Road Safety News
Road Safety News concern a selection of the most recent developments on road safety in Greece, in Europe and worldwide.
In a recently published study conducted at Stanford University (USA), using a range of parameters for each scientist’s research contribution and influence, million scientists data from Scopus database were analysed. According to this study 971 Greek scientists are contained in the global top 2%, among which 130 researchers from the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA). 21 Professors from the School of Civil Engineering of NTUA are among the top 2% researchers in the world (5 within the top-ten of NTUA), while 6 of them from the Department of Transportation Planning and Engineering, (5 within the top-eleven of the School of Civil Engineering).
The Global Alliance of NGOs for Road Safety launched a strategic plan for the period 2024-2030 that sets out the vision, mission, and how these will be achieved during the remaining years of the Decade of Action 2021-2030. It has been developed with inputs from Alliance members, the Board, and partners, and with support of external consultants. Through this strategic plan, 350-plus member NGOs in more than 100 countries will be empowered, mobilized and supported.
The European Commission adopted a series of proposals designed to improve the experience of passengers and travellers by strengthening their rights. These proposals focuse on stronger passenger rights, protection of package travellers, better multimodal travel information services and the creation of a common European mobility data space. The new rules will also provide for safer and smoother journeys, especially those involving different travel services or transport modes, ensuring that passengers have access to direct support, and enhanced real-time information, for example on delays and cancellations.
The NTUA Department of Transportation Planning and Engineering organised with great success a Scientific Workshop titled “Telematics boosting mobility behaviour” which took place at the NTUA Campus in Athens on November 22nd, 2023. The rapid spread of innovative technologies in the field of telematics creates new opportunities to monitor, evaluate and improve driver behaviour through feedback tools, providing incentives to drivers for safer and greener behaviour, with spectacular results. During this workshop, the new interactive SafeRoadsMap tool for safe and green travelling in Greece was released. Workshop Presentations:
- Telematics and mobility behaviour – nrso
- OSeven application and improvement of mobility behaviour – SmartMaps
- Collection and processing of smart map data – SmartMaps
- Development of infrastructure, driving behaviour and fuel consumption maps – SmartMaps
- Development of algorithms for multiparametric analysis of driving behaviour and road segment risk– SmartMaps
- Fleet, traffic and mobility management in interconnected environments – Dit4tram
- Driver-vehicle-environment interaction and comparison by transport mode – iDreams
- Safety assessment of Athens Great Walk segments with telematics data – PHOEBE
- Artificial intelligence and safe mobility – Ivory
- Driver behaviour optimisation for safe, green and energy efficient mobility – OptiMo
The World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims is observed on the third Sunday of November each year, launched in 1995 by the European Federation of Road Traffic Victims (FEVR) and since 2005 adopted by the United Nations 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. A book written by Jeannot Mersch and Briggite Chaudhry has been published for celebrating 30 years for the Day of Remembrance.
Based on the new interactive map of EUROSTAT on road safety performance of European Union regions (NUTS 2), there were 19,917 road fatalities on EU roads in 2021, equivalent to 45 road fatalities per million inhabitants. In total, there were 24 EU regions with at least 80 road fatalities per million inhabitants and the highest incidence rates for road fatalities were recorded in rural regions. In urban and capital regions much lower rates of road fatalities are reported with the lowest incidence rates observed in Brussels,Belgium (7 fatalities per million inhabitants), Wien, Austria (8), Stockholm, Sweden (9), and Bremen, Germany (9).
