The project consists of the development of a Road Safety Pilot Plan to provide MTI technicians with the tools and methodology necessary for more efficient accident management at the national level.
The plan sets out with an analysis of current accident rates and the drawing up of a national accident map with which to identify at least 50 critical points ordered by priority criteria, in order to achieve a deeper understanding of the problem of road traffic accidents in Nicaragua.
Once the 50 worst accident spots had been identified according to a range of criteria, 10 points were selected in which to develop the Road Safety Pilot Plan. This plan consisted firstly of conducting road safety inspections at each point identified, with the necessary field visits of the auditing team accompanied by staff from the MTI, to allow for road safety diagnosis to be made.
Then, thanks to the exhaustive diagnosis work, and based on the conclusions reached in each report, a specific intervention project was designed for each critical point with low cost measures and medium and long term recommendations when necessary, including memorandum, plans and budget, enabling the MTI to address the interventions designed with the appropriate guarantees. Each one of the measures entailed an in- depth prioritization study using Cost/Benefit ratios to help in the decision-making process.
In addition the team of international experts, as part of the process for improving the country’s road safety management, proceeded to draw up a traffic accident da ta form for implementation in coordination with the National Police including training for MTI staff, National Police, Highway Maintena nce (FOMAV), the Health Authorities, Red Cross and Fire Se rvice, with recommendations on the procedure and analysis of accident data.
Finally the technical staff of the Road Safety Department of the MTI, FOMAV and the National Police was provided with an advanced accident Management software required for traffic accident statistical analysis and for designing Solutions to Road Safety problems.
This management software was intended as a powerful tool capable of the continuous management of road network, traffic and accident data in Nicaragua and its design complied with the requirement that it Could be used by technicians not necessarily familiarized with this type of tool. To achieve this objective, data obtained on the country’s geo-referenced road network where accidents had happened during the 2006-2012 period was included in the software as were traffic data if available.
The project took into account a series of modules that allow:
- Network, traffic and accident data to be consulted, including a summary of the consult and visualization of graphs with additional information.
- The calculation of accident indicators and parameters with the possibility of comparing values calculated between different roads and settings.
- The detection of trouble spots with different sectoralization options.
- Maps representing the road network, accident locations and trouble spots.
- The introduction of new geo-referenced, traffic and accident data in a quick and effective way using templates and thereby enabling the constant updating of the information by users not necessarily used to databases.
The specific case of Nicaragua is a revealing example of how, setting out from a very basic level of the study of accidents, the use of technologies applied to the Road Safety service and the implementation of methodologies such as Road Safety inspections or the establishment of Cost/Benefit ratios, could transform the scenario and in a short period of time be able to apply advanced technological management tools, achieving immediate results which help the decision-making process.