The newsletter May 2020 of the Horizon 2020 project Levitate (Societal Level Impacts of Connected and Automated Vehicles) was recently released highlighting the relation of automated vehicles and COVID-19. It presents an interview with Helmut Augustin, City of Vienna, and the first LEVITATE webinar on the impacts of automation in freight transport. The newsletter also highlights the upcoming 2nd webinar on the impacts of automation in urban transport on 11 June 2020.
A paper titled “A critical overview of driver recording tools” authored by Apostolis Ziakopoulos, Dimitris Tselentis, Armira Kontaxi and George Yannis, is now published in Journal of Safety Research. The objective of this review paper is to present and comparatively assess the various driver recording tools that researchers have at their disposal. A critical synthesis of the results was conducted, providing the advantages and disadvantages of utilizing each tool and including additional knowledge regarding ease of experimental implementation, data handling issues, impacts on subsequent analyses, as well as the respective cost parameters. New technologies provide undeniably powerful tools that allow for seamless data handling, storage, and analysis, such as smartphones and in-vehicle data recorders. However, this sometimes comes at considerable costs (which may or may not pay off at a later stage), while legacy driver recording methods still have their own niches to fill in research.
The new emblematic sustainable urban mobility arrangements within the Athens Great Walk project were presented by NTUA Professor George Yannis at the Athens City Council on May 11, 2020, which unanimously accepted the breakthrough and brave choices of Mayor Kostas Bakoyannis for extended regain of urban public space, public transport in priority, and safe and efficient mobility of pedestrians and cyclists.
The 2nd Newsletter of the Horizon 2020 project BeOpen (European forum and observatory for open science in transport) was recently released highlighting the results of the second project meeting (Piraeus, February 2020), the EOSC Symposium results and the EC President’s speech mentioning the importance of the European Open Science Cloud. Sign up here:
The 1st newsletter of the Horizon 2020 project Drive2theFuture (Needs, wants and behaviour of drivers and automated vehicle users today and into the future) was recently released highlighting the 1st Drive2theFuture Workshop (Brussels, March 2020), together with the Autonomous Vehicles consumer survey and the results from the three Plenary Meetings which took place so far. The 1st Newsletter highlights also the 12 pilots of the project and makes a reference to the three Horizon 2020 projects which focus also on driver behaviour and acceptance of connected, cooperative and automated transport. Sign up here.
ONISR/Cerema – Great safety impact from the new 80 km/h speed limit on rural single carriageways in France, 2020
Global Road Safety Partnership (GRSP) in collaboration with the VIAS Institute recently published the Manual on “Towards the 12 voluntary global targets for road safety”, providing guidance for countries on activities and measures to achieve the voluntary global road safety performance targets. It spells out what type of activities need to be undertaken, what data sources can be used and how performance can be measured and presented. It defines each target and points out what actions need to be taken and how each target can be measured.
The results of the EU-funded Horizon 2020 SaferAfrica project are highlighted at the Community Research and Development Information Service (CORDIS) of the European Commission. SaferAfrica, aiming to share expertise between Europe and Africa, focused on four pillars: Road Safety Knowledge and Data, a Road Safety Traffic Management Capacity Review, Capacity Building and Training and Sharing Good Practices. The most innovative results of the project are the African Road Safety Observatory and the African-European Dialogue Platform on Road Safety, developed with the active contribution of NTUA.
A Diploma Thesis titled “Spatio-temporal analysis of traffic safety using data from smartphone sensors” was recently presented by Elina Frantzola. Data from smartphone sensors on driver behaviour were combined with traffic data from the Athens Traffic Management Centre and the respective geometric characteristics from Google Maps in order to produce the respective GIS maps and allow for statistical analysis. The statistical models developed demonstrated that traffic characteristics (traffic speed and occupancy) have the most statistically significant impact on the frequency of harsh events compared to road geometric characteristics and driver behaviour data. Finally, a strong correlation between harsh events and time variation was found, indicating an overall increase in harsh events during nighttime.
A Diploma Thesis titled “Driving behaviour during texting and surfing in rural roads using a driving simulator” was recently presented by Marios Sekadakis. The aim of this Diploma Thesis is to investigate the impact of texting and web surfing through smartphone on the driving behaviour and safety of young drivers on rural roads. It was found that driver distraction leads to statistically significant increase of accident probability, headway distance and lateral distance variation. On the other hand, it was observed that speed variation and headway distance variation were reduced.
A Diploma Thesis titled “Investigation of Flying Autonomous Vehicles traveller acceptance in Greece” was recently presented by George Priftis. The objective of the present Diploma Thesis is to investigate traveller acceptance of Flying Autonomous Vehicles in Greece, as well as the identification of the most significant factors affecting that decision. Results show that the of acceptance mostly depends on the cost, time, comfort, choices, habits and demographics of Greek travellers. Faster and cheaper trips together with higher technology culture lead to higher acceptance of flying autonomous vehicles.
