Transport and Ethics

Transport and Ethics

Ethics and the Evaluation of Transport Policies and Projects

Transport Economics, Management and Policy series

Bert van Wee

This insightful book discusses the use of Cost–Benefit Analysis (CBA) for transport policy options from an ethical perspective. Each detailed chapter deals with issues such as: the use and ethical aspects of CBA in transport, social exclusion, the environment and long term sustainability, safety, ethics of research and modelling transport. It summarizes ethics-based critics on CBA and discusses their relevance for accessibility, the environment and safety. In addition it explores ethical dilemmas of doing CBAs and CBA related research. The book concludes with possible avenues for further exploring the links between transport and ethics.

Chapter 6: Safety: Indicators, Pricing Humans and Democracy

Bert van Wee

Subjects: economics and finance, environmental economics, transport, valuation, environment, environmental economics, transport, valuation, urban and regional studies, transport


6.1 INTRODUCTION Questions related to safety and ethics include: ● ● ● ● ● Is it ethically OK to express the value of a human life in monetary terms? Is it relevant for the ex ante evaluation of policy options if people stay at home because they think the transport system is not safe enough? Is the distribution of safety risks over population groups relevant? If so, why, and how to deal with it? Is the life of a victim more valuable than that of the offender? What to value: the willingness to pay for risk reductions, or changes in Quality Adjusted Life Years? Transport policy making largely relates to accessibility, the environment and safety. Nowadays, almost all countries have safety related policies. Common ingredients of such policies include speed limits that vary by road category, regulations for drinking (maximum alcohol content in the blood), wearing helmets on motorized two wheelers, and safety related design criteria (as often expressed in manuals) for road and rail infrastructure. In the ex ante evaluation of transport policies safety effects are generally included. Because of the evaluative perspective of this book (see Chapter 1), this chapter also primarily deals with the ethics of safety from an evaluation perspective. However, the relationships between transport safety and ethics are more wide ranging. Fahlquist (2009) discusses the ethics of road safety using the concepts of criminalization, paternalism, privacy, justice and responsibility. For example, the use of vehicles (e.g. road vehicles, flying aircraft) also includes ethical aspects. Is speeding or drink driving a...

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