Several cities worldwide have started setting speed limits of 30 km/h in large parts of the city. Brussels, Paris and Vienna have introduced city-wide 30km/h speed limits, mixing safely traffic of pedestrians, cyclists and motorised vehicles, with significant results in reducing road crashes, emissions and noise and upgrading city liveability. Within the 30 Marathons in 30 months campaign-challenge of Prof. George Yannis, a comprehensive set of resources on cities experiences with 30km/h speed limit is made available: georgeruns30x30.com/resources
The campaign-challenge of Prof. George Yannis running 30 Marathons in 30 months for 30km/h speed limit in all cities has been well presented in scientific conferences (IRTAD, Energy Save, ITF) and workshops (organized by TUM and NTUA) and disseminated thanks to the active support of International Organisations (ETSC, ECTRI, UITP, ERF), NTUA, Polish Road Safety Observatory and Runner Magazine. As Luca Pascotto mentions: “George showed me that when you combine your work with your personal passions, your can set ambitious target and find new motivation, involved the people around you”, while Abel Coentrão highlights that “George will ally with everyone who wishes to make the voice of 30km/h Cities as strong as possible, as soon as possible”. Launching public awareness campaigns and encouraging the use of public transport and active mobility could be proved beneficial for the adoption of 30 km/h speed limits in cities. Promoting city-wide 30km/h speed limit at the Media is available: https://georgeruns30x30.com/media
A new book titled “La Vitesse: Enjeux contemporains et politiques publiques” authored by Laurent Carnis and Dominique Mignot, was recently published. This book guides the reader through the theme of the reflection of speed in society. Speed is at the heart of society as it continues to structure everyday behavior, expressing a form of modernity and reflecting the relationship with time and risk. Furthermore, speed is also a matter of public policy, with road safety and public health at stake. It is the result of interactions between behavior, vehicles and infrastructure. These policies must ensure that the measures taken are acceptable and effective on the ground, but they require strong commitments from decision-makers.
Τhe European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) has recently published the 45th PIN Flash Report titled “Reducing Older People’s Deaths on European Roads”. This report highlights road safety challenges faced by older road users examines the latest data regarding road deaths of older people across the EU and other countries that form part of ETSC’s Road Safety Performance Index (PIN) programme. Key measures aimed at reducing risks for older road users, encompassing strategies that address behaviour, infrastructure and vehicle safety, are provided. Remarkable is that 55% of older people road deaths are vulnerable road users, while one third of them are pedestrians.
IVORY – AI for Vision Zero in Road Safety is a new Industrial Doctoral Network funded by the Marie Skłodowska Curie Actions (MSCA) Doctoral Networks 2022 Framework of the EC, coordinated by TU Delft with the active contribution of NTUA. The objectives of IVORY is to develop a new framework for optimal integration of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in road safety research, and train a new generation of leading researchers in the field through state-of-the-art doctoral research. In total, 15 PhD candidates will be fostered within the project, 4 of which will be within NTUA. Their topics concern proactive risk mapping, multiscale crash prediction, multiparametric data fusion for road safety and ethical physiological measurements for road safety risk prediction. Potential PhD Applicants are welcome.
The European Commission hosted with great success the annual Excellence in Road Safety Awards on 19 October 2023 in Brussels, recognising the contributions of the European Road Safety Charter’s community of members towards the common goal of improved road safety across Europe. The award categories for 2023 included best use of data promoting road safety, best project promoting fitness to drive and supporting road safety in the e-commerce sector and best road safety project for road users with reduced mobility. Austrian Institute of Technology (AIT) was chosen by the audience at the awards ceremony to receive the Jacques Barrot Award.
The European Commission published the latest figures on Road safety in the EU, showing that 20,640 people were killed in road crashes in 2022, a 4% increase in relation to 2021 as traffic levels recovered after the pandemic. While the underlying long-term trend is downward (-9% compared to pre-pandemic year), it is not decreasing at a fast enough pace to reach the EU target of halving the number of deaths by 2030. Preliminary figures for the first six months of 2023 indicate the number of deaths on EU roads has fallen slightly, compared with the same period in 2022.
Bolt micromobility operator is actively engaged to high level safety of its services and has recently published a Report introducing e-scooter safety and gaining a deeper insight into the world of safe Bolt e-scooter and e-bike rides. Bolt is assisted by a Micromobility Safety Committee composed by renown urban safety experts, with the active contribution of NTUA, which provide advice, feedback and recommendations regarding micromobility safety performance, strategy, and future initiatives.
