Province of Antwerp BITS-pilot on 3D-camera technology nominated for the Flemish Road Safety Award
The Province of Antwerp is partner in the European BITS (Bicycles and Intelligent Transport Systems) project in the North Sea Region program. The aim of the project is to increase green mobility using technology and data to address road safety, convenience and comfort for cyclists. The 3D-camera pilot is one of the 23 pilot cases in the BITS project.
With the 3D-camera technology the behaviour of all traffic was monitored at an intersection including the F18 Cycle Highway, a traffic lane and the railway. The images of the camera are automatically processed, dividing all road users in different categories like pedestrians, cyclists, light and heavy traffic. The trajectory of every road user is registered together with the speed and time. With this technology, near accidents can be detected so that measures can be taken on the location to improve the safety of the crossing.
The Flemish Institute for Road Safety nominated three projects for the Road Safety Award. The three nominated projects use technology to improve road safety, which add a new way to contribute to road safety in addition to measures on infrastructure, education and enforcement.
The camera technology is a product of the Swedish company Viscando. The Belgian company Signco installed the cameras on the lighting poles at the crossing. This technology makes a long-term objective observation of a dangerous crossing or other traffic situation and a thorough evaluation possible. Especially the analyses on near accidents and the insights on the effective use in comparison with the desired use as intended in the design deliver valuable data.
The research shows clearly that cyclists and pedestrians use the whole crossing and not only the marked crossings. Cyclists use the single sides cycle paths bidirectional on the railroad crossing and the curves are too narrow. This behaviour explains the recorded 24 near accidents per day between cyclists. Near accidents between cyclists and vehicles on the one hand and between vehicles and vehicles on the other hand showed the same average; 7- 8 near accidents were recorded. The data also shows that the portal effect on the traffic road, to reduce traffic speed, does not have the intended effect.
By using these results, measures to improve the safety on this crossing are suggested to the municipality. Some minor measures, e.g. marking the selected cycle paths with road paint, a highly reflected layer on the marked cycle crossings or the installation of road signs can be implemented on a very short term. Major measures, like shifting the Cycle Highway connection or broadening the cycle paths need more study. The data is relevant for similar crossings elsewhere and can also be reused as a simple counting dataset.
For further information about the project 3D-camera project, please contact the Province of Antwerp firstname.lastname@example.org .