Vias institute is in regular contact with official bodies in other countries, working with them on a variety of international projects. For one of these projects, work was carried out with the TØI transport institute in Norway to help improve the safety of vulnerable road-users through the study of traffic conflict incidents (“near-accidents”) via semi-automated video image analyses.

“Classic” analyses of traffic accidents have a number of major disadvantages. In the main (fortunately) accidents are seldom incidents from which difficult statistically reliable conclusions can be drawn. There tends to be little information about the circumstances and the types of conduct that led to the accident. There is also an ethical problem in that this type of reactive approach assumes in the first place that serious accidents have to happen before we can step in and take any action.

For this reason, in the InDeV-NO project (In-Depth understanding of accident causation for Vulnerable road users in NOrway), research is being conducted into the causes of accidents involving vulnerable road-users using analyses of traffic conflicts (“near-accidents”) assembled from video images. Special video analysis software will be used to select dangerous traffic situations from video images recorded at various crossroads in Norway. These will then be accurately and objectively measured to see exactly just how dangerous the situation actually was. The video images from these sorts of dangerous situations are an interesting source of information and by studying them we can highlight the possible causes of accidents so that they can be prevented.

The researchers from Vias institute will be brought into InDeV-NO on account of their extensive experience in analysing video images and the in-depth analysis of traffic conflicts. The InDeV-NO project is part of a European Horizon2020 project (InDeV) being conducted in seven countries.