“Roads Kill” is a Pulitzer Center initiative that draws on its extensive global network of journalists in almost every corner of the world to raise the visibility of this growing public health crisis. The centerpiece of this flexible and fully embeddable digital platform, is an interactive map by clicking on a country one can access an assortment of road safety data, ranging from trend lines on highway fatalities to statistics on the types of vehicles most likely to be involved in fatal crashes. Moreover, there is the option to rove across the map and access an ever-expanding roster of full reports and brief “roads facts” from around the world.
The Association of European Police Forces (TISPOL) has recently launched a new section on their website, providing the users with country driving guides. TISPOL’s guides provide clear and easy to follow information to answer the most frequently asked questions by visiting drivers. Recent changes in legislation are highlighted and tips on what to do in the event of a breakdown or accident are provided.
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) are working hard to raise awareness of the dangers to pedestrians, and to provide leadership, expertise, and resources to communities across America to combat these crashes. Everyone has different preferences when it comes to transportation, but there’s one that all road users share – everyone is a pedestrian. ‘Everyone is a pedestrian’ initiative urges parents, caregivers, educators, traffic safety officials, and advocates to make the most of pedestrian safety resources to improve the quality of life in their communities.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has released his recommendations for the Post-2015 development agenda which include road safety among key public health actions. Globally, road injury has become a severe health burden for young people – and particularly for young men. It is the number one cause of death for young people aged 15-29 and the second biggest killer of men aged 30-40 after HIV/AIDS.
The European Commission adopted two proposals to help mitigate the consequences of serious road accidents across the EU. By October 2015, cars will automatically call emergency services in case of a serious crash. The “eCall” system automatically dials 112 – Europe’s single emergency number – in the event of a serious accident. It communicates the vehicle’s location to emergency services, even if the driver is unconscious or unable to make a phone call. It is estimated that it could save up to 2.500 lives a year (MEMO/13/547).
The ceremony for the 2013 Environmental Sensitivity Awards OIKOPOLIS 2013, organised by ECOCITY took place on June 5th, 2013, in Athens. The OIKOPOLIS awards aim to promote general environmental awareness and develop social participation of enterprises, associations and institutions to undertake or support actions for the environment.
NTUA Associate Professor George Yannis was awarded for his overall scientific work on sustainable urban mobility, including his extensive work on road safety. He underlined that “urban mobility and safety are primary components of the urban environment and that the transportation engineers in Greece persist fighting to convincing authorities and citizens for the necessary sustainable mobility and safety solutions in the Greek cities”.
ETSC’s expectations of the European Commission’s upcoming urban mobility package (that will be presented in late 2013), is that it will lay out measures that will contribute to reducing road deaths by 50% by 2020 in urban areas. Transport safety should be considered as an essential component of sustainable mobility and mobility planning.
In attempting to secure change in urban mobility patterns, road safety can be regarded as a critical challenge, largely because of the social and economic cost of road collisions. Real and perceived safety can have a profound effect on modal choice especially in terms of the most sustainable modes of travel – walking and cycling and ability to access public transport. ETSC strongly recommends that safety should be integrated not only into the development of Urban Mobility Plans, but also into proposed Urban Mobility Audits and Guidelines and be reflected in common targets.
The Global Road Safety Partnership Annual Report has recently been published. The report summarises in brief the actions taken by the Global Road Safety Partnership during the year 2012 to encourage and to increase road safety efforts within the framework of the Decade of Action and to build and share knowledge to achieve a reduction in road crash death and injury.
A large road safety campaign organised by EFTHYTA Rhodes took place on May 19th, 2013 in Rhodes island in Greece, with main message: I am walking for safe roads for all. People walked along the city center passing the message “We walk for life ….”. Mrs Eleni Karydi, Head of EFTHITA Rhodes called citizens, Authorities and all stakeholders of Rhodes to persist fighting for safer roads with less accidents.
