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ERTRAC organised the Annual Conference 2019: Road Transport Research towards “Horizon Europe” which took place with great success in Brussels, on 4 April 2019. The conference was dedicated to the preparation of the 9th Research Framework Programme “Horizon Europe”: which place for Road Transport Research and which key research challenges? Three new Roadmaps were presented and distributed: on “Connected Automated Driving“, on “Road Safety“, and on “Long Distance Freight Transport“. The event included an exhibition showcasing some examples of innovation in the automotive and mobility sector.
The FEHRL Infrastructure Research Meeting 2019 (FIRM19) took place with great success on 26-28 March 2019 in Brussels, Belgium. The theme was “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. The main stakeholders (EC, CEDR, PIARC, ERTRAC, ECTP) outlined the vision for the future cross-modal transport infrastructure and its implementation plan.FEHRL 30th anniversary video:
According to the EU road fatalities infographic of the NTUA Road Safety Observatory, thirteen countries have a better performance than the EU average, namely UK, Denmark, Ireland, Netherlands, Sweden, Malta, Germany, Spain, Finland, Slovenia, Austria, Slovakia, and France. Greece has been ranked 22nd in 2018 but has demonstrated the highest road fatalities rate reduction (51%) in the last decade, followed by Slovenia (48%), whereas the EU average 10-year reduction is 31%.
The International Transport Forum (ITF/OECD) published recently a new Report: “Road Safety in European Cities – Performance Indicators and Governance Solutions”. This reports benchmarks road safety performance for 72 urban areas, mostly in Europe, and illustrates governance solutions to improve urban road safety with case studies conducted in Lisbon (Portugal) and Riga (Latvia). The report proposes new road safety indicators to assess the level of risk for each mode of transport. It finds that a modal shift away from private motor vehicles could significantly enhance road safety in dense urban areas and deliver public health benefits associated with increased physical activity and improved air quality.
The Forum of European Road Safety Institutes (FERSI) has restyled and updated its website. The website not only provides information about FERSI, its members and activities, it also provides relevant links to road safety information, road safety organisations, major policy documents and European projects.
The European Platform of Transport Sciences (EPTS) is oganising the 17th International Conference – ETC 2019 which will be held in Bratislava, Slovakia, on 13-14 June 2019. Since its first meeting in 2001 in Vienna the purpose of EPTS is the enhancement of the dialogue between politics, science and economy in the field of European transport. This is to be accomplished by organising scientific events, encouraging the exchange of opinions and experiences, joint PR efforts, the enhancement of scientific research and continuing education, cooperation with other scientific institutions and support of young scientists, especially through the Young Forum of European Transport Sciences (YFE).
According to the European Commission preliminary statistics, fewer people died on European roads in 2018 but more efforts are needed to make a big leap forward. In 2018, there were around 25.100 fatalities in road accidents in the EU 28. This is a decrease of 21% compared to 2010, and 1% compared to 2017. The EU countries with the best road safety results in 2018 were the United Kingdom (28 deaths/million inhabitants), Denmark (30/million), Ireland (31/million), and Sweden (32/million), whereas the best improvement since 2010 was demonstrated by Greece (-45%) and Lithuania (-43%). With an average of 49 road deaths per one million inhabitants, this confirms that European roads are by far the safest in the world, but it also shows that we are off track to reach our target of halving the number of road deaths by 2020.
According to Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT) data, 731 persons were killed in Greece in 2017: 507 drivers, 106 passengers and 118 pedestrians. Male drivers account for 66% of all road fatalities in Greece. Young male drivers aged 15-24 years old account for 16% of all male driver fatalities and older people account for more than 59% of all pedestrian fatalities. The higher accident severity was found in accidents involving older persons (6.4 fatalities per 100 accidents) and young people 15-24 years old (3.7 fatalities per 100 accidents).
A paper titled “The European road safety decision support system on risks and measures” authored by the Horizons 2020 SafetyCube project team is now published in Accident Analysis and Prevention. The European Road Safety Decision Support System is an innovative system providing the available evidence on a broad range of road risks and possible countermeasures. This paper describes the scientific basis of the DSS. The structure underlying the DSS consists of (1) a taxonomy identifying risk factors and measures and linking them to each other, (2) a repository of studies, and (3) synopses summarizing the effects estimated in the literature for each risk factor and measure, and (4) an economic efficiency evaluation instrument (E3-calculator).
FIA launched a brand new visualized tool-website with key figures on vision and its impact on road safety in 14 countries all over the world. It provides data regarding visual disorders population percentages of each country, vision legislation and driving license, minimum acuity for both eyes, minimum vision field etc.
European Investment Bank and European Commission join forces to support investments in transport safety with special focus on roads. At the TEN-T and CEF Conference in Bucharest, the EU Commissioner for Transport Violeta Bulc together with Vice-President of the European Investment Bank (EIB) Vazil Hudák launched the “Safer Transport Platform” to promote safety as a key element for transport investment and to provide easy access to technical and financial advice, in particular for road safety. The “Safer Transport Platform – Road Safety Advisory” is available via a dedicated website.
