Crashes have multiple contributory factors but it is often clear that there are some parts of every road network where there is an unusually high frequency of road crashes. These dangerous locations are often called " blackspots" and the identification, analysis and treatment of such Black Spots is a well proven method for reducing the number and severity of crashes on the road network. Highly 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. This systematic BlackSpot Management ( BSM ) to remove such dangerous locations is an important tool
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 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.