Implementing evidence based policy in a network-setting. Dutch Road Safety Policy in a shift from a Home to an Away Match
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In the early 1990s, in order to improve road safety in The Netherlands, the Institute for Road Safety Research (SWOV) developed an evidence-based ‘Sustainable Safety’ concept. Based on this concept, Dutch road safety policy, was seen as successful and as a best practice in Europe. In The Netherlands, the policy context has now changed from a sectoral policy setting towards a fragmented network in which safety is a facet of other transport-related policies. In this contribution, it is argued that the implementation strategy underlying Sustainable Safety should be aligned with the changed context. In order to explore the adjustments needed, two perspectives of policy implementation are discussed: (1) national evidence-based policies with sectoral implementation; and (2) decentralized negotiation on transport policy in which road safety is but one aspect. We argue that the latter approach matches the characteristics of the newly evolved policy context best, and conclude with recommendations for reformulating the implementation strategy.