The first results of the ESRA3 (E-Survey of Road users’ Attitudes) global survey on road users’ safety attitudes, self-declared behaviour on traffic and other background data such as exposure and traffic legislation, have recently been published. VIAS, with the active contribution of NTUA, has produced the 39 Country Fact Sheets that show national results compared to regional average values. Several other thematic reports will be published in 2024.
The European Commission with the active contribution of NTUA, SWOV and KFV has launched a safe mobility promotion activity focusing on drink driving. According to two new Reports from the European Road Safety Observatory, around 25% of all road deaths in the EU are alcohol-related, representing 15 times higher crash risk than sober drivers. These Reports also highlight effective measures against impaired driving, which include: strict legislation backed by police enforcement, providing alternative transport means, awareness campaigns, rehabilitation courses, safety culture in companies, alcohol interlocks, and in-vehicle technology that warns or intervenes when impairment leads to critical events.
Christina Alexopoulou, Deputy Minister of Infrastructure and Transport, Chairing the Road Safety Governmental Committee together with Konstantinos Kyranakis, Deputy Minister of Digital Governance, are set to implement the digitalization and automatisation of the system for traffic violations management within the framework of the National Road Safety Strategic Plan 2021 – 2030. NTUA Professor George Yannis will contribute actively, taking the role of Coordinator of the Executive Committee for Road Safety, which will focus on the new Road Safety Law & Road Traffic Code, the National Road Safety Observatory and the National Road Safety Communication Policy.
The European Commission proposed a list of principles, in order to boost cycling across Europe. This proposal recognises cycling as a sustainable, accessible and inclusive, affordable and healthy means of transport, with strong added value for the EU economy. The Declaration should serve as a strategic compass for existing and future policies and initiatives related to cycling. The proposed principles will help the EU achieve its European Green Deal, Sustainable and Smart Mobility Strategy and Zero Pollution Action Plan objectives.
Dimitrios Nikolaou, NTUA PhD Candidate & Researcher, received the Young Researcher Best Paper on Road Safety Αward 2023 during the International Congress on Transport Research 2023. The Award is granted jointly by the Hellenic Institute of Transport (HIT/CERTH) and the Hellenic Institute of Transportation Engineers (HITE). The award concerned the paper is titled: “Spatial analysis of telematics surrogate safety measures across road environments”, co-authored by Armira Kontaxi, Apostolos Ziakopoulos and George Yannis.
The Global Alliance of NGOs for Road Safety (the Alliance) and the International Road Federation (IRF), with the support of the TotalEnergies Foundation program, have recently released the LEARN Guide, a new resource of information and support to empower road safety advocates globally. This guide is structured in six straightforward steps and enables NGOs and other road safety stakeholders to set up their own LEARN coalitions, benefiting from the tools and learning experiences of existing ones.
Global University Rankings demonstrate excellent scientific performance of the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA), our Civil Engineering School and our Department of Transportation Planning and Engineering, along with the NTUA Road Safety Observatory. This is the result of NTUA Scientists’ long standing culture of persistence to our fundamental research principles: a) Scientific Excellence with advanced and innovative technology concepts, b) Research with significant Impact to society and economy, c) State-of-the-art organisation for highly efficient Implementation, d) Systematic international Cooperations. Great thanks to the highly dedicated NTUA Road Safety Research Team and to all our European and worldwide partners. And the exciting journey towards scientific excellence continues …
The Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) has recently released the FIA Road Safety Index, a tool that provides Organisations with a methodology to assess their road safety performance and calculate their safety footprint, relying on a similar concept as the carbon footprint calculators. The safety footprint of an Organisation refers to the number of fatalities and seriously injured persons as a result of road crashes occurring within its entire value chain. Designed on the basis of a long-term commitment, the index offers a systematic approach to identify, measure and follow up road safety results from a value chain perspective.
NTUA Professor George Yannis is ranked 1st most productive European Scientist in Road Safety Research (8th globally and at the top 0.02% of all Scientists in the field), according to recent rankings from Expertscape‘s PubMed-based algorithms for the last 10 years. According to the same rankings, NTUA Road Safety research productivity is ranked 4th in Europe (and within the top 40 Universities globally).