Comparative Analysis of Traffic Accident factors per Driver Nationality in the European Union, March 2020
A Diploma Thesis titled “Comparative Analysis of Traffic Accident factors per Driver Nationality in the European Union” was recently presented by Aikaterini Skliami. The aim of this Diploma Thesis is the comparative analysis of road accident factors for the various nationalities of killed driver in the European Union. The application of the models revealed that driver nationality had a statistically significant effect on the number of drivers killed in traffic accidents. The main factors differentiating traffic accidents of local and foreign drivers are driver gender and accident area type.
A Diploma Thesis titled “Driver choices towards ridesharing” was recently presented by Athanasia Boulougari. The objective of this Diploma Thesis is to investigate and analyse drivers’ preferences towards ridesharing, with focus on investigating whether passengers intend to share vehicles and identifying the main factors determining the choice of ridesharing service as a travel mode. Results indicate that especially young and female travelers were found willing more to use ridesharing services. Furthermore, it was found that when traveling for work, increased transit time and number of work related weekly trips lead to increased probability of ridesharing use.
The fifth edition of the Glossary for Transport Statistics is now published by the ITF, Eurostat and UNECE. The Glossary for Transport Statistics was published for the first time in 1994 with the purpose of assisting member countries during the collection of data on transport using the Common Questionnaire developed by the UNECE, ITF and Eurostat. It now comprises 744 definitions and represents a point of reference for all those involved in transport statistics. The road accidents section can be proved highly useful for international road safety statistics.
The Civil Engineering School of the National Technical University of Athens was ranked this year 11th in Europe and 39th worldwide among all Civil Engineering Schools. This ranking is produced by the QS Organisation (QS World University Rankings by Subject 2020) based on the following criteria: Research, Teaching, Employability, Facilities, Internationalization, Innovation, Engagement and Access. NTUA road safety activities have contributed to this ranking.
NTUA supports and endorses the Stockholm Declaration, as the outcome document of the 3rd Global High-Level Conference on Road Safety 2020, focusing on global road safety efforts up to 2030 presented by the Swedish Minister for Infrastructure. The Declaration went through an extensive consultation with WHO Member States through their permanent representations in Geneva, and a transparent and inclusive public consultation open to everybody around the world and is expected to guide all road safety efforts around the globe for the decade up to 2030.
Stephen Perkins, the Head of Research and Policy Analysis at the International Transport Forum (ITF), highlights that safe urban mobility needs a 30km/h speed limit. He cites examples of effective policies in India, France and Colombia supporting that aligning safe speeds to the design of infrastructure and the mix of road users lies at the heart of Safe System policies. Finally, he endorses the fact that all countries can significantly cut the number of deaths and injuries on the roads, regardless of GDP per capita.
The World Bank’s Global Road Safety Facility published recently the “Guide for Road Safety Opportunities and Challenges: Low- and Middle-income Country Profiles“. The Report aims to support decision-making with key data, social and economic assessments for all 125 Low- and Middle-Income Countries. The Road Safety Country Profiles present information on management, roads, speed, vehicles, road users, and post-crash care, along with information on the current status for each country, region and with extensive information on key risk factors, issues and opportunities.
The Africa-Europe Alliance for Sustainable Investment and Jobs was launched by the European Commission in September 2018, as an effort to drive forward intercontinental cooperation on an equal footing. This related Transport Task Force has delivered recently with the active contribution of NTUA, a Report offering recommendations and conclusions on three important areas of transport cooperation: aviation, road safety and connectivity. On Road Safety the Report brings forward thirteen recommendations to reduce road accident injuries, addressing the five main priority areas: road safety management and data collection, infrastructure safety, vehicle safety, safety of road users and post-crash care.
iRAP and FIA Foundation with the support of FedEx Express, have launched a new tool for Star Rating for Schools (SR4S). The SR4S is the first evidence-based tool for measuring, managing and communicating the risk children are exposed to on a journey to school. It supports quick interventions that save lives and prevent serious injuries from day one.
Athenian Brewery organized a Round-table Meeting titled “Responsible Alcohol Consumption and Road Safety”, which was held with great success in Athens, Greece, on 12 February 2020. Participants exchanged ideas and proposals creating opportunities for actions aimed at educating especially young road users and informing about responsible alcohol consumption, driving behaviour and road accident prevention. NTUA actively contributed with the following presentation: Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol and Road Safety
NTUA Professor George Yannis made an invited lecture at the Permanent Road Safety Committee of the Hellenic Parliament on “European Road Safety Policy and Good Practices Worldwide” on February 6th, 2020. He stressed the importance for measures on priority risk factors (speed, alcohol, distraction, seat belt, helmet) and serious road safety capacity-building with appropriate evidence-based policy making.