The Civil Engineering School of the National Technical University of Athens was ranked 25th among all Civil Engineering Schools worldwide and 7th in Europe. This ranking is produced by the QS Organisation based on selected criteria: academic reputation (40%), employer reputation (10%), citations per faculty by scopus (20%), faculty student ratio (20%), proportion of international students and faculty (10%). NTUA road safetyactivities have contributed to this ranking.
Professor John Golias, Dean of the Civil Engineering School said that this great improvement is the result of the systematic and collective efforts of all Faculty members for academic and research excellence.
The first ever in the world Road Safety Flashmob was organised on Friday May 10th, 2013 in Athens by the Road Safety Institute (I.O.AS.) – RSI “Panos Mylonas”, with the support of the European Commission and the European Youth Forum. The event took place in Syntagma square, the most central square of Athens, during the UN Global Road Safety Week (6-12 May 2013) for the promotion of road safety through the message “Stop road crashes”. IOAS President, Mrs Vasiliki Danelli-Mylonain a recent speech during the UN Global Road Safety Week stressed the importance of road safety campaigns: “Together we can make it loud, for our friends, our colleagues, our fellow citizens, our politicians”.
The President of the Hellenic Republic Mr. Karolos Papoulias has received on April 22nd, 2013 the Members of the Road Safety Inter-Ministry Committee and discussed and adopted a series of necessary measures of each Ministry for the improvement of road safety in Greece. The Chairman of the Inter-Ministry Committee Mr. Kostis Hatzidakis, Minister of Development and Infrastructure stressed the importance of theimplementation of the national strategic plan and the enhancement of the Secretariat of the Inter-Ministry Committee.
NTUA Professor George Kanellaidis pointed out the key messages of the national road safety strategic plan 2011-2020 prepared by NTUA: development of road safety culture, coordination and efficient implementation and monitoring of the road safety measures.
The Long Short Walk is a fun activity with a serious aim, it is part of the Zenani Campaign and is in support of UN Global Road Safety week on 6-12 May 2013, themed around pedestrian safety. The Second UN Global Road Safety Week from 6-12 May 2013 is led by the World Health Organization, UN regional commissions and members of the UN Road Safety Collaboration. The week coincides with the second anniversary of the Decade of Action for Road Safety. In support of UN Global Road Safety Week The Long Short Walk aims to bring together people and groups from around the world to call for action to protect pedestrians.
The second United Nations Global Road Safety Week is dedicated topedestrian safety and will be held 6-12 May 2013. The Road Safety Week will draw attention to the urgent need to better protect pedestrians worldwide, generate action on the measures needed to do so, and contribute to achieving the goal of the Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020, to save 5 million lives. Useful resources and ideas for pedestrian safety are proposed: Activities, Design Guides, Guidelines, Policy, Research Reports.
From January 19th 2013, all new driving licences issued across the EU will be in the form of a plastic “credit card”, with a standard European format and tougher security protection. The new European licence will progressively replace the more than 100 different paper and plastic models currently in use by more than 300 million drivers across the EU. It is a part of a broader package of measures (3rd EU Driving Licence Directive) coming into force to guarantee a true freedom of movement to EU drivers, reinforce safety on European roads and reduce possibilities of fraud.
A new book of NTUA Professor Emeritus John Frantzeskakis and first Chairman of the Hellenic Institute of Transportation Engineers, titled “Experiences 1958-2012 of a Greek Transportation Engineer from the urban areas in Greece and abroad” has been just published by Papasotirou Editions, Greece. A special chapter on road safety summarises the more than 30 years scientific contributions of Prof. Frantzeskakis to the reduction of road accident casualties in Greece and in Europe.