A Diploma Thesis titled “Combined impact of road and traffic characteristics on driver behavior using data from smartphones” was recently presented by Virginia Petraki. High resolution driving behavior data were collected using sensors of smartphones which were combined with traffic and road geometry characteristics and subsequently were depicted spatially using GIS. From the application of these models it is observed that in road segments there is an increase in the number of harsh events if average traffic volume per lane increases in the respective segments. Furthermore, in junctions as the average occupancy increases, there is an increase in harsh accelerations, and as average speed increases more harsh decelerations occur.
A Diploma Thesis titled “Correlation of driver behaviour and fuel consumption using data from smartphones” was recently presented by Eva Michelaraki. The aim of this Diploma Thesis is the correlation of driver behaviour and fuel consumption using data from smartphones. To achieve this objective, data collected from 17 drivers who participated at a naturalistic driving experiment for four months are analyzed. The results demonstrated that there was a remarkable reduction in fuel consumption, by improving the way participants were driving and also a smoother and a greener driver behavior was achieved. A stronger correlation has emerged between harsh accelerations and fuel consumption, but also speed, braking, smartphone usage while driving, driving at night and demographic features had a direct impact on fuel consumption.
A Diploma Thesis titled “Self-assessment and Road Behaviour” was recently presented by Mikaela Panagiotopoulou. The aim of the Diploma Thesis is to relate self-assessment and other characteristics of drivers with parameters of their road behavior. To achieve this goal, a pilot simulator experiment was conducted and a questionnaire was filled in a sample of 125 drivers. The application of the models revealed that the drivers who have positively self-assessed their driving abilities drive faster and showcase speedy reaction time. The drivers in general, evaluated realistically their driving skills with an exception when it came to the safety driving measures which were: keeping an adequate headway from the vehicle in front, accurately adjusting their speed on different driving conditions, maintaining speed limits.
A Diploma Thesis titled “Greek drivers’ attitudes towards aggressive driving” was recently presented by Aggeliki Stefatou. The objective of this Diploma Thesis is the investigation of the characteristics of driver aggressiveness in Greece via their perceptions on their own behavior and the behavior of other drivers. Specifically, within the framework of the SafeCulture survey, the answers of 302 car drivers and 201 two-wheeler drivers on 8 questions regarding speed, 6 questions regarding overtaking behavior and aggressiveness and 4 questions regarding alcohol consumption were analyzed. Results indicate that drivers do not perceive traditional crash factors as causes for their crash involvement. The only contributing factors perceived by drivers was found to be those involving driver overtaking behavior and aggressiveness.
A Diploma Thesis titled “Spatial analysis of driver safety behavior using data from smartphones” was recently presented by Ilias Parmaksizoglou. Smartphone driver behaviour data were processed in a GIS computer environment, resulting to the development of new tables describing the phenomena observed on the map of a major road axis in Athens, in nodes and links. Analytic maps were developed aiming to indicate patterns of the accumulation and ranking of the harsh events in the selected road axis. Finally, four linear regression models were developed, which demonstrated speed as the most statistically significant factor in predicting harsh events per day on a region basis.
A Diploma Thesis titled “Impact of economic, social and transport indicators on road safety during the crisis period in Europe” was recently presented by Valentina Vassili. The objective of this Diploma Thesis is to investigate the impact of economic, social and transport indicators on road safety before and after the crisis period in Europe. For this analysis a database containing Gross Domestic Product per capita (GDP), motorway-kilometers per road network-kilometers, vehicle fleet per population and road fatalities for European states for 2000-2016 was developed. The results led to the conclusion that Gross Domestic Index per capita has the most important impact and its increase leads to road fatalities decrease. Moreover, the increase of motorway-kilometers per road network positively affects the road fatalities decrease.
A Diploma Thesis titled “Identification of critical driving parameters affecting speeding using data from smartphones” was recently presented by Aris Kokkinakis. Data collected from sixty- eight drivers who participated at a naturalistic driving experiment for fifteen months were analyzed with the use of linear regression modelling. The results revealed that key parameters like distance, high intensity harsh accelerations and braking, harsh cornering, average deceleration and mobile usage, had statistically significant on driver speeding behaviour. The number of high intensity harsh brakings had the most significant impact on speeding, whereas for each type of road separately, distance was the most significant parameter.
On March 27, 2019 in Ljubljana, the Interreg funded RADAR project organised the first Road Safety Expert Group meeting focusing on Safer Roads Investment Plans. Special emphasis was given into optimisation of using limited road investment and road safety investment funds, by supporting most cost-benefit effective engineering solutions at the most appropriate locations / road sections. NTUA actively contributed with the following presentation: Key points for Road Sections Safety in Greece
The 2019 International Research Council on the Biomechanics of Injury Europe Conference will take place in Florence, Italy, on 11-13 September 2019. The focus of IRCOBI is on the avoidance and reduction of the severity of traffic accidents, with special emphasis on advanced safety technologies and the biomechanics of injury.
