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Reducing the road safety performance gap between EU Member States and offering high levels of safety on all European roads is one of the most important objectives of the European Commission in the area of transport. The EU Road Safety Exchange project wants to help reduce this gap through the exchange of knowledge and experience on effective road safety measures. The project will develop partnerships between road safety professionals in different European countries and help address their specific road safety challenges through twinning activities. On 9 October 2019, a high level event in Brussels marked the official launch of the project.
The European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) has published a short video explaining how alcohol interlock programmes in several European countries are helping to cut drink-driving. Ending drink-driving in the EU could prevent up to 5.000 deaths every year.
A paper titled “Driving difficulties as reported by older drivers with mild cognitive impairment and without neurological impairment” authored by Sophia Vardaki, Anne E. Dickerson, Ion Beratis, George Yannis and Sokratis G. Papageorgiou is now published in Traffic Injury Prevention. The purpose of this study was to explore the factors determining driving difficulties as seen from the viewpoint of 30 older drivers with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and 30 age-matched controls without cognitive impairment. The analysis revealed that 2 factors underlie MCI perceptions of driving difficulties, representing (1) difficulties associated with late detection combined with slowed response to relevant targets in the peripheral field of view and (2) difficulties associated with divided attention between tasks requiring switching from automatic to conscious processing particularly of long duration.
The Hellenic Institute of Transportation Engineers (HITE) in collaboration with the Hellenic Institute of Transport (HIT/CERTH), organized a workshop entitled “Transport and Tourism” which took place with great success on Wednesday, September 4th 2019, in Rhodes Island, under the auspices of the South Aegean Region. Through a dialogue between stakeholders of transport and tourism, the workshop explored how the transport sector can be promoted in relation to tourism (and vice-versa), so that the Greek touristic destinations can provide safe and high standard transport services and infrastructures, also taking advantage of the technological developments in the field. NTUA actively contributed with the following presentation: Tourism and Road Accidents in Greece
The City of Edmonton’s Traffic Safety section organized the 22nd International Council on Alcohol, Drugs and Traffic Safety (ICADTS) Conference, which was held with great success in Edmonton, Canada, on 18-21 August 2019. This multi-disciplinary conference brought together experts from public health and road safety, traffic and transport psychology, public health, law, medicine, economics, law enforcement, public policy, education, pharmacology, toxicology, forensic science, human factors, and alcohol intervention and rehabilitation.NTUA actively contributed with the following presentation: BAC Per Se Laws: Are they Related to Drivers’ Perceived Attitude, Acceptability, and Behaviors regarding DUI?
The European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) has published a Report titled “Road Safety Priorities for the EU 2020-2030: Briefing for the new European Parliament”. In June 2019, the Commission published a new Strategic Action Plan on Road Safety that includes a new long-term target to halve road deaths by 2030 as well as, for the first time, a target to reduce serious injuries by the same amount. The EU must implement this new policy framework so that it ensures both the highest practicable level of safety and a fair distribution of safety across the European Union. New legislative proposals on improving both infrastructure and vehicle safety are currently being finalised. Their further implementation and the development of new legislation in other areas will be in the hands of newly elected MEPs over the period 2019-2024.
The European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) has published a Report titled “Independence in Investigation of Transport Accidents”. The aim of this Report is to promote a set of principles for independence of transport accident investigation in Europe, under which the requirements for independent investigation could be met by the EU itself, by each Member State and by any other European country.
The UK Department for Transport organized an International Road Safety Conference which took place in London on 3-4 September 2019. The International Road Safety Conference brought together Ministers, road safety experts and private sector representatives from across the globe. The two day event focused on collaborative learning, with key topics to be discussed including Vision Zero, the Safe Systems Approach, and a focus on technology and innovation.
