional capacities in order for the stakeholder institutions to achieve the traffic safety objectives,
5. Determining measurable objectives in ensuring traffic safety,
6. The stakeholder institutions evaluating the draft laws and resolutions in the field of legislation by forming the “Traffic Safety Expertise Commission”, considering the matter of accommodating with the European Union Legislation and International Law and Agreements in the Grand National Assembly of Turkey,
7. Comprehensive review of the entire legislation on road safety in Turkey;
i. Ensuring the consistency of definitions amongst laws, eliminating the potential conflicts of interpretation between laws,
ii. Improving clarity and comprehensibility,
iii. Simplifying the enforcement of the law,
iv. Discussing the matters currently lacking for Turkey to meet the obligations it has in international agreements being a party to,
v. Updating the legislative framework in a way to include the technological advancements of the last decade,
8. All regulations and amendments to be made in the legislation regarding traffic safety in line with the “Safe System Approach” and in a way to pay regard to the 2030 and 2050 objectives,
9. Accommodating the Road Traffic Law No. 2918 and the Highway Transport Law No. 4925, and the sub-regulatory processes and relevant legislation to the Safe System Approach”,
10. Completing the process of becoming a party to the Convention on Road Signs and Signals dated 1968,
11. Becoming a part to the Agreement on the Approval of Uniform Conditions for the Periodical Technical Inspections of Wheeled Vehicles dated 1997 and the Mutual Covenant of the Inspections,
12. Fully implementing the Highway Infrastructure Safety Management being EU directive No. 2008/96,
13. Implementing e-call Regulation of European Parliament and Council No. 2015/758,
14. Making transboundary agreements on the traffic violations being important in terms of traffic safety, especially overspeeding, driving under the influence of alcohol or drug, and the use of a seatbelt, and preparing the necessary legislation for the full and problem-free implementation of the rules on the citizens of countries being party to this agreement and the vehicles registered to these countries in the EU directive on Facilitating Cross-boundary Information Exchange related to the Traffic Offences on Highway Safety No. 2015/413,
15. Making the legislative arrangement to ensure the take-off of points of drivers or vehicle owners subjected to electronic control and identified to have violated traffic rules from the driver’s license,
16. The efforts on the legal amendments and sub-regulatory processes to be made by being reviewed by Legislation Working Group to be organized amongst stakeholder institutions, and the information of the Committee by the responsible institution by putting on the agenda of the following Coordination Board,
17. Establishing a unit pertinent to international standards to issue a certificate to the Highway Safety Inspectors,
18. Preparing budgets eligible for achieving the objectives stipulated with the Action plans prepared according to the 2021-2030 Road Traffic Safety and Strategy Paper, and pertinent to institutional objectives,
19. Using these databases in efforts made to gather information, evaluate, analyse, and strengthen data distribution activities, create joint databases, and prevent accidents, and in the post-accident stage,
20. Strengthening and improving the mechanisms to mutually overlap and control the police and patient records in the identification and follow-up of deaths and terminal injuries in the preparation of accident records,
21. Performing in-depth accident analyses and building the structure related to the exchange of relevant information along with the tools, equipment, staff, education, and infrastructure for this purpose,
22. Implementation of the management system including detailed data on accidents to re-enact the chain of causation of incidents causing the accidents after the collision,
23. Harmonizing the “Serious Injury” definition with the WHO definition (Maximum Shortened Injury Scale) while generating data on the injuries based on accidents, determining this definition by international standards, and trying to decrease the deaths and serious injuries resulting from traffic accidents by 50% by 2030,
24. Establishing the internationally accepted accident data information system (such as CARE) in Turkey, by gathering the traffic safety information from different stakeholder institutions and presenting it to the public opinion as regular reports,
25. Making a protocol to associate the accident data with the driving course and certification data collected by the Ministry of National Education,
26. Making a protocol to send and receive data to and from the insurance companies on traffic accidents involving death, injury, and material damage,
27. Making a protocol and establishing a system to collect data on the duration of emergency response vehicles to accidents (response time),
28. Developing mechanisms to monitor the behaviours of road users and sharing the changes with relevant stakeholders, and developing measures according to these changes in line with the best practice examples,