Participate now at the survey of the Horizon 2020 project Drive2theFuture. The survey aims to explore opinions about the acceptance of Autonomous Vehicles for different transport modes while it is structured of four main areas corresponding to each transport domain (aviation, maritime, rail, road) and every section includes a simple description of what automation means for each mode. The survey is available in several languages:
The European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) has published the 38th PIN Flash Report “How safe is walking and cycling in Europe?“, with the active contribution of NTUA. This Report examines the most recent available data on the current safety levels of cycling and walking across the EU and other countries that provide data to ETSC as part of its Road Safety Performance Index (PIN) programme, and it concludes with recommendations for action at EU. It is highlighted that for a serious shift to walking and cycling, particularly for local journeys in densely populated areas, the very design of urban spaces will need to change. Motorised traffic will need to slow down when it comes into spaces used by vulnerable road users; separated infrastructure and smart intersection design will be essential; school streets without cars may need to become the norm.
The World Road Association – PIARC recently published the Catalogue of Case Studies, containing a properly documented set of interventions designed, implemented and operated worldwide to improve road safety in three specific fields: Vulnerable Road Users (VRUs), Human Factors (HF) and interventions in Low- and Middle-Income Countries (LMICs). This Catalogue is aimed to be enriched in the future with new case studies, showing other applications, different solutions to solve the same problems and better representing the safety interventions applied or applicable in LMICs.
The World Road Association – PIARC recently published the “Review of Global Road Safety Audit Guidelines – With Specific Consideration for Low- and Middle-Income Countries”. This Report involves a comprehensive review of current Road Safety Audit Manuals and Guidelines from a range of different countries to establish current practices and considers previous international reviews to determine key areas where additional guidance is required, or exemplar practice is well established. The initial consideration is given to the core issues facing many countries regarding implementing a comprehensive audit system.
World Road Association- PIARC launches a new Strategic Plan by organizing kick-off meetings for all its 22 Technical Committees and Task Forces, on 22 January – 14 February 2020 in Paris, France. A thousand experts from about 140 countries will participate in the meetings in order to discuss how to organize their work for the next four-year cycle. PIARC organizes its efforts into four Strategic Themes: Road Administration; Mobility; Safety and Sustainability; and Resilient Infrastructure. The main purpose of the kick-off meetings is to discuss expected outputs, so as to initiate a prompt start to their work.
The 1st newsletter of the Horizon 2020 project i-DREAMS (Safety Tolerance zone calculation and interventions for driver – vehicle – environment interactions under challenging conditions) was recently released highlighting the key activities of the first 8 months of the project with the active contribution of NTUA. It contains the project video, a closer look at the Safety Tolerance Zone concept and the i-DREAMS prototype, the team behind this exciting project, the expert advisory board members and some publications and press releases. Sign up here.
The European Cyclists’ Federation (ECF) and the Global Alliance of NGOs for Road Safety with the support of FedEx released a very interesting Guide containing good practices for supporting community and non-government organisations (NGOs) advocating for safer cycling in European cities. It is based on the experiences of the Netherlands and Denmark, two countries that have developed significant expertise in the field of cycling safety. Written in cooperation between the European Cyclists’ Federation, the Fietsersbond and the Cyklistforbundet, this guide seeks to collate and advocate for the adoption of best practice measures regarding road user behaviour, infrastructure design, safe vehicles and the management of road infrastructure.
NTUA graduate Dimitrios Giagkou obtained the Ecopolis 2019 Award for Urban Transport for the Diploma Thesis “Mobility and Road Safety in European Cities“, carried out within the NTUA Department of Transportation Planning and Engineering of the National Technical University of Athens. The Environmental Awareness Awards Ecopolis seek to contribute to the promotion and recognition of the increased and proven environmental sensitivity of State Bodies, Local Government, Enterprises, Scientific and Research Institutions as well as Public Media Services.
The European Commission, through the Horizon 2020-funded Action ARCADE (Aligning Research & Innovation for Connected and Automated Driving in Europe), has released the Knowledge Base on Connected and Automated Driving (CAD). This database gathers all the information previously spread across projects and a broad network of stakeholders to establish a common baseline of CAD, thus ensuring transferability of knowledge for future research, development and testing of connected and automated driving.
Closing a great decade, full of innovation, excellence and new knowledge, and several great scientific achievements, we start an even brighter new decade, striving with more dedication, passion and creativity for safe traffic everywhere and for all.
We thank you all for the excellent cooperation, which we aim to further intensify and we are sending you our very best wishes for joyful Christmas holidays and a lucky and joyful new decade, plenty of personal and professional achievements.
