The key principle for road tunnel safety is the integrated approach describing the cybernetic model how a tunnel system with an acceptable safety level can be established and maintained throughout the life cycle of a tunnel. This process includes safety assessment principles – to decide on an analytical basis, whether the safety level of a tunnel is acceptable – as well as the feedback from practical lessons learned, based on the experience from past incidents.
The outcome of serious incidents may be significantly affected by human behaviour which can be difficult to predict. Human factors are relevant in the interaction with tunnel operators as well as with tunnel users.
A topic with specific relevance for road tunnel safety is the transport of dangerous goods. Therefor basic principles and regulations for the transport of dangerous goods through road tunnels are also addressed in this chapter.