E.M. Choueiri, G.M. Choueiri, B.M. Choueiri
In general, roads should feature good facilities to enable safe travel and transport between countries, different parts of a county, or within smaller areas. This means that roads should offer good accessibility and transport quality, as well as allow journey times at low transport costs. In addition, roads should offer these characteristics under safe and environmentally-friendly conditions. Furthermore, roads should be of good quality in all parts of a country. All objectives, including safety, should be taken into account in all activities regarding the road network. The development and management (planning, design, construction, maintenance, and operation) of a road network should, therefore, aim at achieving an optimum balance, within prevailing budget constraints. During the past decades, it has become clear in many countries that simply building more and more roads may not always be the best answer to traffic growth and other problems. For instance, the emphasis in several Western European countries is now getting directed towards making the best use of existing road networks and giving priority to sites where the worst accident, congestion and/or environmental problems exist. In several countries, it is recognized that: - good road and traffic engineering can reduce the risk and severity of accidents; - the focus should be directed more towards targeted safety improvement programs, as well as demand and traffic management; - with respect to local roads and streets, the focus should be directed towards coordinated planning, traffic calming measures, as well as road safety improvements to protect vulnerable road users, such as pedestrians and cyclists. In Lebanon, the overall road safety situation is poor. The actual number of casualties is high in relation to the number of inhabitants and motor vehicle ownership, as compared to countries with good road safety records. The aim of this paper is to identify and analyze road safety problems in Lebanon, as based on available accident statistics. In this respect, however, it should be noted that the present accident statistics do not allow a detailed analysis to be made with respect to the circumstances surrounding accidents, due to underreporting and a lack of detailed information on road accidents. Further, another aim of this paper is to identify and analyze the safety deficiencies of non-urban roads in Lebanon, and develop proposals and guidelines on how to improve safety on these roads.
Keywords: road safety; Lebanon; non-urban roads; accidents; traffic management; traffic engineering; coordinated planning; vulnerable road users