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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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Road Safety Manual

A manual for practitioners and decision makers on implementing safe system infrastructure

Second Edition

The new Road Safety Manual (RSM) is designed to help countries at every stage of infrastructure development to fulfil road safety objectives.

It is aligned with key pillars for the United Nations Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020:

  • Pillar 1: Road Safety Management;
  • Pillar 2: Safer Roads and Mobility;
  • Pillar 4: Safer Road Users.

This comprehensive resource builds on the broad range of knowledge and experience provided by PIARC since the first edition. It includes new thinking on road safety and offers a clear argument on why adopting a Safe System approach is crucial for your country.

The Safe System approach aims for a more forgiving road system that takes human fallibility and vulnerability into account. Under the Safe System approach, everyone (public agencies, automobile manufacturers, road users, enforcement officials, and others) must share the responsibility for road safety outcomes.

Regularly updated, the manual is split into three parts and can be downloaded and printed in chapters, in order to be used on the spot.

Printed versions are no longer available.

Archive 2003 - Road Safety Manual

Edition 2003

In 2003, PIARC published a Road Safety Manual. It consisted of four parts:

  • Part 1 - Introduction to Road Safety
  • Part 2 - Analysis Process
  • Part 3 - Data sheets
  • Part 4 - Technical studies

This 2003 manual was published thanks to the financial support and human resources made available by the Ministry of Transport of Quebec, as well as financial contributions from France, Greece and Switzerland.This document is almost twenty years old and is made available here as an archive. It is currently being analysed for inclusion in the online manual, which is more up to date with regard to Introduction to Road Safety and Analysis Process. Parts 3 and 4 cover more technical aspects of the 2003 manual, which are not included in the 2019 manual. They will be updated before integration.

The 2003 Road Safety Manual can be downloaded in PDF.

In any case, the reference PIARC manual is the online manual published in 2015 and updated in 2019.