A paper titled “Safety culture among bus drivers in Norway and Greece” authored by Tor-Olav Nævestad, Ross O. Phillips, Alexandra Laiou, Torkel Bjørnskau, and George Yannis is now published in Transportation Research Part F: Traffic Psychology and Behaviour. The aims of this paper are to: (1) Examine the influence of national safety culture, sector safety focus and organizational safety culture on the safety behaviours of professional drivers, compared with other explanatory variables (e.g. age, type of transport, working conditions), and to (2) Examine the influence of safety behaviours and other factors (e.g. age, mileage, type of transport) on self-reported crash involvement. The study indicates a relationship between national road safety culture, road safety behaviour and crash involvement, that could be developed further to help explain differences in national road safety records.
The 2nd newsletter of the Horizon 2020 project Levitate (Societal Level Impacts of Connected and Automated Vehicles) was recently released presenting the key activities of the first 12 months of the project. It highlights the 2nd Workshop of the Levitate Stakeholder Group in Brussels on November 2019 and includes an interview with Anna Craciun, Transport for Greater Manchester, as well as video statements from key project partners. The 2nd Levitate newsletter suggests also several key Connected and Automated Transport news and upcoming events.
Global Alliance of NGOs for Road Safety launched a campaign titled #CommitToAct following the #SpeakUp campaign and in the run up to the Third Global Ministerial Conference on Road Safety 2020. The goal of this campaign is the commitment to road safety actions and the action on the commitment, supporting NGOs in pushing their local and national governments to make clear, meaningful, and specific commitments for road safety actions at policy, implementation, and enforcement levels, and then to track and highlight these commitments. These commitments can be big or small, but what matters is that they are acted on.
The European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) has published a Report titled “Progress in reducing drink-driving and other alcohol-related road deaths in Europe”. The aim of this report is to provide an updated overview of the drink-driving situation in Europe, covering 32 countries including all 28 EU Member States, while it highlights specific legislation and enforcement measures from across Europe. A range of recommendations concerning further improvements in tackling drink driving are made to Member States and the EU institutions throughout this report.
SaferAfrica Project has been awarded the prestigious Prince Michael International Road Safety Award 2019 as recognition for establishing a Dialogue Platform between Africa and Europe focusing on road safety management. SaferAfrica was an EU Horizons 2020 research project (2016-2019) relying on a rich and multilevel governance inspired by a common goal: make African roads safer. NTUA contributed actively by developing the African Road Safety Observatory as a core component of the Dialogue Platform.
SafetyCube project has been awarded the prestigious Prince Michael International Road Safety Award 2019 as recognition for its innovative open-access web-based Road Safety Decision Support System (DSS) that enables policy-makers and stakeholders to select and implement the most appropriate strategies, measures and cost-effective approaches to reduce casualties of all road user types and all severities in Europe and worldwide. SafetyCube (Safety CaUsation, Benefits and Efficiency) was an EU Horizon 2020 research project (2015-2018). NTUA contributed actively at all phases of the SafetyCube project and was in charge of the development of the SafetyCube DSS.
Within the framework of the Open Days event, Thessaloniki Road Traffic Police unit received the “Best Road Safety Initiative” Award 2019 by the Hellenic Institute of Transport (HIT) in cooperation with the Hellenic Association of Toll Road Network (Hellastron) and the Hellenic Institute of Transportation Engineers (HITE). This year, the award was given to the Road Traffic Police department of Thessaloniki, for the innovative applications developed in the field of Road Safety the previous year, and particularly for the program “Little Traffic Policemen … in action!” demonstrating a pioneering visual and practical interest in promoting Road Safety.
The revised General Safety Regulation was formally approved by the European Council and the European Parliament on 27 November. 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 Global Roadmap of Action toward Sustainable Mobility (GRA) constitutes an effort led by the Sustainable Mobility For All (SuM4All) coalition to identify the most relevant and impactful policy measures to achieve sustainable mobility, based on country’s performances. The GRA is a tool that will enable any country in the world to measure how far it is from achieving sustainable mobility, explore more than 180 policy measures that have been tested worldwide, and prioritize those that are most impactful and lay out a path forward.
The November 2019 issue of NRSO Road Safety Update is the 100th newsletter of the NTUA Road Safety Observatory and we celebrate it with a dedicated infographic, proud having contributed to the very important road casualties reduction in Europe this period. With our first NRSO newsletter back on January 2007 and then more systematically with monthly newsletters since September 2011, we support systematically the international road safety community with key road safety knowledge and data, with ultimum objective safe traffic everywhere and for all.
During 30th POLIS Conference on 28 November 2019, in Brussels, Belgium, the Department of Transportation Planning and Engineering of the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA) declared its full support and signed the City declaration “The new Paradigm for Safe City Streets” including 10 principles to be recognized by EU cities, as necessary for sound and effective action for traffic safety.
The European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) organised its bi-annual Main Council Meeting in Brussels on October 10th, 2019, where all latest road safety developments in Europe were discussed. NTUA as new member of ETSC presented the current and future activities of the NTUA Road Safety Observatory.
