2016 CITE Conference
On June 7th, Rebecca Peterniak and Mark Hearson presented at the 2016 CITE Conference in Kelowna. Rebecca Peterniak presented on the topic of Vision Zero and Mark presented on FNI's Network Screening and Safety Performance Function project for the City of Winnipeg. FNI employees Joel Penner and Abby Scaletta also attended the conference with the Manitoba ITE Student Chapter.
Rebecca moderated, presented, and participated in the Vision Zero session at the conference. Her presentation emphasized the importance of road safety and the need for Vision Zero. Vision Zero is an approach to road safety that was launched in Sweden in the late 1990s with the concept that all traffic fatalities and injuries are preventable and lost lives due to accidents are unacceptable; they represent failures of the engineering system and not the individual.
Rebecca discussed a Safe Systems approach to aid in solving the problem of injuries and fatalities with accidents. This approach considers all transportation engineering factors including road users and human error. Rebecca also discussed the need for improved data to assist in making informed decisions regarding road safety infrastructure. FNI conducted a survey of 21 jurisdictions in Canada to review their road safety and Vision Zero strategies, finding that only 8 of the 21 respondents have implemented a Vision Zero strategy.
The Vision Zero presentation concluded with a breakout session where participants split into groups and played out a Vision Zero Task Force meeting for both urban and rural areas. The groups selected a road safety initiative and developed a detailed implementation plan of this task. Rebecca was the facilitator for her breakout group, with the other facilitators being Gord Lovegrove, Neil Arason, and Suzanne Woo. The participants left the session with a better understanding of the Vision Zero concept and the practical procedures of implementing these initiatives.
Winnipeg’s Safety Performance Functions and Network Screening Project
FNI's Mark Hearson delivered a presentation on Safety Performance Functions and Network Screening for the City of Winnipeg, with an emphasis on the limitations of data availability and quality. Mark related methods utilized by FNI to overcome these issues in order to inform confident decision making for the allocation of road infrastructure budgets.
Safety performance functions (SPFs), also known as accident prediction models (APMs) or collisions prediction models (CPMs), are mathematical models that predict the expected frequency of collisions occurring for a given road facility, as a function of traffic volumes and other relevant potential road attributes. Using these predicted collision frequencies, along with observed collision data, an expected collision count can be obtained. Expected collisions can then be used to inform network screening, to identify problematic intersections and road segments according to their Level of Service of Safety (LOSS).
Issues can arise in performing network screening when data is not recorded properly or with enough regularity, which is a common problem across jurisdictions. Mark related the experience of FNI's statistician and predictive analyst Ekow Ghanney in addressing the data deficiencies by employing techniques using Monte Carlo simulations, population stratification, and application of available proxies.