Recommendations for a common data collection system and definitions [SaferAfrica D4.2]
A key assignment within the SaferAfrica project is to thoroughly assess the needs of stakeholders involved in road safety in terms of knowledge and information tools and convey a clear view of current road safety practices followed in Africa. As a starting point, two-fold surveys as well as existing road safety analysis documents were exploited. The findings from these sources on road safety data, data collection systems and definitions provide a thorough overview of the current situation in African countries, where it is clear that there are significant deficiencies and shortcomings. In addition, available data are not always comparable due to the different basic road safety definitions as well as the different collection and process methods. Therefore, it is necessary to define a common set of data that are necessary to understand and assess road safety and a common methodology to collect them. These tools will help acquire both accurate and comparable road safety data that can be used for evidence-based decision making. The objective of the present deliverable is to provide recommendations and guidelines for a minimum set of harmonised data collection procedures and standard definitions that could be applied in the short- to medium term to improve African data collection systems. On that purpose, relative manuals from European and international projects were exploited by giving emphasis on the collection systems and definitions of three types of data: accident data, exposure data and road safety performance indicators. The recommendations for all types of data consist of a minimum set of data elements and a common collection system. However, due to limited experience, unavailability and lack of standardization in the collection process of such data for most African countries, a 2-fold priorities scenario is proposed on each data type, based on a combination of usefulness and ease to collect. As far as road accident data are concerned, the police plays the major role in the data collection process, since they are the first who record the needed data, finalise them after the period of 30 days and forward them to the responsible national authority. The data collection form is recommended to be revised frequently, include detailed information on the vehicles and road users involved in the accident, as well as adopt all existing standardized international definitions of variables and values. Concerning road fatalities, the international 30-days definition is recommended to be adopted by the African countries. On that purpose, the countries that are not currently utilizing such a definition should modify the data collection process and develop appropriate conversion factors. Under reporting is also an issue that should be tackled, so that the databases are further improved and comparability of the data among the countries is reached. It is recommended that road accident data are adjusted by means of linking Police data with hospital data. Regarding the exposure and performance indicators, the respective variables and values are recommended to be defined in such a way that they will be compatible to the accident data. The exposure measures concern two groups of data, the road traffic estimates and the road user at risk estimates. The recommendations of the present report include a list of primary data that should be collected in order to calculate the exposure indicators, as well as additional information that could be collected at a next stage. The collection processes examined concern travel surveys and traffic count systems, while national registers may also provide with useful and commonly used exposure data, such as population, drivers' population, vehicle fleet etc. Two mainly data collection methods exist for estimating the road safety performance indicators: the first one concerns observational techniques, while the second needs national statistics and data collected by national registers. Specific recommendations are given for each of the examined core areas; namely drink-driving, speed, use of protective systems and vehicles safety. In general, these recommendations concern the survey requirements (design requirements, measurement requirements, period of surveys etc.), data analysis and documentation and reporting of the final results. Aiming to examine the implementation process of the recommendations for a common data collection system and definitions, certain direct as well as general requirements need to be met. Within the SaferAfrica project, the recommendations need to be rapidly conversed to the involved local authorities of each African country. Therefore, a network of national experts should be defined and spread out geographically to cover Africa. On the other hand, the general implementation roadmap consists of certain prerequisites, which besides capacity consolidation of the authorities and dedicated budget, involves summary sampling and costing as well as the formation of a Pan-African coordinative organization.
Funded under European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme - Grant agreement No 724029