29. Giving the prominence to and implementing the nationality and autonomy features of technical and technological advancements to research, development, and innovation activities in each stage of traffic safety,
30. Collecting data related to the driving speeds in all highway and speedway networks to calculate the average driving speed in different types of road in the road network,
31. Conducting necessary examination, research, and works to necessitate the TS ISO 39001 – Road Traffic Safety Management System for all companies carrying on business in the transportation sector,
32. 32. Creating a methodology for the performance of cost/benefit analysis to enable the comparison of performances related to road safety to associate the inputs and outputs with one another for each road safety activity an institution is responsible for,
33. Conducting researches on traffic planning road design, traffic safety analysis, traffic volume, traffic statistics, traffic management, road equipment, and public transport,
34. Researching enhancing the quality, efficiency, and safety of public transport, including the transportation of persons with physical disabilities in intercity road transportation,
35. Strengthening the mutual information exchange, training, and coordination efforts with the international organizations,
36. Conduct of necessary works by all elements constituting traffic safety as part of the international best practice examples,
37. Making examinations to make periodical comparisons with international best practices, identifying whether there is any need for legislative regulation for new safety strategies, and making arrangements to keep up with the technical development,
38. Developing a curriculum to investigate the causes of the accident and preparing a comprehensive training programme for the training of specialist trainers,
39. Conducting researches on traffic psychology, first aid in traffic, driver training, developing safe driving techniques, driving courses, psycho-technics, and occupational training,
40. Forming master’s degree departments for Road Safety Training at universities,
41. Developing control standards with tangible objectives on the control traffic violations such as speed control, driving under the influence of alcohol and narcotics, not fastening seatbelt, and not using protective head guards,
42. Supporting the implementation of in-vehicle control systems such as Seatbelt warning, alcolocks, and Intelligent Speed Assistance,
43. Conducting the survey based on scientific principles to promote the use of seatbelts, protective head guard, child protection systems, and determine the frequency of drivers using hand-held devices/cell phones while driving every 3 years, and sharing the results with the public,
44. Making R&D efforts to place the black box (scene recorder) in road vehicles to prevent and research traffic accidents,
45. Evaluating the traffic safety performances of stakeholder institutions within the Strategy Paper,
46. Developing and establishing an indicator system for the actions of each organization on road safety (This set of indicators and the method used to calculate these should be accepted as an applicable method to be measured for performance by the relevant organization. Data necessary to calculate the aforesaid indicators should be available, if not, collected and presented on time). This set of indicators should involve the following;
i. Safety level and quality of infrastructure,
ii. The efficiency of speed management in road network,
iii. The efficiency of control activities,
iv. Quality of driver training and certification,
v. Training quality,
vi. Quality of promotion campaigns,
vii. Quality of annual roadworthiness of vehicles,
viii. Speed and quality of post-accident emergency response,
47. Developing the “Highway Safety Cooperation Programme” to involve road safety in the social responsibility projects of the private sector,
48. Conducting “Traffic and Mobility Research” in
a way to involve the entire road network,
49. Establishing a “Safety Classification and Management System” to grade the safety of road sections in the entire road network in Turkey,
50. Supporting the research activities by founding the “Traffic Safety Research Fund” to conduct road safety research,
51. Preparing the Sectoral Traffic Safety Report” by identifying the performances of these companies objectively to incentivize all companies, transporting freight and passenger in roads, to be attentive in the field of traffic safety,
52. Preparation and publication of the annual “Turkey National Traffic Safety Report”, which presents the efforts made in the field of traffic safety, indicates the future objectives with situational assessment, and based on performance evaluation,
53. Determining the provinces and subprovinces, adopting the Safe System Approach, taking the most appropriate measures in terms of traffic safety, and providing the safest traffic environment to their citizens on a yearly basis, and granting them the “Safe Traffic City” awards,
54. Granting the “Traffic Safety Awards” to increase the contribution of media organs and NGOs, especially the traffic safety stakeholder institutions to traffic safety,
55. Clearing of the pedestrian and vehicle traffic, keeping the transportation routes open, and preparing emergency response plans, and conducting drills in terms of traffic measures during earthquakes and other natural disasters,