PHÄLIKS - The Phenomenon of driving left on multi-lane motorways - Measures and recommendations for the rule of keeping to the right side of the road

Within this study the phenomenon of driving on the left side on motorways was described and analysed with psychological, traffic related, juridical and sociological methods. Based on these results adequate measures were developed; that should enhance or facilitate the proper compliance with the traffic rules in Austria, which is driving on the right side of the road. Experts from relevant fields of expertise and competence (traffic, landscape, sociology etc.) accompanied the whole process by giving their input, evaluating the results of the exploration of the driving-left issue, and prepared and optimised the practical output of the project.

Short Description

Starting point / motivation

Driving-left, a phenomenon observed on multi-lanes motorways has a negative impact on both traffic safety and on the quality of traffic flow. However, the cause of this traffic offence, of the likely characteristics of left-driving drivers, and of the effects of driving-left on traffic flow and traffic safety has been investigated only marginally.

Typical left-driving offenders were established and the specific criteria of the phenomenon were identified. The traffic rules in Austria imply to drive on the right side of the road, according to StVO § 7 Abs. 1.Regarding the matter of driving left in multi-line motorways, there is no clear definition neither in the legislation nor in the available literature.

Contents and goals

The objective of the nationwide survey was the quantitative assessment but mostly the qualitative detection of the phenomenon. Interviews on the spot, locally and at two highway service stations in the west and east of Austria, helped to record the opinions and thoughts on the topic.

In particular, the knowledge of the legal situation, the frequency of the traffic violence, and the way how the drivers handle the resulting stress and risk situations were examined. The causes of left driving was explored and the drivers self-assessment was required (how often were they involved in the misconduct of left driving despite the given and mandatory possibility of swerving into the right lane).

Methods

In a focus group of experts, the legal requirements, monitoring and penalising of driving-left were analysed. Based on their expertise, the experts suggested viable measures; also possible chances for success of those measures were discussed. Following the analysis of focus groups results, a questionnaire for car drivers was developed. Finally, the corrective measures were discussed together with prospects for success of an awareness-changing action.

Two groups of drivers, one from the western, other from the eastern
Austria, were interviewed about road behaviour and quality of traffic flow associated with left-driving and traffic safety. The objective of the nationwide survey was the quantitative assessment but mostly the qualitative detection of the phenomenon. Interviews on the spot, locally and at two highway service stations in the west and east of Austria, helped to record the opinions and thoughts on the topic.

Results and Conclusions

Based on the findings of the qualitative and quantitative surveys, adequate measures adjusted accordingly to the characteristics of the potential left-driving offenders were developed. With the help of in-depth interview (stated-response technique) with the left drivers the potential effectiveness of the measures evaluated. The drivers answered detailed questions about their motivation and willingness for the change of their attitudes.

Once the survey results have been evaluated, action models for incentive measures for countering the phenomenon of driving-left were developed. Conclusively, the developed models were assessed and evaluated by a group of experts. The final compilation was an implementation list or catalogue of measures.

On-site measures for the obligation of driving on the right side of the road (in combination with signs on the roadside, floor markings or reminder texts in head-up displays) present the highest acceptance and effectiveness.

The possible implementation of automatic controlling system of the compliance to the obligation to drive right with the aid of additional technical devices has to be analysed. Furthermore, it is important emphasise the obligation of driving right during the highway-part in driving lessons, as well as in media-campaigns.

It is of great importance to accompany these measures with evaluation-studies.

Publications

PHÄLIKS - The Phenomenon of driving left on multi-lane motorways - Measures and recommendations for the rule of keeping to the right side of the road

Within this study the phenomenon of driving on the left side on motorways was described and analysed with psychological, traffic related, juridical and sociological methods. Based on these results adequate measures were developed; these should enhance or facilitate the proper compliance with the traffic rules in Austria, which is driving on the right side of the road. Experts from relevant fields of expertise and competence (traffic, landscape, sociology etc.) accompanied the whole process by giving their inputs, evaluating the results of the exploration of the driving-left issue, and prepared and optimised the practical output of the project. Dr. Christine Chaloupka-Risser, Dipl.-Ing. Dr. Wolfgang J. Berger, Mag. Martin Hoffer, Dipl.-Ing. Ulrike Raich, Mag. Doris Wunsch, Mag. Karin Ausserer, Bakk.techn. Thomas Rothberger, Publisher: bmvit
German, 277 Seiten

Publication Downloads

Project Partners

Project management

Dr. Christine Chaloupka-Risser - FACTUM Chaloupka&Risser OHG

Project partners

  • Mag. Martin Hoffer - AMTC
  • Ass.Prof. DI. Dr. Wolfgang J. Berger - Universität für Bodenkultur Wien - Institut für Verkehrswesen

Contact Address

FACTUM Chaloupka&Risser OHG
Dr. Christine Chaloupka-Risser
Tel.: +43 (1) 504 15 46
E-mail: christine.chaloupka@factum.at

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