The EU-funded EuroMed Transport Support Project (EuroMed) and World Health Organisation (WHO) released a joint Report titled: “Understanding and bridging the differences between country-reported and WHO-estimated road traffic fatality data“. It focuses on the considerable challenges in collecting complete, accurate and reliable road traffic fatality data that some countries worldwide are facing. Moreover, it attempts to explain the disparity between WHO estimates and country-reported data on road traffic fatality and provide suggestions on what steps countries can take to strengthen their data systems.
Within the framework of the 3rd Global Ministerial Conference on Road Safety, co-organised by the World Health Organisation and the Swedish Government and will take place on 19–20 February 2020 in Stockholm the Academic Expert Group of the Conference has compiled a set of recommendations for a road safety strategy for the period 2020-2030 and some preliminary conclusions on the Decade of Action for Road Safety and the 2030 Agenda.
A FEHRL Infrastructure Research Workshop took place with great success on 18 July 2019 in the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport in Athens, Greece. The key-note speech concerned: “On-Ramp to innovation: Let’s co-create together our future transport infrastructure“ and it coincides with the celebration of the 30th anniversary of FEHRL. NTUA actively contributed with the following presentation: Department of Transportation Planning and Engineering
Tongji University organized the “7th International Symposium on Transportation Safety” which took place with great success on 09-10 July 2019, in Shanghai. The Symposium focused on innovations promoting the development of traffic management methods and technologies, and brought together some of the world-leading experts in road safety and traffic modeling, who presented their work on the utilization of big data, cloud computing, statistical modeling, safety surrogate measures, and artificial intelligence. NTUA actively contributed with the following presentation: Advanced Safety Modeling and Management Platform
A Diploma Thesis titled “Investigation of traffic and safety behaviour of pedestrians texting or web-surfing” was recently presented by Marilia Ropaka. The regression analyses developed in this research pointed out that in high pedestrian traffic, mobile use not only decreases pedestrians’ speed, regardless of their age, but also increases their probability of being involved in an accident with an oncoming vehicle. Results indicated that distraction caused by texting or web-surfing had a negative impact on pedestrians’ main traffic and safety characteristics.
A Diploma Thesis titled “Impact of economic, social and transport indicators on serious road injuries in the European Union” was recently presented by Maria Charalampidi. Generalized Linear Models application lead to the conclusion that the percentage of passenger cars with EuroNcap scores 5 stars has the most important impact and its increase leads to serious road injuries decrease. Moreover, the increase of the percentage of buses leads to significant decrease not only to the number of serious road injuries but also to the severity of road accidents.
NTUA Professor George Yannis made a synthesis presentation of road safety performance and respective measures in Greece, at the European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) PIN Panel Meeting, on 20 June, 2019 in Brussels. Greece has made the most impressive road safety improvement in the EU during the last decade (51% road fatalities decrease), with 690 fatalities in 2018: the best ever performance since 1965 and only 61 lives to be saved to reach the EU 2020 target. This is the combined result of the economic crisis and a series of important and systematic measures on road infrastructure, traffic safety legislation and safe road user behaviour campaigns. Road Safety in Greece
A paper titled “Analysis of driver behaviour through smartphone data: The case of mobile phone use while driving” authored by Eleonora Papadimitriou, Anastasia Argyropoulou, Dimitris Tselentis, and George Yannis is now published in Safety Science. The aim of this paper is to explore driving behaviour during mobile phone use on the basis of detailed driving analytics collected by smartphone sensors from OSeven Telematics. The data came from a sample of one hundred drivers (18,850 trips) during a naturalistic driving experiment over four months. The results suggest that mobile phone use while driving may be accurately predicted by the model in more than 70% of cases.
Road Safety is acknowledged as a priority issue in the EuroMed partner countries (Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Tunisia). However, the collection of credible road safety data is a major challenge. In this context, the recent EuroMed Report, which was launched with the active contribution of NTUA, consists of provision of technical assistance on setting up road safety reliable, harmonized and comparable data collection systems at the EuroMed Partner Countries and sharing at regional level. The Final Report concludes that the adoption of common definitions for road crash variables and values strongly depends on the successful implementation of basic definitions (accident, road, casualty severity) and the systematic and complete reporting of crashes and casualties.