A Diploma Thesis titled “Investigation of Messinia drivers attitudes towards road safety” was recently presented by Nektaria Salem. The aim of this Diploma Thesis was the investigation of Messinia drivers attitudes towards road safety, based on their choices on road network safety upgrade of Kalamata – Pilos axis. From the analysis it was derived that the probability for a driver using a safety upgraded road network over the existing one, depends on travel time and upgrade cost, as well as on gender, age, occupation, education and income of the driver.
A Diploma Thesis titled “Long-term association of road accidents and weather conditions in European cities” was recently presented by Areti Thanasko. The aim of this Diploma Thesis was to investigate the long–term correlation between road accidents and weather conditions in European cities. On that purpose, a database containing average monthly temperature and precipitation data for every city – as well as the monthly number of road accidents for the period 1991-2017 was developed. The application of the models concluded that increase of precipitation and temperature results at increase of road accidents. For the group of south cities, the impact of weather conditions in road accidents is found more severe. For each time period, the rain has a negative impact on accidents, although their correlation is positive. Furthermore, temperature increase due to climate change slows down the improvement of road safety.
The traffic and safety effect of smartphone texting and web surfing during driving in cities using a driving simulator, 2019
A Diploma Thesis titled “The traffic and safety effect of smartphone texting and web surfing during driving in cities using a driving simulator” was recently presented by Maria Oikonomou. Driving profiles of 36 young people were collected through a driving simulator experiment while a survey was conducted to collect the characteristics and driving habits of the participants. A key finding is that web surfing and texting while driving cause: increased accident probability and decreased mean speed and its variation, headway distance and its variation, as well as steering wheel variation. Finally, the use of the Google Maps application has the greatest impact on mean speed variation, while the use of Facebook App while driving has the greatest impact on mean headway distance variation and mean steering wheel variation.
A Diploma Thesis titled “Modelling Automated Vehicles’ Socio-economic Impact” was recently presented by Epameinondas Theodorakos. The aim of this Diploma Thesis was the development of a model that, by filling in the values for several parameters, could estimate the socio-economic impact of the automated traffic for different penetration scenarios, compare these scenarios results and demonstrate each parameters’ impact on the total cost. The model application results highlighted the crucial benefits of automated traffic and quantified the socio-economic parameters impact depending on the penetration scenarios and the reference year, with most important the role of cost of travel time.
Accident Analysis & Prevention – Call for papers: Road Safety and Intelligent Connected Vehicles, 2019
A Special Issue of Accident Analysis & Prevention focusing on Road Safety under the Environment of Intelligent Connected Vehicles is now calling for papers that address issues related to the improvement of traffic safety with ICV applications and the development of scenarios, methodologies, and standards for testing ICV. Moreover, potential safety issues of the mixed traffic flow consisting of ICVs, applications of Big Data and deep learning methods for ICV safety analysis and other emerging technologies in safety planning, design, education, and enforcement are encouraged . The paper submission deadline is set for March 15th, 2020.
A Diploma Thesis titled “Analysis of pedestrians distracted behaviour talking on mobile phone” was recently presented by Dimitra Typa. The aim of this Diploma Thesis was to investigate the impact of hand-held cell phone conversation on pedestrians’ traffic and safety behaviour, when crossing signalized intersections. An outdoor-environment experiment, through video recording, was conducted in real road conditions, in three signalized intersections at the centre of Athens for the purpose of comparing the behaviour of distracted and non-distracted pedestrians. The results of the models’ application demonstrated that distraction caused by hand-held cell phone conversation had a negative impact on pedestrians’ main traffic and safety characteristics, since, in general, mobile use not only decreases pedestrians’ speed but also increases their probability of being involved in an accident with an oncoming vehicle.
A paper titled “Driving Safety Efficiency Benchmarking Using Smartphone Data” authored by Dimitrios Tselentis, Eleni Vlahogianni, and George Yannis is now published in Transportation Research Part C: Emerging Technologies. This paper aims to provide a methodological framework for the comparative evaluation of driving safety efficiency based on Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA). The analysis considers each driver as a Decision-Making Unit (DMU) and aims to provide a relative safety efficiency measure to compare different drivers based on their driving performance. The proposed methodological framework is tested on data from fifty-six (56) drivers during a 7-months period. Findings help distinguish the most efficient drivers from those that are less efficient. Most common inefficient driving practices are identified (aggressive, risky driving, etc.) and driving behaviour is comparatively evaluated and analyzed.
The 1st newsletter of the Horizon 2020 project BE OPEN was recently released highlighting some of the project latest news, the first BE OPEN workshop entitled “Open Science in Transport: Challenges and Way forward“ and key project achievements. The BE OPEN newsletter aims to keep you informed about the project’s progress, news, events and results.
The European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) has published a short video supporting that it is time for the EU to move from dozens of different drink driving limits to one that everyone can remember easily: Zero, despite the fact that every individual responds to alcohol differently.
