Road crashes are now widely recognized as a serious social and economical problem. And different measures and programs were devised to reduce the blood toll on roads. On the international level, United Nations, World Health Organization, European Commission, International financing organization (especially World Bank, ADB, EIB, IBRD, Islamic Bank,...) and some specialized NGO (PIARC, ETSC, PRI, SEETO, ...), are now working to improve global road safety. In autumn 2009, ministers and stakeholders from all over the world met in Moscow (First Global ministerial conference on Road Safety) and called upon the United Nations to take leadership of this global problem affecting all nations. This issue was discussed at United Nations and a worldwide decade for road safety was announced in 2011. The international community of United Nations Regional Economic Commission, WHO, development banks, major road safety research institutes; Global companies and NGOs are now cooperating to address this global problem. One of the popular misconceptions is that the faults or bad behaviour of a driver are alone in almost all cases, the cause of road traffic crashes. As result of a basic research project, it is evident, that in every third crash the road environment has at least some influence (road environment factors 34 %) on the occurrence of a crash.
As a consequence of recognition that most crashes have multiple contributory factors, Road Safety Management was developed as the best way to decrease the total number of crashes in a country. The identification, analysis and treatment of Black Spots is a well proven method for reducing the number and severity of crashes on the road network. High effective and low cost remedial treatments can offer first year rates of return of several hundred percent. Black Spot treatments are amongst the most cost-effective investments a Road Authority can undertake. With its Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council no. 2008/96 on road infrastructure safety management, published in October 2008, the European Union made a clear decision that the BSM should be mandatory for the trans-European Road Network in the following years. In the mentioned EU directive, the BSM is part of a package road safety measures as follows:
- Road safety impact assessment (RIA),
- Road safety audit for the design stages of roads (RSA),
- Safety ranking and management of the road network in operation, including management of high risks road sections (BSM),
- Road safety inspections for existing roads (RSI) and
- In-depth crash analysis (IDS).
Black Spot management presents a systematic approach for identification, analysis, treatment and evaluation of countermeasures used at hazardous locations on the road network. The basis for Black Spot identification is statistical data analysis of road crash record and mapping of crash locations. The output of BSM is normally a proposal of countermeasures which will decrease the risk of crashes at the treated locations. The Black Spot identification and treatment Guidelines are based on best international practice and special attention is given to the harmonization of black spot management approaches.