Excellent coordination and cooperation among the parties involved in emergency situations is required for successfully managing these. A legal framework is needed to define the respective responsibilities, key roles and competences of participating entities. Figure 4.3 shows an interrelation diagram of road-, non-road-related and road users in coordinative and cooperative actions in emergency situations.
Clear legal responsibilities covering a range of activities and timeline for emergency management, from planning to restoration of an affected area, is of paramount importance to successful implementation of such framework.
National and local governments, related coordination bodies for disaster management at national and local levels as well as the private sector and road network stakeholders, need to establish a well-defined emergency management system with clear actions to be taken in each stage of the emergency management process: prevention/preparedness, emergency response and recovery/rehabilitation.
Road traffic can be affected from a range of situations, ranging from slight traffic disruptions to extensive disruptions and damages in transportation technology, infrastructure and systems. The consequences of natural and man-made hazards that result in emergency situations are even more pronounced in extreme and complex situations that are defined as crises.
The aim of an organization is to anticipate and adequately respond to emergency situations in the form of contingency planning and by creating the necessary material, financial and human resources needed to address the emergency.
Management of emergency situations consists of institutional and functional components. The institutional component describes the type of emergency situations, the managerial hierarchy and the functionality, competencies, relationships and constraints of the interconnected organizational elements needed to address the situation. The functional component involves a comprehensive set of action plans, experiences, recommendations and measures to be used by organizations responsible for contingency planning and emergency situation management.