Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Transportation, Safety and Environment: An Engineering Perspective

Transportation Engineering Significance in Socioeconomic Development 

It is recognized worldwide that good highway transportation facilities have a great impact on economic growth. However, there are many negative effects associated with developing suitable highway transportation infrastructure including negative impacts on safety and the environment. The magnitude of road safety has been a subject of discussion worldwide due to an increase in road accidents. Similarly, the associated environmental effects while developing and maintaining transportation infrastructure is of concern on the FE exam.

The materials used in the transportation industry are predominantly comprised of fossil fuel combustion byproducts, such as fly ash produced from thermal power stations and aggregate dust from the cement industry; these are the largest sources of air pollution. Transportation infrastructure development also causes health and social issues such as noise pollution, the loss of agriculture land and rural unemployment.  However, the transportation of industrial products and people is key for socioeconomic development. Transportation promotes trade and provides an opportunity for employment, education and provincial development. Minimizing deforestation and employing ecologically friendly measures are necessary to significantly curb the greenhouse gas emissions of the transportation industry.

Importance of Transportation Engineering Strategies for Safety and Environment

To overcome the environmental and safety challenges of highway transportation, a number of strategies have been developed and implemented.  Implementation of these strategies is mainly based on current knowledge of various environmental measures and highway safety. The effect of current highway safety measures on the environment is high. Further, there is a need for a better understanding and an examination of the potential interactions of highway safety measures with the environment while planning and executing the development of transportation infrastructure.  Transportation engineers play an important role in identifying and developing appropriate strategies that have multiple safety benefits without any adverse effects on the environment.

Basic Highway Engineering Parameters for Better Transportation, Safety and Environment

There are different categories of specifications and standards that are usually followed worldwide and are also discussed during FE exam review. Providing better road connectivity, considering measures for reducing vehicle traffic noise, education and training of carrier communities on regular vehicle maintenance are important parameters. These parameters are essential to improve the efficiency of transportation system operations.  It is important to encourage and enforce ridesharing, car sharing and carpooling activities as well as bicycling, walking and the use of public transportation. It is also necessary to use technologies that increase fuel saving efficiency, provide tax benefits to promote green technologies and expand mass rapid transit systems. These measures will have positive effects on road safety and pollution by lowering road accidents, reducing the total distance traveled and minimizing greenhouse gas emissions.

Quality Control and Quality Assurance in Implementation of Precaution Measures

There are several limitations of applying all of these precaution measures. The range of specific implementation of each potential measure is too large, and hence, the results depend on successful implementation. Focusing on relatively broad environmental and road-safety measures of highway engineering will improve your score on the Fundamentals of Engineering Exam. Further, the classification of road-safety and environmental effects are very broad. The measures identified can have both positive and negative effects, and the final outcome of any measure always depends on quality control and quality assurance of implementation. 

No comments :

Post a Comment