The Transport Competence Agency (TKA) together with the Lithuanian Road Directorate (Road Directorate) used advanced technologies with the aim of improving traffic safety on national roads.
Taking into account the traffic incidents of 2017-2020, TKA identified and examined black spots (accidental road sections) on roads of national importance and compiled a virtual map of black spots in 2021. The novelty of this year’s map is expert recommendations on how road users should behave when they get into a black spot. These safety recommendations are tailored to the specifics of each black spot.
“Expert recommendations will help to understand the dangers in emergency areas, road users will know what is important to pay attention to, and how to behave. We hope that drivers will remain vigilant, take into account the recommendations of experts and continue their journey safely”, says Evaldas Morkūnas, head of the TKA Transport Services Department.
TKA experts, after conducting a detailed study of the black spots, submitted proposals to the Directorate of Roads regarding the elimination of the engineering deficiencies of these black spots.
The Directorate of Roads implements various road infrastructure projects according to priority queues drawn up according to special methodologies. One of the essential criteria of all these methodologies is emergency. Therefore, places and sections where black spots are identified often coincide with the priorities of the Road Directorate, and in many of them measures to improve traffic safety are already being implemented or such works are planned to be carried out in order of priority.
“Engineering traffic safety measures are chosen after evaluating the results of black spot studies and analyzing these dangerous places. The measures implemented according to priority queues are selected for each specific case. For example, roundabouts, prominent islands, left-turn lanes, lighting can be installed in the black spots formed at intersections, pedestrian and bicycle paths, section lighting, “city gates”, prominent islands can be installed in road sections,” says Remigijus Lipkevičius, head of the Roads Directorate.
According to the head of the Roads Directorate, in those places where, due to complex design and land acquisition procedures for public use, works may take a little longer, quick-acting measures are installed: road signs, protective road barriers, road surface markings are changed, safety islands are milled, and various engineering speed reduction devices are installed. tools, speedometers.
In 2021, 207 traffic accidents occurred in the 44 black spots identified, during which 27 people died and 281 people were injured. 29 black spots, i.e. 66% of the total, were identified on country roads of state importance, and 15 black spots, i.e. 34% of the total, were identified on roads of state importance crossing settlements. Compared to 2020, this year 19 new black spots were found on national roads, 20 black spots disappeared, 25 black spots remained or changed their location. In 2021, 7 black spots were identified, that is, 16% of all, which were formed due to the fault of drunk or unlicensed road users.
“The change in the number of black spots compared to 2020 is insignificant, but there are very important positive overall results in the accident statistics of black spots – a decrease in traffic accidents and the number of dead participants”, says Evaldas Morkūnas.
Black spots are formed when 4 or more creditable traffic accidents, during which people are injured or killed, are recorded on a specific road section within 4 years. This year, 44 spots are marked on the black spot map, or 1 black spot less than last year.