The DaCoTA EU Project Team and the European Commission are introducing the new Road Safety Knowledge System website. The aim is to make it accessible to the Road Safety Community internationally and to inform and share the benefits of this research with the widest range of people – policy-makers, police, rescue and medical services, road systems designers, vehicle manufacturers, the insurance industry, infrastructure project organisations, transport user groups and representatives. A wide range of topics is covered including:
- Safety Issues: state of the art information on road safety topics,
- Country Tools: country overviews, forecasts and indexes comparing EU countries,
- Statistics: annual statistical reports, basic fact sheets, crash data, exposure data, performance indicators, driver attitudes and behaviour, causation information,
- Methods: data specifications and protocols
- Links: key links and summaries of a large number of road safety organisations.
The Greek eΚΛΗΣΗ project is now in the final stages of creating an automatic warning system in case of a traffic accident. The first tests of the automatic emergency call system (eCall), within the frame of the pilot national research project eΚΛΗΣΗ (http://www.ecall-hellas.eu/), have been successfully concluded. The tests were performed on a prototype system and rooted emergency calls from the In Vehicle System (IVS), which was implemented by the Institute of Communication and Computer Systems (ICCS), an ERTICO partner, to the Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP), which was implemented by SPACE HELLAS, through the mobile telecommunication network of COSMOTE. The national project eΚΛΗΣΗ prepares Greece for the implementation of the eCall service which will be obligatory for all EU member-states from end 2014.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration of the US Department of Transportation launches the largest-ever road test of connected vehicle crash avoidance technology. Nearly 3,000 cars, trucks and buses equipped with “connected” Wi-Fi technology to enable vehicles and infrastructure to “talk” to each other in real time to help avoid crashes and improve traffic flow will begin traversing Ann Arbor’s streets today as part of a year-long safety pilot project. Conducted by University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI), the road test, or model deployment, is a first-of-its-kind test of connected vehicle technology in the real world. The test cars, trucks and buses, most of which have been supplied by volunteer participants, are equipped with vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) communication devices that will gather extensive data about system operability and its effectiveness at reducing crashes.
A joint effort by the European Commission and the Federation of European Motorcyclists’ Associations, the European Motorcyclists’ Forum is a platform for discussion on safety, mobility and the future of two-wheel transport in Europe. The forum took place on in Cologne on 3rd October 2012 and it will be open to all stakeholders interested in two-wheel mobility, where it will be possible to assess the problems, explore solutions, raise awareness and set the conditions for implementing actions.
The 4th European Road Safety Day, organised by the European Commission and with the Cyprus Presidency and took place place on 25 July 2012 in Nicosia. The day was dedicated to young people and on the agenda were issues such as the creation of a road safety culture among young people, workshops on education, enforcement and risky behaviours.
The Road Safety Institute “Panos Mylonas” and the Representation of the European Commission in Greece continue their efforts to raise awareness and improve the numbers of road traffic accidents in Greece, occurring especially during summer time. For this reason they have launched a road safety awareness raising campaign has been created to inform and sensitize both Greek civilians and foreign visitors of the country during summer time.
The European Union Road Safety Federation within its activities for road infrastructure safety improvement, has launched a new website dedicated to road restraint systems (RRS). Road Restraint Systems are one of the most efficient and cost-effective road infrastructure solutions that can reduce the impact of a road accident and the number of fatalities and injuries for the vehicle passengers.
The Deputy Minister for Public Works has issued Ministerial Decree (ΔΙΠΑΔ/ΟΙΚ/273 published at the Official Journal 2221/2013) concerning 440 New Greek Standards for Public Works. Several of these new standards concern road works and are directly linked to road safety.
The campaign of the Hellenic Association of Insurance Companies (EAEE) for the Prevention of Road Accidents in 2011, has been awarded with the creativity award ERMIS ‘silver’ in the category ‘direct – programs of social activity’. The campaign centered on a tow truck with a crashed car on the platform and the message “He drank, he drove, he was killed. What will you do?”. The truck drove around crowded with young people areas of Athens, in order to draw their attention and prevent them from driving under the influence of alcohol. At the same time, a team placed in parked cars and motorcycles over 30,000 leaflets with road safety messages.
