Road Safety News
Road Safety News concern a selection of the most recent developments on road safety in Greece, in Europe and worldwide.
Dr. Panagiotis Papantoniou obtained the NTUA Thomaidion Αward 2017 for the publication of the journal paper titled “Simulation of Texting Impact on Young Drivers’ Behaviour and Safety on Motorways”, in the Transportation Research Part F: Traffic Psychology and Behaviour.
Dr. Dimosthenis Pavlou obtained the NTUA Thomaidion Αward 2017 for the publication of the journal paper titled “Which are the effects of driver distraction and brain pathologies on reaction time and accident risk?”, in the Advances in Transportation Studies.
Dimitris Tselentis obtained the NTUA Thomaidion Αward 2017 for the publication of the journal paper titled “Road, Tragic and Human Factors of Pedestrian Crossing Behavior: Integrated Choice and Latent Variables Models”, in the Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board.
The International Road Traffic and Accident Group (IRTAD) of the International Transport Forum (ITF/OECD) published recently a new Report: “Safer Roads with Automated Vehicles?”. This report examines how increasing automation of cars and trucks could affect road safety, and which security vulnerabilities will need to be addressed with the rise of self-driving vehicles. It introduces the principles of Safe System approach and the relevance of Vision Zero for road safety to the wider discussion on vehicle automation.
The European Commission’s Directorate General for Mobility and Transport (DG Move) has released the well expected and breakthrough EU integrated policy for the future of road safety within its new set of actions to modernise Europe’s transport systems with the agenda for safe, clean and connected mobility“. This integrated policy comes together with the revision of road infrastructure safety management directive (with the active contribution of NTUA) and the proposal for a regulation on type-approval requirements for motor vehicles and the communication on the road to automated mobility. The full list of proposals, together with the respective fact sheets and supporting documents is available:Commissioner for Transport, Violeta Bulc stated that the European Commission has put forward initiatives addressing the challenges of today and paving the way for the mobility of tomorrow; today’s measures constitute a final and important push so that Europeans can benefit from safe, clean and smart transport.
The International Road Federation (IRF) launched the global Transport Knowledge Resource Centre (gTKP). This comprehensive resource centre features the latest, state-of-the-art information on road infrastructure and transport (case studies, research papers, publications, reports, presentations). The knowledge centre functions like an on-line library. Registration is simple and free of charge and registered users are actively encouraged to enhance both the dynamism and interactivity of the service by contributing their own knowledge and experience in the form of new reports, articles, case studies, research papers and publications.
The United Nations have recently launched the UN Road Safety Trust Fund, aiming to accelerate progress in improving global road safety by bridging the gaps in the mobilization of resources for effective action at all levels. The Fund is expected to mobilize resources from governments, intergovernmental or non-governmental organizations, the private sector, philanthropic organizations and individuals. UNECE estimates that every $1,500 contributed to the Road Safety Trust Fund could: save one life, prevent ten serious injuries, and leverage $51,000 in road safety investment.
Jean Todt, United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Road Safety, stated that the UN Road Safety Trust Fund has the potential to galvanize our global efforts to address the road safety situation, building on the progress made and experience gained over the Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020.
A new fines scheme for traffic infringements has been recently introduced in the Greek Road Code (Law 4530/2018). More precisely, three categories of fines are set, based on the safety importance of the respective infringements: low (0-300€), medium (301€ – 600€) and high (>600€) risk. Furthermore, fines income criteria are introduced, according which offenders with an annual income between 50.001€ – 100.000€ are subject to double fines, while offenders with an annual income above 100.000€ are subject to triple fines. Finally, offenders that commit three times in the last 5 years a high-risk infringement lose their license in life.