The Romanian EU Presidency, the Ministry of Transport of Romania and the European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) organised the International Road Safety Conference with great success in Bucharest on 20-21 March, 2019. Special focus was given on promoting and accelerating the implementation of effective road safety solutions, including digitalisation and innovation, reduction of serious injuries, speed management and infrastructure safety. NTUA actively contributed with the following presentation: Progress in MAIS3+ Serious Injuries Data Collection
The EU institutions have reached a provisional political agreement on the revised General Safety Regulation. As of 2022 new safety technologies will become mandatory in European vehicles to protect passengers, pedestrians and cyclists. Key new technologies include intelligent speed assistance, lane-keeping assistance, advanced emergency braking, warning driver drowsiness and distraction, reversing safety with camera or sensors and data recorder in case of an accident (black box). Advanced safety features will reduce the number of accidents (90% of which are due to human error), pave the way towards increasingly connected and automated mobility, and boost the global innovation and competitiveness edge of the European car industry.The full list of the new mandatory safety features:
The 32nd ICTCT conference will be held in Warsaw, Poland on 24-25th October 2019, under the main topic “Vision zero for traffic fatalities and serious injuries – research questions and challenges”. ICTCT approaches safety as an integral part of the wider road traffic system, envisaging all transport modes with a specific emphasis on vulnerable road users. The Abstract submission deadline is set for 31 May 2019.
The European Commission adopted recently new rules stepping up the deployment of Cooperative Intelligent Transport Systems (C-ITS) on Europe’s roads. The new technology will allow vehicles to ‘talk’ to each other, to the road infrastructure and to other road users – for instance about dangerous situations, road works and the timing of traffic lights, making road transport safer, cleaner and more efficient. The new rules are in line with the proposals on clean mobility introduced by the Juncker Commission, are a further step for modernising the European mobility sector, preparing it for climate neutrality in the second half of the century and contributing to the EU’s long-term goal of moving close to zero fatalities and serious injuries by 2050 (“Vision Zero”).
The Road Safety Authority of Ireland (RSA) is organising the Annual Conference under the theme “International Best Practice in Road Safety Strategy Development” which will take place in Dublin on 13 June 2019. This year’s conference will look at international developments and the benefits of a strategic approach to road safety. The speakers will share their expertise and experiences in the development of best practice in road safety strategy formulation and performance measures. The speakers will be from a variety of backgrounds including operational, academic and policy development. The Conference will be a precursor to the development of the next Government Road Safety Strategy.
Road fatalities in Greece in 2018 presented, for second year in a row, a significant decrease (5.6%) compared to 2017 figures, according to recently published ELSTAT data. This significant decrease could be attributed not only to the fact that Greece is still under the effect of the economic crisis but also due to the fact that over the past two years, more than 500 km of new or upgraded motorways have replaced national roads with high road fatalities rates.
During the last decade, Greece presents the most impressive road safety improvement in the European Union, with a decrease of road fatalities of 56% and a decrease of serious injuries of 60%. The rate fatalities per million vehicles has decreased by 59% since 2008.
A paper titled “Review and ranking of crash risk factors related to the road infrastructure” authored by Eleonora Papadimitriou, Ashleigh Filtness, Akis Theofilatos, Apostolis Ziakopoulos, Claire Quigley and George Yannis is now published in Accident Analysis and Prevention. This analysis was carried out within the SafetyCube project, which aimed to identify and quantify the effects of risk factors and measures related to behaviour, infrastructure or vehicles, and integrate the results in an innovative road safety Decision Support System (DSS). Synthesis of results was made through 39 ‘Synopses’ (including 4 original meta-analyses) on individual risk factors or groups of risk factors. This analysis allowed the ranking of infrastructure risk factors into three groups: risky (11 risk factors), probably risky (18 risk factors), and unclear (7 risk factors). For full text just ask us by replying to this email.
The International Neuropsychological Society organised the 47th Annual Meeting which took place with great success in New York from February 20-23, 2019. The topics of the Meeting included clinical neuropsychology, cognitive neuroscience, and neuropsychiatry and internationally renowned, innovative, and pioneering scientists and clinicians from multiple disciplines gave very interesting presentations. NTUA actively contributed with the following interdisciplinary presentation merging two scientific domains – neuroscience and road safety:
The Saudi Arabia General Directorate of Traffic organized the Traffic Safety Conference (TSC 2019) which took place with great success in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on 11-13 March 2019. The theme of the conference was “Enhancement of Traffic Safety” which is one of the main objectives of Saudi National Transformation Program 2020 and in line with Saudi Vision 2030: an ambitious Nation by reaching high standards in safe driving. NTUA actively contributed with the following presentation: Traffic Safety in the European Union