November 11, 2008

Road Safety Center Workshop

By Pro. Heckman, edited by Emad Salameh

Road Safety Center of Excellence aims to promote the level of road safety in Jordan and To Build World Class Road Safety Capacity by Integrating (learning, applied research, advanced know-how & tools) in an outcome oriented way to support the effective execution of the National Road Safety Strategy , the center's plan is to introduce the concept of road safety audit into Jordan and to Make road safety audit a common concept in Jordan where: practitioners are familiar with it , know how to do it, adopt a standard, use tools and methods and are striving to become certified. As a start the center began establishing a database by developing standards and guidelines for road safety auditing adopted from other countries but they were adjusted and modified to suit Jordan's regulations, then study-cases and examples were built and several sites in Jordan were visited by the center's teams and some examples were done with the help of traffic engineers from GAM , all of the cases and examples were documented into reports and as a second step the center launched a workshop named " Road Safety Auditing level 1 " ; the workshop took place at the facilities of GJU and on the streets of Amman from 3rd to 14th of August. Case studies of some relevant streets and intersections have been prepared in advance by local experts and students, organized by RSCOE.

The Center invited participants from ministries, municipalities and other bodies, and also non-governmental organizations – about 25 participants took the opportunity to be trained on a method, which is established in many countries all over the world. Two experts from Germany – an engineer for transport planning and safety and a traffic psychologist – have been invited to assist and to supervise the developmental processes during the workshop.

The workshop started with two days of theory with regard to safety risks due to the street design and operations and another two days of theory with regard to safety risks due to behavioral aspects of drivers and pedestrians participating in public traffic each day was divided into 3 sessions from 10 am till 3:30 pm (1.5 hour for each session).

The two experts based on research data, which have been collected in Germany and internationally, but confronted these data with the experiences of the local experts in the workshops. The adaptation of general observations, conclusions and points of view to the Jordan culture, traffic conditions and experiences was a constitutive element of the workshop tasks. Also the integrated perspective on both behavior and street environment was practiced. Both experts encouraged interaction spirit and the sessions were more like discussions and exchanging experiences among the participants and the experts and among the participants themselves.

On the second week three field trips were conducted to three different street s each one consisted of a site visit and a discussion session about the observations and the remarks that were taken on site ,The participants were divided into two groups each one was under the supervision of one of the experts and along the three days the participants were regrouped so that each one of them participates in different activity . And before the second field trip an introductory session about RSA was delivered to the participants. On site each expert divided them into subgroups and checklists and google maps with a copy of the report that was prepared before were delivered to all participants , then each subgroup was responsible of fulfilling a specific task.

On the discussion session the data from all participants is collected and discussed among each group by itself , then exchanged between the groups so that each participant understands other quests that he didn't conduct. The observations from the field are discussed among all groups and
critical safety issues are pointed out then initial solutions are proposed.

On the 2 days after the field trips all the data from the three site visits and all the results of the discussions were collected and all participants under the supervision of the experts built together
the final report of this workshop.

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