The Horizon 2020 research project SHOW (SHared automation Operating models for Worldwide adoption) has recently released the SHOW 7th Newsletter. The Newsletter provides information on the latest outcomes of the project. The sites had the opportunity to present their achievements in a recent Review Meeting with the European Commission, where the excellent work being done across the project, the results that are beginning to emerge, and of course, the challenges to overcome to allow the sites to fulfill their potential, were discussed. SHOW’s aim now is to enhance urban mobility and automation by understanding people’s needs.
The PHOEBE research project has recently released the PHOEBE 1st Newsletter, which provides information on the latest outcomes of the EU-funded ‘Predictive Approaches for Safer Urban Environment’ (PHOEBE) project aiming to increase the road safety of vulnerable road users, especially those who use active mobility and e-scooters. Special focus is given to the assessment of current transport pilot plans in Athens, carried out by NTUA.
Τhe European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) is calling for the European Union and European national governments to make Anti-lock Braking Systems (ABS) mandatory on all new motorcycles in a new report, titled Reducing Road Deaths among Powered Two Wheeler Users. This Report examines the state of motorcycling safety in Europe and revealed that 3,891 people died while riding a motorcycle or moped in the EU in 2021. That figure is 25% lower than a decade earlier but, over the same period, other road deaths fell by a third.
The Public Policy Guide for Cycling has released the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport, which includes a plan for the promotion of cycling in Greece in the horizon of 2030. The Deputy Minister of Infrastructure and Transport, responsible for transport issues, Michalis Papadopoulos pointed out the importance of promoting the use of bicycles as an equal mean of transport for all citizens. The objective to increase the share of travel by bicycle requires the cooperation of all stakeholders, institutional and non-institutional.
The Horizon 2020 project i-DREAMS (smart Driver Environment Assessment and Monitoring System) released its 7th Newsletter, presenting the main accomplishments of the project, through creative solutions and risk mitigation strategies, exploiting state-of-the art findings on driver safety tolerance zone. The Newsletter presents the main results and the key findings from field trials and simulator experiments in Belgium, Germany, UK, Greece and Portugal and recommendations are also provided. The management approach, the communication and dissemination strategy as well as the ethical challenges tackled are presented through 37 deliverables, technical reports, interviews.
The NTUA Department of Transportation Planning and Engineering organised with great success a Scientific Workshop titled “Telematics and Driver Behaviour” which took place in Athens on April 4th, 2023. Key driver telematics research findings were demonstrated and discussed, highlighting spectacular safety benefits from monitoring, evaluation and improvement of driver behaviour through feedback tools, social gamification schemes and motivation for drivers. Workshop Presentations:
- Telematics, Big Data and Road Safety – nrso
- Improving driving behaviour through OSeven’s telematics application – Oseven
- Key road safety and telematics data – i-Safemodels
- Development of a global road safety model – i-Safemodels
- Exploiting surrogate safety measures and road design characteristics towards crash investigations in motorway segments – i-Safemodels
- A crash hotspot identification and safety ranking methodology – i-Safemodels
- State of the art on spatial analysis and visualization tools for potential telematics applications – SmartMaps
- Spatial analysis of telematics surrogate safety measures across road environments – SmartMaps
- From understanding the effects of driving behaviour on fuel consumption to a personalized eco-recommendation system – EcoDrive
- A personalized framework for fuel efficient route planning – EcoDrive
- The transformation of the insurance industry and road safety by driver safety behaviour telematics – BeSmart
- Investigating the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on driver behaviour through telematics data – Covid-19
- Effectiveness Evaluation of the i-DREAMS Interventions – i-Dreams
- Modelling the inter-relationship between task complexity, coping capacity and crash risk – i-Dreams
- Telematics, microsimulation and road safety assessment requirements for the enhancement of analytic tools – Phoebe
FERSI expresses its concern that European road safety research is no longer delivering what it ought to, impeding the improvements needed to achieve the European ambitious road safety targets. This position paper details how the structure of road safety research funding in Europe impacts the potential progress that can be made in European road safety and provides some suggestions for solutions.