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PIARC (World Road Association), founded in 1909 and comprising 125 member governments from all over the world, is the global forum for exchange of knowledge and experience on roads, road transport policies and practices. With consultative status to the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations, the Association is contributing to a stable and sustainable global development of the road and transport sector.

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Strategic Theme 3 - Safety and Sustainability

Nowadays, there is a growing awareness worldwide that the strategy and policies, which are formulated by road administrators and transport-related organizations, enhance safety and security in road systems during the design, construction, and operation of road infrastructure. This environment steers them to producing practical solutions to improve road safety with further developed technologies and to raise awareness of cybersecurity for strengthening road and transportation security.

Pursuing the efficient road operation especially in winter service, optimizing the maintenance cost of road assets, and contributing to the sustainable environment are also essential for road administrators and transport-related organizations to manage road infrastructure successfully.

This external context meets with the Strategic Theme 3 to study "Safety and Sustainability," developing four Technical Committees and one Task Force.

Technical Committees

Task Force

Interview with Shigeru Kikukawa

Strategic Theme 3 "Safety and Sustainability" Coordinator

Shigeru Kikukawa has developed a brilliant career inside the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism in Japan, holding the position of Vice Minister. He currently works for the private sector in Japan.

Shigeru was Strategic Theme B "Access and Mobility" Coordinator during the 2016-2019 cycle, and he has been appointed again to Coordinate Strategic Theme 3 “Safety and Sustainability”.


Here, the issues of road safety, winter service, asset management, environmental sustainability, and security are featured, since they involve practical and pressing issues for road administrators to confront. The Strategic Theme 3 aims at comprehensively enhancing road management capacity in terms of operational, financial, and environmental perspectives. At the heart of the Strategic Theme 3 is demonstrating the appropriate direction for these issues with the past achievements and the development/introduction of new technologies.

Road Safety committee observes a fact that ninety percent of traffic deaths occur in LMICs, and then assesses and identifies the best practice of road safety activities for LMICs. Technical Committee 3.1 "Road Safety" also explores proven countermeasures that are effective in reducing the likelihood and severity of crashes at a given location. Remarkably, "Road Safety Manual" and "Road Safety Audit Guideline" are to be updated, pursuing efforts to disseminate and encourage the application of these manuals. Technical Committee plays a fundamental role in providing access to well-chosen safety measures and its dissemination among LMICs.

Technical Committee 3.2 "Winter Service" focuses on road networks particularly vulnerable to the winter weather. Maintaining acceptable levels of winter service remains a challenging issue amid the struggle with snow and ice on roads. In-depth research on extensive use of new technologies provides a practical approach and application to winter service. Case studies and the major findings of winter maintenance from various countries are expected to form the basis of updating "Snow and Ice Data Book," and winter service in urban areas and the implication of connected and automated vehicles on winter service are investigated as well. It should be noted that Technical Committee is actively engaged in preparing the technical program for the 2022 "World Winter Service and Road Resilience Congress" in Calgary, Canada.

Technical Committee 3.3 "Asset Management" develops, implements, and integrates an asset management framework based on ISO 55001 so that road organizations manage their performance, risks, and costs more effectively and efficiently. The results of the study will bring a guideline for implementing the asset management system. Notably, a web-based asset management manual will be updated through the survey among HMLICs. Extensive efforts are made to explore not only asset management but also the resilience of road networks and renewal and rejuvenation of aging infrastructure.

Technical Committee 3.4 "Environmental Sustainability in Road Infrastructure and Transport" identifies traffic operations to minimize the health impact of vehicle emissions, and improvement of pavement design, construction, and maintenance to reduce traffic noise. Also, understanding the road and road transport impact on wildlife habitats and their interconnections is essential for road construction to be implemented in the area affluent with natural environment. Technical Committee carefully considers environmental sustainability, and diligently presents how road organizations commit to restraining air pollution and traffic noise, and the impact on wildlife habitats.

Task Force 3.1 "Road Infrastructure and Transport Security" forges links with the relevant sectors to assemble knowledge of transportation security issues and their contribution to system resiliency. With the increasing use of cyber-physical systems in monitoring and management, more disciplines involved in the lifecycle of road assets need to have an understanding and appreciation of the security issues that arise. Task Force will provide road infrastructure specialists with high-level guidance on embedding security and security-mindedness so that the number and severity of security incidents decrease throughout the lifecycles of the road assets.