The third edition of Road Safety Manual (RSM) developed by the World Road Association (PIARC) is designed to help countries at every stage of infrastructure development to fulfil road safety objectives. It is aligned with key pillars for the United Nations Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020: Pillar 1: Road Safety Management, Pillar 2: Safer Roads and Mobility, Pillar 4: Safer Road Users. This comprehensive resource builds on the broad range of knowledge and experience provided by PIARC in the previous editions. It includes new thinking on road safety and offers a clear argument on why adopting a Safe System approach is crucial for all countries.
A paper titled “A review of spatial approaches in road safety” authored by Apostolos Ziakopoulos, and George Yannis is now published in Accident Analysis and Prevention. The aim of the present research is to critically review the existing literature on different spatial approaches through which researchers handle the dimension of space in its various aspects in their studies and analyses. Specifically, the use of different areal unit levels in spatial road safety studies is investigated, different modelling approaches are discussed, and the corresponding study design characteristics are summarized in respective tables including traffic, road environment and area parameters and spatial aggregation approaches.
The European Federation of Road Victims (FEVR) along with the European Commission – DG MOVE and the WHO Regional Office for Europe commemorated the World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims on 18 November 2019, in Brussels, Belgium. From 1995, FEVR observed this day, as European Day of Remembrance, that was adopted by the United Nations in 2005, and is dedicated to remembering the many millions killed or injured in road crashes and their families and communities, as well as to pay tribute to the dedicated emergency crews, police and medical professionals who daily deal with the traumatic aftermath of road death and injury. The slogan of 2019 was: “LIFE IS NOT A CAR PART”.
EuroRAP together with RSI Panos Mylonas organised a Workshop within the European Commission (Connecting Europe Facility – CEF) co-funded project “SLAIN”, titled: Saving Lives Assessing and Improving TEN -T Road Network Safety, which took place with great success in Athens on 10-11 October 2019, with the participation of 8 partners from 5 countries (Belgium, Greece, Italy, Spain and Croatia). SLAIN Project aims at the implementation of the European Road Infrastructure Safety Directive (2008/96/EC) and the preparation of the European Road Network to receive automated traffic.
The European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) has published a Report titled “Briefing: EU Strategic Action Plan on Road Safety”. In June 2019, the European Commission adopted the EU Road Safety Policy Framework 2021-2030, outlining specific policy measures planned for 2021-2030 and developing on the EU Strategic Action Plan on Road Safety published in May 2018. ETSC stresses the need for stronger measures including legislation and a wider coverage of existing and emerging road safety issues that will be essential to addressing the recent stagnation in progress on reducing road deaths in the EU.
European Commissioner for transport Violeta Bulc announced the six winners of the European Road Safety Charter – Excellence in Road Safety Awards 2019 at a ceremony at the prestigious Vaudeville Theatre in Brussels on October 2019. Every year several initiatives of the European Road Safety Charter are rewarded for their contribution to safer roads across Europe. Violeta Bulc said: “Road safety is our common concern and priority. All of you are role models in your local communities, but also now acknowledged on the European scene. I wish to thank you wholeheartedly for your contribution to the improvement of the road safety culture in Europe. You are making a real difference in your community and you are inspiring others to do the same.”
Twelve EU Member States are joining forces to share smart ideas for improving road safety, as part of a new EU-funded project: “Road Safety Exchange”, coordinated by the European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) and launched in Brussels on October 9th, 2019. The three-year EU Road Safety Exchange project aims to tackle the current important disparities between the various EU countries and will link up experts on one hand from Bulgaria, Greece, Lithuania, Poland, Portugal, Romania, and on the other hand from Austria, France, Ireland, the Netherlands, Spain and Sweden. Transport experts from the twelve participating countries will work together to share best practice on reducing speed, building safe infrastructure and improve enforcement, data collection, as well as the safety of pedestrians and cyclists in urban areas.
A paper titled “A systematic cost-benefit analysis of 29 road safety measures” authored by Stijn Daniels, Heike Martensen, Annelies Schoeters, Wouter Van den Berghe, Eleonora Papadimitriou, Apostolos Ziakopoulos, Susanne Kaiser, Eva Aigner-Breuss, Aggelos Soteropoulos, Wim Wijnen, Wendy Weijermars, Laurent Carnis, Rune Elvik, Oscar Martin Perez is now published in Accident Analysis and Prevention. For the purposes of this study the authors collected and (re-)analyzed evidence in order to conduct cost-benefit analyses (CBAs) for 29 road safety measures. The information on crash costs was based on data from a survey in European countries. A systematic procedure was applied including corrections for inflation and Purchasing Power Parity in order to express all the monetary information in the same units (EUR, 2015). Cost-benefit analyses were carried out for measures with favourable estimated effects on road safety and for which relevant information on costs could be found. Results were assessed in terms of benefit-to-cost ratios and net present value and are included also at the SafetyCube DSS.