On 28 May, 45 experts from Europe and Australia were gathered in Gothenburg, Sweden, within the framework of the Horizon 2020 project Levitate, in order to discuss which societal impacts Connected and Automated Vehicles will have. Levitate is building tools to help European cities, regions and national governments prepare for a future with increasing levels of Automated Vehicles in passenger cars, urban transport services and urban logistics. The Workshop marked the first meeting of the LEVITATE Stakeholder Group, which aims to facilitate a continuous dialogue between experts, users and the consortium about the impacts of Connected and Automated Transport (CAT).
NTUA contributed actively to the 1st Stakeholder Workshop with the following presentation: CATS-PST Connected and Automated Transport Systems Policy Support Tool
The 5th Congress of the European Academy of Neurology (EAN2019) took place with great success in Oslo, on 29 June – 02 July. More than 6.000 participants from more than 100 countries attended with an overwhelmingly positive feedback in several Symposia, Teaching Courses, Focused Workshops, Hands-on Courses, and Interactive Sessions. Some sessions concerned cognitive impairment and road safety in which NTUA contributed actively with the following presentations:
- The neurological assessment of driving fitness of patients with Alzheimer’s Dementia (AD) or Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI): A systematic review of the existing guidelines
- The slowest to respond: reaction time, accidents and driving errors in neurology patients in urban simulated driving
- The slowest to respond: Reaction time, accidents and driving errors in neurology patients in rural simulated driving
Akis Theofilatos, Dimosthenis Pavlou, Dimitris Tselentis, and Apostolis Ziakopoulos, Research Associates of the Department of Transportation Planning and Engineering of NTUA were awarded with the NTUA Thomaidion Award for outstanding road safety publications in scientific journals. The awards for publications in Scientific Journals concerned:
- Theofilatos A., Yannis G., Investigation of powered 2-wheeler accident involvement in urban arterials by considering real-time traffic and weather data, Traffic Injury Prevention, Volume 18(3), April 2017, Pages 293-298
- Pavlou D. – Beratis I.N., Papadimitriou E., Andronas N., Kontaxopoulou D., Fragkiadaki S., Yannis G., Papageorgiou S.G. Mild Cognitive Impairment and driving: Does in-vehicle distraction affect driving performance?, Accident Analysis & Prevention, Volume 103, June 2017, Pages 148-155
- Tselentis D., Yannis G., Vlahogianni E., Innovative motor insurance schemes: A review of current practices and emerging challenges, Accident Analysis & Prevention, Volume 98, January 2017, Pages 139-148
- Theofilatos A., Ziakopoulos Α., Papadimitriou Ε., Yannis G., Diamandouros K., Meta-analysis of the effect of road work zones on crash occurrence, Accident Analysis & Prevention, Volume 108, November 2017, Pages 1-8
The Department of Transportation Planning and Engineering of the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA) was ranked 16th in Europe and at 80th place worldwide among all Transportation Science & Technology Schools, according to the ShanghaiRanking’s Global Ranking of Academic Subjects (GRAS) 2019. NTUA Road Safety activities have contributed to this excellent performance. Accordingly, the NTUA Civil Engineering School was ranked 7th worldwide (3rd European) among all Civil Engineering Schools.
The European Traffic Police Network (TISPOL) together with the European Commission DG Move Road Safety Unit have launched the project EDWARD – the European Day Without A Road Death 2019. This year the European Day without a Road Death will take place on Thursday 26 September 2019. Several events, initiatives and promotional activity right across Europe will take place. Moreover, in the EDWARD website lots of new resources can be found, artwork can be downloaded (including images and Infographics), a countdown timer to the day itself, an interactive map and a brand new pledge to sign.
