Overweight vehicles’ impacts on road infrastructure and safety

20004
From 2020 to 2021
Overweight vehicles can damage or collapse the road infrastructure and cause a road safety danger. How can we ensure heavy vehicles comply better to the existing regulations and thus better preserve the road infrastructure and ensure road safety?
This study, commissioned by World Road Association PIARC, first aims to draft a clear image of the impact of overweight vehicles on road infrastructure and road safety, both from a technical / structural perspective and from an economic perspective. Secondly, we make a compilation of worldwide best practices and policies to propose appropriate mitigation or enforcement tools and policy to road administrations and decision makers, to ensure heavy vehicles comply better to the existing regulations.

Countries around the world have set weight limits for vehicles using the road network. The main objectives of these limits are to preserve the road infrastructure and to ensure the road safety characteristics of the vehicle. Despite the weight limits set by the authorities, a certain number of vehicles exceed these limits creating overweight vehicles which can damage or collapse the road infrastructure and cause a road safety danger.
In this respect, the study aims to answer two key questions: What is the impact of overweight vehicles on road infrastructure and road safety, both from a technical/structural perspective and from an economic perspective? And which appropriate policy measures can be taken to ensure heavy vehicles comply better to the prevailing regulations in this field?

The project will provide a thorough understanding of overweight vehicles impacts on road infrastructure, both from a technical / structural perspective and from an economic perspective, and of overweight vehicles’ impacts on road safety. Researchers will also gather a quick understanding of the freight business to use overweight vehicles.
Next to that, TML and its consortium partners will present a compilation of best practices and policies (including unsuccessful ones) to tackle the detection and enforcement against overweight vehicles: in terms of technology (weigh in motion and others), but also in terms of prosecution (fines, immobilisation of cargo, etc.), and change of behaviour of drivers and freight industry (education, etc.).

In order to collect international information regarding weight limits, overweight vehicles and the impact of them, we collect data through literature review and an online survey among the members of PIARC. The impact of overweighting on infrastructure will be analysed in three ways: theoretically, through literature review, and additionally also through simulations. The study will collect worldwide successful and unsuccessful practices, policies and case studies regarding weight limits and overweight vehicles, through the online survey among the members of PIARC. The impact of overweight vehicles on road safety will initially be assessed against basic engineering theory. This will then be cross referenced and supported by comparison to existing scientific literature measuring the basic effects and also assessing less direct safety effects.


TML is heavily involved in all project tasks, and is also coordinator of the study, which is conducted by a consortium involving project partners DNDI (the national road research institute of the Ukraine), LNEC (the national road research institute of Portugal) and Apollo Vehicle Safety Ltd. of the United Kingdom.
 

Period

From 2020 to 2021

Client

PIARC
© 2021 Transport & Mobility Leuven | Westsite: Online Oplossingen en Webdesign