NACTO’s Guidelines for Regulating Shared Micromobility outline best practices for cities and public entities regulating and managing shared micromobility services on their streets. Its recommendations were developed to reflect the wide variety of experiences that North American cities have had in regulating and managing shared micromobility. Shared micromobility is still in its infancy and there are outstanding questions and option for which there is not yet a defined best practice, as highlighted within these Guidelines.
Road traffic crashes are not just statistics, they affect real lives and real people. Many people have been affected by road traffic crashes, or know people whose lives and relationships have been torn apart by these needless tragedies. The Global Alliance of NGOs for Road Safety launched a survey aiming to bring forth the voices of people to highlight the problem and call for governments to act urgently. The results will be released at the Third Global Ministerial Conference on Road Safety and disseminated through press releases, publications, mass and social media. They will provide evidence to show government leaders what needs to be done at local, regional, and global levels to save lives.
During the European Mobility Week 2019, the European Commission and the EU Member States handed over to Global Alliance of NGOs for Road Safety the commitment of halving the number of fatalities and serious injuries on European roads between 2020 and 2030, within the way forward to the Global Ministerial Conference on Road Safety in Stockholm in February 2020. On the occasion, Commissioner Violeta Bulc also announced an “Urban Road Safety Award” for cities, to be handed out next spring.
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.
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 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.
Driving difficulties as reported by older drivers with mild cognitive impairment and without neurological impairment, 2019
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 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.
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
Analysis of driver behaviour through smartphone data: The case of mobile phone use while driving, 2019
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
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 Transport Safety Council (ETSC) has published the 37th PIN Flash Report “How to improve urban road safety in the EU“, with the active contribution of NTUA. This Report analyses the latest data urban road safety across the EU and other countries that form part of the ETSC Road Safety Performance Index (PIN) programme, and it conclude with more than twenty main recommendations for action at EU. It is highlighted that the problems can be addressed with the right political leadership, resources and energy. But while the EU, national governments and other actors can help provide the knowledge, finance and guidelines to implement the necessary changes, it will often be up to local authorities to implement them effectively. A comprehensive infographic depicts current urban road safety in Europe, with Pedestrians, Motorcyclists and Cyclists accounting for 70% of all urban road fatalities.
The International Transport Forum (ITF/OECD) published recently a new Report: “New Directions for Data-Driven Transport Safety”, with the active contribution of NTUA. This Report explores how seamless data collection, analysis and sharing can unlock innovations in transport safety. Very often most interventions to improve transport safety are reactions to incidents. However lately, connected vehicles, smartphone apps, ubiquitous sensors, data sharing and machine learning make proactive transport safety interventions possible and prevent crashes before they happen. Drawing on the Safe System approach, this Report examines how transport stakeholders can make better decisions by using more relevant and timely new safety data.
NTUA Professor George Yannis was recently awarded the prestigious Francqui Chair 2019, as proposed by Hasselt University. The Francqui Chair is awarded every year by the Francqui Foundation to eminent academics which are promoting the development of higher education and scientific research in Belgium.
- Inaugural Lecture (19 March 2019): Road safety challenges in the digital era – Is digitalisation boosting road safety?
- Second Lecture (27 March 2019): Road Safety Data Analysis – From Correlation to Causation and Policy Support
- Third Lecture (21 May 2019): Best Practice on Road Infrastructure Safety Management
- Forth Lecture (23 May 2019): Automation and Safety
Make Roads Safe Hellas in collaboration with the National Technical University of Athens, the University of Macedonia, the University of the Aegean, the Hellenic Open University and EASST, released a report titled: “International Tourism and Road Safety in Greece, Country Report 2019”. Make Roads Safe Hellas is a Non-Profit Organisation promoting road safety in Greece which hopes to gain momentum from their study and build support for the establishment of a Safe Tourism Network to ensure that road safety for tourists and travellers is given adequate attention, not just in Greece but across the globe. The Report is based on a survey of almost 1,500 international tourists visiting Athens, Chania, and Thessaloniki in 2018, as well on recent accident statistics from ELSTAT.
The European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) has published a Report titled “Road Safety Priorities for the EU 2020-2030: Briefing for the European Parliamentary Elections”. This ETSC Report suggests additional legislation priorities over the period 2019-2024, concerning: a) the improvement of cyclists, pedestrians and powered two wheelers safety, b) automated and connected mobility, c) the reduction of serious injuries on EU roads, d) the efficient enforcement, e) the drug driving and f) the education and training (revision of the European Driving License Directive).
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.
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.
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 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”).
Prof. George Yannis made a presentation about “Open Science in Transport” at the kick-off meeting of the BeOpen, Horizon 2020 project, which took place in Brussels in 14 February 2019. BeOpen aims to create a common understanding on the practical impact of Open Science and to identify and put in place the mechanisms to make it a reality in transport research. Road Safety constitutes a major component of this Open Science in Transport initiative.
