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Within the European Mobility Week 2019, the European Commission and the Global Alliance of NGOs for Road Safety co-organised a Road Safety Roundtable in Brussels on 16 September. During this event, a commitment from European cities, coordinated by POLIS and Eurocities, entitled “The New Paradigm for Safe City Streets” was handed over including 10 principles to be recognized by the cities, as necessary for sound and effective action for traffic safety.
Road deaths and serious injuries are not just unfortunate accidents. They are predictable, preventable, and unacceptable. Evidence shows that setting a road safety target is an effective way to reduce the number of people killed and seriously injured in traffic crashes. That is why the Towards Zero Foundation’s #50by30 campaign calls for a new target to halve road deaths and serious injuries in a new decade of SDG action for road safety to 2030. A new target and a new decade of action will help to save 675,000 lives a year, accelerate progress in global road injury prevention, and work towards a world eventually free from road fatalities and serious injuries.
The UN General Assembly published recently a Report on Improving Global Road Safety, prepared by the World Health Organization in consultation with the United Nations regional commissions and other partners of the United Nations Road Safety Collaboration. The Report highlights that while the number of road traffic deaths has stabilized, as indicated in the Global Status Report on Road Safety 2018, significant reductions have not been observed, and road traffic injuries are now the leading cause of death for children and young adults between the ages of 5 and 29 years.
Boussias Communications organized the 2019 Connected Cars Conference which took place with great success in Athens on 18th September 2019. The conference covered issues related to the major future changes coming in the field of vehicles, fleet management and transport in general, including safety. Connected Cars Conference 2019 is set to serve as the platform for transferring the necessary know-how and information on the cutting-edge technologies that characterize the new vehicle era.NTUA actively contributed with the following presentation: Telematics, Big Data and Road Safety
Participate now at the driver telematics survey of the Horizons 2020 research project i-Dreams. The i-Dreams project develops a highly innovative driver monitoring system that will provide interventions to keep drivers within a safe driving zone, applicable in several transport modes: passenger cars, trucks, buses, trains, trams. You can submit your valuable contribution by filling-in the 15-minute online survey available at the following link.
You can also sign up to the i-DREAMS newsletter here
NTUA Professor George Yannis gave a Lecture titled: Digital Road Safety at the Research and Innovation in Safe and Smart Mobility Seminar, a new initiative of Loughborough University to discuss new multidisciplinary mobility challenges. The Lecture took place with great success on Wednesday 11th September 2019 at Loughborough University.
The Lecture on Digital Road Safety focused on the new great potential of data from several digital sources to efficiently support both safe driver behaviour and road safety decision making at all levels.
The Focus Area Mobility & Transportation Systems of the Technical University of Munich (TUM) organised the International Scientific Conference on Mobility and Transport (mobil.TUM 2019) which took place with great success on 11-12 September 2019, in Munich, Germany. The theme of the conference was Transportation Systems of the Future. Road safety was one of the key discussion areas enabling inspiration from the latest innovations and exploring new directions for shaping the future of urban mobility and safety. NTUA actively contributed with the following presentations:
Since 55 years, the International Road Federation (IRF) World Road Statistics (WRS) continue to be the major comprehensive, universal source of statistical data on road networks, traffic and inland transport, including traffic accidents. This year the WRS 2019 (data 2012-2017) features more than 205 countries, with data on over 45 road related topics, with the active contribution of NTUA for the Greek data. There is highest response rate in years, covering more countries than ever before and a brand new design and layout.
The ICoRSI International Symposium on Safety of Vulnerable Road Users will be co-sponsoring a Workshop on “Globalising Vision Zero: Generating Scientific Evidence for the Road Ahead” on 18th February 2020 in Stockholm (A Pre-Conference event on the occasion of the 3rd Global Ministerial Conference on Road Safety). At this event ICoRSI in association with Campbell Collaboration will present for discussion an Evidence and Gap Map for road safety interventions worldwide. This work will enable future research and discussions to be based on approaches and interventions which science shows can be effective in different parts of the world.
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.