Safety interventions and their contribution to mode shift

Document Type


Publication Date


Subject Area

land use - planning, literature review - literature review, mode - bike, mode - bus, mode - pedestrian, place - australasia, planning - personal safety/crime, planning - safety/accidents, planning - surveys, ridership - mode choice


behaviour, mode shift, safety, transport


There are journeys that are not made and modes of travel that are avoided because they do not meet the basic need to be safe. This research examines safety interventions that induce mode shift to walk, cycle and ride public transport by making the trip safer, either by reducing harm from road crashes, slips, trips or falls, or threats to personal security. Through a review of literature, examination of monitoring indicators, expert interviews and insights from New Zealand case studies, the research reveals the safety interventions shown to affect mode shift and makes recommendations to improve decision-making to gain benefits beyond safety. Infrastructure that physically separates vehicles and cyclists, speed reductions with traffic calming, lighting and real-time public transport information were identified as effective interventions. However, a fundamental aspect of successful safety interventions in achieving mode shift is that they must not be done in a piecemeal or isolated way. The best evidence supports the Safe System approach, looking at entire routes or areas to develop a complete package, looking at the needs and limitations of who is using and avoiding travel, and ultimately looking at whole-of-journey safety.


Permission to publish the abstract has been given by Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency, copyright remains with them.