A public consultation is in progress by the European Commission. The questionnaire will provide input for the drafting of a strategy to reduce the severity of injuries caused by road traffic accidents. The questionnaire addresses general issues related to road safety and more specific issues on how to improve the data available on victims of accidents and their collection at EU level, and on how to target some specific groups of road users. The European Commission will take stock of all the relevant information on this subject with a view to develop the comprehensive strategy on road traffic injuries.
CERTH/HIT is organising several events in Greece in celebration of ten years since the start of the public awareness campaign “Alcohol – Not Tonight, I am Driving”. The main aims were to raise young people’s awareness of the risk of drinking and driving and to encourage the use of the designated driver concept (as normal behaviour).
The World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims on November 21st is a day for reminding of why a world free of high risk roads is so important. There will be 3,500 new victims in the next 24 hours, and an estimated 100,000 people injured. This day is used as an inspiration for every community to keep up working for road safety. Statements in support of this year’s World Day of Remembrance were addressed from the UN Secretary-General, Mr Ban Ki-moon, and from the Chair of the UN Road Safety Collaboration, Dr Etienne Krug. In Greece, initiatives are organised by IOAS, EFTHITA-Rhodes and SOS-Traffic Crimes.
The Loughborough Design School is an international centre of excellence for Design, Ergonomics, Safety and Education. This new MSc in Road and Vehicle Safety is being offered by the Transport Safety Research Centre (TSRC), based within the Design School and is aimed at those who wish to extend and deepen their skills and understanding of this vast and expanding field of knowledge. Reducing injury on today’s roads no longer focuses on any single approach. In addition to crash protection of vehicle occupants there is a need to prevent crashes occurring. In this respect, effective improvement of traffic safety requires a knowledge of a wider range of approaches.
The European Road Safety Charter is an initiative of the European Commission aiming to engage with concrete actions as many as possible civil society organisations to the improvement of road safety in Europe, in order to achieve the common objective: to help reduce road fatalities and injuries. The Charter has more than 2.000 signatories. On March 3rd, 2011, several Greek Organisations signed the European Road Safety Charter and joined the large list of Greek signatories.
The new Law 3897/2010 prepared by the Hellenic Ministry of Infrastructure, Transport & Networks, establishing the National Road Safety Council and the General Diretorate for Road Safety of this Ministry, is in force since December 10th, 2010. The National Road Safety Council aims to support the various activities of the national road safety policy.
During the European Road Safety Day on October 13th, 2010, organised by the European Commission, the new strategic guidelines on European road safety policy for the period 2011‑2020 have been presented. At this European Road Safety Day particular importance was attributed to the cross‑border fight against the offences which cause most deaths.
On June 3rd, 2008, NTUA organized an event on Road Safety under the auspices of the President of the Hellenic Republic. The event was held in the Old Parliament House and was attended by more than 250 people, including Ministers, Members of the Parliament and other key road safety experts. At the key note speech Professor George Kanellaidis highlighted the current challenges of road safety in Greece and stressed the importance of the strategic planning for the improvement of road safety in Greece.
The second European Road Safety Day of the European Commission has been celebrated in Paris on October 13th, 2008. The second road safety day is dedicated to Road Safety in our Cities, as about two thirds of the accidents and one third of all road fatalities occur in urban areas, often affecting the most vulnerable road users.
The European Road Safety Charter is an initiative of the European Commission aiming to engage as many as possible civil society organisations to the improvement of road safety in Europe, in order to achieve the common goal: halving the number of traffic fatalities by 2010. Ten Greek Organisations have signed so far the Charter.
During the European Road Safety Day on April 27th, 2007, organised by the European Commission it was stated that the European action plan continues to deliver results and the target of saving 25.000 lives on Europe’s roads by 2010 is attainable. Greece is lagging behind with a fatalities decrease of 11% in comparison to the 22% average decrease in Europe of 27.