Dutch cooperation to prevent accidents at lane closures

SWARCO, Heijmans, V-Tron and NXP, members of Bouwend Nederland and Techniek Nederland, have joined forces to increase road safety with infrastructure-to-vehicle communication and are in contact with the Dutch government to contribute in the improvement of road safety around roadworks.

Every day, between 200 and 500 drivers in the Netherlands ignore the red cross indicating a lane closure on state highways, putting themselves and others in unnecessary danger. Ignoring closed lanes makes it increasingly risky for road workers to perform maintenance and help in case of vehicle breakdowns. They have to deal with aggression and life-threatening driving behaviour from car drivers who fail to notice the danger. In 2021 alone, this led to 40 accidents involving warning trailers and weighted crash absorbers. The dramatic accidents not only cause huge material damage, but – even worse – also injuries and fatalities. That year, nearly 6,000 drivers were fined for ignoring red cross lane control signals, which is just the tip of the iceberg, according to the Dutch Ministry for Infrastructure and Waterways, Rijkswaterstaat. (source: Actuele verkeersongevallencijfers (rijkswaterstaat.nl).

Heijmans, a Dutch construction company sees the safety of their road workers as a top priority, SWARCO, supplier of roadside units and C-ITS services, V-Tron, specialist in on-board units, and NXP, expert for chip sets for short range communication, have teamed up to propose a technical solution to prevent accidents with warning trailers and weighted crash absorbers. Many vehicles in the Netherlands already have the necessary technology on board. Ideally, this communication should work both long range and short range. Roadside equipment needs to send data to the vehicle, intervening in the car's safety system, as a last resort.

“The partners have proven that this cooperative, connected and automated mobility solution (CCAM) works”, says SWARCO NEDERLAND Managing Director Freek van der Valk. “With the launch at Smart Infra Experience in October 2023, we jointly demonstrated how car drivers can be actively warned of dangerous situations or the risk of entering a closed lane. In extreme cases, the technology even makes the car come to a complete stop; in time to avoid a collision and save lives.” Heijmans, SWARCO, V-tron and NXP see that DG Move has designed its policy to support the CCAM technology and the partners are ready to bundle the knowledge and expertise with the Dutch government in order to achieve in a good cooperation to enforce the CCAM solution for national implementation of road safety.

“It is our pleasure to have SWARCO as member of the Supervisory board in our public/private partnership ERTICO-ITS Europe. CCAM is a key focus area for us. Together with our partners, we created an ecosystem for safety related traffic information through the DataForRoadSafety consortium (www.dataforroadsafety.eu). Data sharing between vehicle manufacturers, service providers, road operators and the overall transport community is key to contribute to our European goal of Vision Zero road fatalities. The cooperative element in CCAM is paramount”, Joost VanTomme, ERTICO Chief Executive Officer stated.

Intertraffic visitors are invited to have a look at the CCAM solution and its potential to protect the lives of road workers on the SWARCO stand 02.222 in hall 2.