Toll roads

Road safety is one of the greatest challenges facing international public health today. There are 1.2 million traffic fatalities all over the world each year. The solution to this global challenge involves improving infrastructures, user behaviour and vehicle safety as well as demanding greater stringency in complying with traffic regulations.

Ferrovial's strategy for toll road safety revolves around five areas:

  • Support for heads of road safety in decision making on the basis of available information and data.

  • Research and development of safer toll road designs.

  • Improvements in preventing adverse weather incidents.

  • Ongoing audits of compliance with safety and health standards.

  • Contributions to heightening social awareness of road safety.

In 2007, Grupisa launched the Infocoex road safety system, which integrates all traffic and surveillance software and communications systems. This management system, which involved an investment of 1.1 million euros, will be completely developed by December 2008 and enables:

  • Fast, effective data to be obtained from all toll road activities.

  • Real time knowledge of road incidents, phases of attention, road conditions in the most adverse situations and road safety maintenance levels, in accordance with established standards.

  • Real data on existing elements to be obtained with their conservation status and service quality, based on the numerical criteria that define indicators.

  • The application of procedures for computerised warnings that send proactive incident reports to the different people in charge, in coordination with information access capacities through mobile devices from any point of the infrastructure.

Ferrovial has a system for prevention work that compiles and analises online data from Grupisa's weather stations, which can be sent to third parties.

In 2007, Ferrovial concluded the development of the Image ECHO system, which allows images to be sent through an IP address (GPRS and UMTS) from any point of a toll road or populated urban area through a country's mobile telephony systems.

To design safer, more sustainable toll roads, Ferrovial actively participates in the Fénix project on researching and developing asphalt mixes. This project, in which another 25 companies, Spanish universities and institutions participate, is Europe's most comprehensive R+D effort in the toll road paving area. With a 31-million-euro budget, this four-year project is articulated around 12 research lines that include the development of active nanomaterials to reduce vehicle emissions, new production technologies for more efficient asphalt plants, new and safer bituminous mixes obtained through environmentally friendly procedures which reduce accidents risks and proactive integrated toll road safety systems or energy saving of the solar radiation absorbed by pavements.

Ferrovial participates in two research projects on toll road conservation with the Asociación de Empresas de Conservación y Explotación de Infraestructuras (ACEX): one to optimise road safety solutions applied from the conservation viewpoint and the other related to preventive winter road treatments (a computerised weather forecasting system). Some of the most outstanding advances in this area last year included the new winter toll road management plan implemented by the 407 ETR Toll Road in Toronto, Canada and the construction of salt silos for winter toll road maintenance.

All health and safety incidents are investigated. Audits conducted at toll road concessions revealed 3,240 health-related incidents detected and solved and 158 complaints received during 2007.

Some of the most outstanding accomplishments in training and raising social awareness in 2007 included the road safety campaigns developed by Chilean toll roads at schools within the concessions' areas of influence and Cintra Chile's support for the "Manéjate Bien" Interscholastic Road Safety Championship to educate 3,000 potential drivers between the ages of 15 and 18.