The 4th Newsletter of the African-European Dialogue Platform on Road Safety (SaferAfrica) Horizons 2020 project has been recently issued with the active contribution of NTUA. This edition highlights the African “ownership” of the African Road Safety Observatory, Role for NGOs, SaferAfrica Thematic Factsheets and new resources.
The European Council reached a provisional agreement with the European Parliament on a proposal to strengthen road infrastructure management to reduce road fatalities and serious injuries. The reform will extend the scope of the current rules to motorways and other primary roads beyond the trans-European transport network (TEN-T). Furthermore, it introduces a network-wide road safety assessment, which is a snapshot of the entire road network covered by the Directive used to evaluate accident risk and the Authorities will use the findings to carry out more targeted road safety inspections or take direct remedial action. It will become mandatory to take systematic account of pedestrians, cyclists and other vulnerable road users in road safety management procedures. The draft directive amending directive on road infrastructure safety management is available:
TRAVisions concerns two competitions for transport research awards to be announced in a prestigious award ceremony at the Transport Research Arena Conference on 27-30th April 2020 in Helsinki (abstract submission deadline: 1/10/2019):
- TRAVisions 2020 Young Researcher Competition, an academic student competition with the goal of stimulating the interest among young researchers and students in the field of sustainable surface transport
- TRAVisions 2020 Senior Researcher Competition, a competition for senior researchers in the field of innovative surface transport concepts based on results only from EU-funded projects
The Global Road Safety Facility (GRSF), launched the GRSF 2018 Annual Report, highlighting its excellent record of delivery and long term funding for road safety. GRSF is a global partnership program administered by the World Bank, which was established in 2006 with a mission to help address the growing crisis of road traffic deaths and injuries in low and middle-income countries (LMICs).
The European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) has published the 36th PIN Flash Report “Reducing Speeding in Europe“, with the active contribution of NTUA. The EU has the exclusive authority to set minimum safety standards for all new vehicles sold on the EU market. One of the main goals of this PIN Flash Report is to highlight the proposed standards which include mandatory fitment of overridable Intelligent Speed Assistance (ISA) on all cars, vans, buses and heavy goods vehicles. Research shows that this single technology could help to achieve a high level of compliance with speed limits and eventually cut road deaths by 20%.
The infographic of the 2018 NTUA Road Safety Observatory (www.nrso.ntua.gr) activities, highlights one more very intensive year, striving with highly scientific expertise to improve road safety in Greece, in Europe and worldwide. The nrso people with excellent dedication, efficiency and expertise were active in 22 innovative research projects, succeeded to publish 67 scientific papers (21 in peer reviewed journals), reached almost 100.000 nrso website page-views, handled more than 115.000 emails and run more than 4.800 km!
Emmanouil Barmpounakis, Panagiotis Papantoniou, Dimosthenis Pavlou, Dimitris Tselentis and Panos Georgiou PostDoc Researchers of the Department of Transportation Planning and Engineering of NTUA were awarded with the NTUA Thomaidion Award for outstanding publications in scientific journals for the year 2016. The awards for publications in Scientific Journals concerned:
- Barmpounakis E., Vlahogianni E., Golias J., Vision-based multivariate statistical modeling for powered two-wheelers maneuverability during overtaking in urban arterials, Transportation Letters, 8:3, 167-176, 2016
- Yannis G., Laiou A., Papantoniou P., Gkartzonikas C., Simulation of texting impact on young drivers’ behavior and safety on motorways, Transportation Research Part F: Traffic Psychology and Behaviour, 41-A, 10-18, 2016
- Pavlou D., Papantoniou P., Papadimitriou E., Vardaki S., Yannis G., Golias I., Papageorgiou S.G., Which are the effects of driver distraction and brain pathologies on reaction time and accident risk?, Advances in Transportation Studies, Vol.1, 83-98,2016
- Papadimitriou E., Lassarre S., Yannis G., Tselentis D., Road, traffic and human factors of pedestrian crossing behaviour: Integrated choice and latent variables models, Transportation Research Record 2586, 2016
- Christina Plati, Panos Georgiou and Andreas Loizos, Influence of different roller compaction modes on asphalt mix performance, International Journal of Pavement Engineering, 17:1, 64–70, 2016
The European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) has published a report titled “7 SMART Ways of tackling Drink-Driving in Europe”. The report aims to present the wide-ranging approaches used to tackle drink driving in Europe, including legislation (BAC limits, rehabilitation programmes for drink driving offenders), enforcement, technology (alcohol interlocks) campaigns and education.
The Road Safety Institute ‘Panos Mylonas’ with the support of the European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) produced and implemented two video campaigns focusing on driver distraction due to mobile phone use: and one video campaign focusing on the importance of seat-belt especially at the back-seat, titled: “Seat-belt – The belt which “ties” us with life“: . The objective is to highlight these very crucial road safety risk factors and promote these campaigns through social media.