Road Safety News
Road Safety News concern a selection of the most recent developments on road safety in Greece, in Europe and worldwide.
NTUA Professor George Yannis made a synthesis presentation of road safety performance and respective measures in Greece, at the European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) PIN Panel Meeting, on 20 June, 2019 in Brussels. Greece has made the most impressive road safety improvement in the EU during the last decade (51% road fatalities decrease), with 690 fatalities in 2018: the best ever performance since 1965 and only 61 lives to be saved to reach the EU 2020 target. This is the combined result of the economic crisis and a series of important and systematic measures on road infrastructure, traffic safety legislation and safe road user behaviour campaigns. Road Safety in Greece
A paper titled “Analysis of driver behaviour through smartphone data: The case of mobile phone use while driving” authored by Eleonora Papadimitriou, Anastasia Argyropoulou, Dimitris Tselentis, and George Yannis is now published in Safety Science. The aim of this paper is to explore driving behaviour during mobile phone use on the basis of detailed driving analytics collected by smartphone sensors from OSeven Telematics. The data came from a sample of one hundred drivers (18,850 trips) during a naturalistic driving experiment over four months. The results suggest that mobile phone use while driving may be accurately predicted by the model in more than 70% of cases.
Road Safety is acknowledged as a priority issue in the EuroMed partner countries (Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Tunisia). However, the collection of credible road safety data is a major challenge. In this context, the recent EuroMed Report, which was launched with the active contribution of NTUA, consists of provision of technical assistance on setting up road safety reliable, harmonized and comparable data collection systems at the EuroMed Partner Countries and sharing at regional level. The Final Report concludes that the adoption of common definitions for road crash variables and values strongly depends on the successful implementation of basic definitions (accident, road, casualty severity) and the systematic and complete reporting of crashes and casualties.
On 28 May, 45 experts from Europe and Australia were gathered in Gothenburg, Sweden, within the framework of the Horizon 2020 project Levitate, in order to discuss which societal impacts Connected and Automated Vehicles will have. Levitate is building tools to help European cities, regions and national governments prepare for a future with increasing levels of Automated Vehicles in passenger cars, urban transport services and urban logistics. The Workshop marked the first meeting of the LEVITATE Stakeholder Group, which aims to facilitate a continuous dialogue between experts, users and the consortium about the impacts of Connected and Automated Transport (CAT).
NTUA contributed actively to the 1st Stakeholder Workshop with the following presentation: CATS-PST Connected and Automated Transport Systems Policy Support Tool
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 full list of the new mandatory safety features:
The European Commission adopted recently new rules stepping up the deployment of Cooperative Intelligent Transport Systems (C-ITS) on Europe’s roads. The new technology will allow vehicles to ‘talk’ to each other, to the road infrastructure and to other road users – for instance about dangerous situations, road works and the timing of traffic lights, making road transport safer, cleaner and more efficient. The new rules are in line with the proposals on clean mobility introduced by the Juncker Commission, are a further step for modernising the European mobility sector, preparing it for climate neutrality in the second half of the century and contributing to the EU’s long-term goal of moving close to zero fatalities and serious injuries by 2050 (“Vision Zero”).
The 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: 30/06/2019):
- 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.
The European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) has published a Report titled “The Status of Traffic Safety and Mobility Education in Europe” with the active contribution of NTUA. Even though the overwhelming majority of European countries consider education as an essential part of the integrated approach to traffic safety, this first overview of traffic safety and mobility education in Europe demonstrates that in practice road safety education in schools at all levels is not sufficient. Only in the Czech Republic, Ireland and Germany is road safety education provided at all levels.
The Road Safety Awards in Greece were established in 2018 by the Hellenic Institute of Transportation Engineers (HITE), HELLASTRON and the Hellenic Institute of Transport (HIT): the first award concerns the “Best Road Safety Young Researcher Publication” addressed to students, graduates, postgraduate, doctoral or postdoctoral researchers and the second award concerns the “Best Road Safety Action” addressed to Organisations and Institutes. Submissions deadline is set for March 31st, 2019.
NTUA Road Safety Research is ranked 2nd in Europe and 6th worldwide according to a recent study titled: “Visualization and analysis of mapping knowledge domain of road safety studies“, published at the leading safety Scientific Journal Accident Analysis and Prevention. Moreover, NTUA Prof. George Yannis appears to be among the most productive scientific authors worldwide in the field of road safety. This ranking is based on a systematic analysis of all road safety studies published on Science Citation Index Expanded (SCIE) and Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI) between 2000 and 2018, containing several interesting performance indicators on road safety research worldwide (topics, trends, papers, journals, universities).