Knowledge utilisation in road safety policy

barriers to the use of knowledge from economic analysis

Charlotte Bax, Rune Elvik, Knut Veisten

pp. 275-285

Previous research has found that the priority given to road safety measures is not based on the results of economic analyses, in particular cost–benefit analysis. This paper tries to identify some reasons for this fact. Knowledge utilisation theory is applied as a framework for identifying barriers. A typology of barriers to the use of economic efficiency analyses in road safety policy is developed. The presence of the barriers is investigated empirically by means of interviews of 83 road safety decision-makers in various European countries. Various technical barriers, particularly a lack of knowledge of the effects of road safety measures, are found. Based on a multivariate correspondence analysis (HOMALS), respondents can be placed in two groups with respect to the barriers they regard as most important. One group regards ethical objections to cost–benefit analyses as important, the other group but regards a large group of other barriers as important.

Publication details

DOI: 10.1007/s12130-009-9088-6

Full citation:

Bax, C. , Elvik, R. , Veisten, K. (2009). Knowledge utilisation in road safety policy: barriers to the use of knowledge from economic analysis. Knowledge, Technology & Policy 22 (4), pp. 275-285.

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