The European Commission – DG Move has published a study titled “Sustainable Transport Infrastructure Charging and Internalisation of Transport Externalities” which aims to assess the extent to which existing policies internalise the external and infrastructure costs of transport and to discuss ways by which further internalisation could be achieved. As input for this assessment, the infrastructure and external costs of the various transport modes are estimated and a comprehensive overview of transport taxes and charges applied in the various countries is provided. According to the study results, the most important cost category is accident costs equating to 29% of the total external costs, which on the contrary of most other costs it is not targeted by any taxes or charges aiming its reduction.
The ESRA Consortium with the support of the Forum of European Road Safety Institutes (FERSI) organised the 2nd ESRA Symposium on Road Users Attitudes Worldwide, which took place with great success in Brussels, on 18 June 2019. New highly interesting results from the ESRA2 Global Survey on Road Users Attitudes, collected at the end of 2018, were showcased, namely thematic reports on speeding, mobile phone use and fatigue together with 32 country fact sheets . NTUA contributed actively with the following presentations:
The European Commission – DG Move has published a Staff Working Document titled “EU Road Safety Policy Framework 2021-2030 – Next steps towards “Vision Zero” which includes details as to how it intends to put its Strategic Action Plan on Road Safety into practice . This Document includes a first list of Road Safety Key Performance Indicators (KPI), elaborated in close cooperation with Member States and the active contribution of NTUA, that will be monitored across the EU to underpin the target of 50% reduction in fatalities and serious injuries by 2030. The list (including indicators like vehicle safety, seat belt and helmet wearing rate, speed compliance and post-crash care) is a living document that will be developed further over time, but first data can be gathered on this basis from next year.
The European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) published the 13th edition of PIN Annual Report , with the active contribution of NTUA, presented at the 2019 Annual PIN Conference which took place with great success on 19 June, 2019 in Brussels. According to this PIN Report, the new European figures show that the number of persons killed last year fell by just 1% and the EU target to cut road deaths in half over the decade to 2020 looks well out of reach.
Ireland was the winner of this year’s ETSC Road Safety Performance Index (PIN) award, being the second safest EU Member State in 2018, in terms of road mortality (road deaths per million inhabitants) and having moved up five places in the ranking of EU countries since 2010 when it held the 7th place.
The 1st newsletter of the Horizon 2020 project Levitate was recently released highlighting the key activities of the first 6 months of the project. It contains an inspiring interview with Rune Elvik, Senior research officer at TØI, suggesting that any progress in Connected and Automated Transport cannot eliminate the human factor. Furthermore, it highlights the results from the first Workshop of the Levitate Stakeholder Group in Gothenburg on May 2019 and of the respective presentation of Levitate project at the scientific Workshop organized by the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA) on ‘Digitalisation and Road Safety Research’ in Athens on May 2019.
The European Commission – DG Move and the Hellenic Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport organised the kick-off meeting of the project ‘EU Road Safety Exchange’ which took place with great success in Athens, on 10 June 2019. ‘EU Road Safety Exchange’ is a three-year twinning project (2019-2021) that supports improved institutional capacity and exchange of knowledge and best practice on road safety topics between EU Member States. The objective of this project is to reduce the overall number of road deaths and serious injuries on EU roads and help close the road safety gap between EU Member States by providing support to those with the highest potential to make significant improvements. NTUA actively contributed at the kick-off meeting with the following presentation: Motorcycle Safety in Greece
A new book titled ‘La sécurité routière en France – Road Safety in France‘ authored by Laurent Carnis, Catherine Gabaude and Marie-Line Gallenne, was published in May 2019. Since the 1970s, road accidents have undergone a remarkable evolution, which has led to fewer fatalities and fewer casualties on French roads. But the accidents remain too numerous and still defeat the chronicles. Greater road safety justifies measures that give rise to lively discussions where everyone claims to be an expert. This book guides the reader through themes such as trauma victims, alcohol or drugs driving.
The 2020 Lifesavers National Conference on Highway Safety Priorities will be held on March 15-17 in Tampa, Florida. The Lifesavers Conference brings together a unique combination of traffic safety and public health professionals, researchers, advocates, practitioners and students committed to sharing best practices, research and policy initiatives that are proven to work.