The Department of Methodology in the Behavioural Sciences of the University of Valencia organised the CAMP-sUmp University Campus Sustainable Mobility Conference, co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund of the Interreg MED Programme in Valencia, Spain, on 27 March 2018. Designed to improve sustainable mobility in the Mediterranean area universities’ campus, CAMP-sUmp promotes the advancement of low-carbon strategies and energy efficiency within safe and efficient transport policies. At the CAMP-sUmp Conference the Action Plans and the related Road Maps were presented aiming to support Universities to improve their sustainable mobility plans with emphasis on traffic safety. Presentations were given by the CAMP-sUmp Universities: Catanzaro, Athens, Valencia, Cyprus, Split, Malta and Bologna.NTUA actively contributed with the following presentation: Studying Sustainable Mobility in University Campuses
The International Road Traffic and Accident Group (IRTAD) of the International Transport Forum (ITF/OECD) published recently a new Report “Speed and Crash Risk”, with the active contribution of NTUA. After reviewing the current knowledge on the relationship between speed and crash risk, this report analyses eleven cases from ten countries that have recently changed speed limits or introduced a large-scale automatic speed control. The analysis confirms the very strong relationship between speed and crash risk and that higher speed is associated with increased occurrence and severity of road crashes.
The Civil Engineering School of the National Technical University of Athens was ranked this year 11th in Europe and 42nd worldwide among all Civil Engineering Schools. This ranking is produced by the QS Organisation (QS World University Rankings by Subject 2018) based on the following criteria: Research, Teaching, Employability, Facilities, Internationalization, Innovation, Engagement and Access. NTUA road safety activities have contributed to this ranking.Professor Demetris Koutsoyiannis, Dean of the Civil Engineering School highlighted that the Civil Engineering School advanced one position in the European rankings compared to 2017, with best performance in criterion on citations per paper (23rd worldwide).
The International Road Traffic and Accident Group (IRTAD) of the International Transport Forum (ITF/OECD) published recently a new Report, with the active contribution of NTUA, which examines how improving insights regarding the real number of alcohol-related road casualties worldwide can help to save lives. A total of 45 countries were surveyed with the help of an online questionnaire, and insightful statistics are presented in this Report.IRTAD Chairman, Professor Fred Wegman, highlighted that: “With great certainty, the real number of alcohol-related road casualties is higher than reported in the official statistics”.
The 2nd Newsletter of the African-European Dialogue Platform on Road Safety (SaferAfrica) has been recently issued with the active contribution of NTUA. This Newsletter is the official, semi-annual newsletter of the SaferAfrica Project funded within the EC Horizon 2020 Programme, aiming to create favourable conditions and opportunities for the effective implementation of actions for road safety and traffic management in African countries. This second issue includes: a) Road Safety Data Capturing and Management Challenges in Africa, b) Stories from Cameroon and South Africa, c) Safety Cube Decision Support System, d) Road Safety in new H2020 Work Programme and more.NTUA Prof. George Yannis highlighted that for capturing accurate and complete road safety data in Africa there is need to follow international data collection practices and recommendations as well as the systematic re-organisation of the competent national Authorities, within the safe system approach.
Road safety is a major issue in Latin America and substantial actions are needed to reduce the number of road deaths and injuries. The International Transport Forum (ITF) released a report which describes and benchmarks road safety management and performance in ten Latin American countries: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Ecuador, Mexico, Paraguay and Uruguay. The comparisons in this study allow identifying similarities and differences between countries’ road safety performance. It will be useful to policy makers in assessing weaknesses and strengths, and designing effective road safety policies that make use of the experiences in other countries.
The infographic of the 2017 NTUA Road Safety Observatory (www.nrso.ntua.gr) 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 16 innovative research projects, succeeded to publish 51 scientific papers (20 in peer reviewed journals), had more than 16.500 nrso users, handled more than 100.000 emails and run more than 4.700 km!
e-Drive Academy is an Innovative Educational e-platform for Safe, Smart, Ecological Transport and Driving, developed and operated by the General Directorate of Road Safety of the Hellenic Ministry of Infrastructure, Transport and Networks. e-Drive Academy provides all necessary educational services in order to develop an improved road safety culture and safe travelling for all road users, regardless of age, education or economic level. It aims to raise awareness of road users to adapt their behaviour to safer everyday travelling, with particular emphasis on consolidation of road safety issues and traffic safety education of children and preparing them as the responsible drivers of tomorrow. e-Drive Academy introduces for the first time the systematic teaching of Traffic Behaviour and Road Safety in Greek Primary Schools which start within 2018.
VESAFE, the one stop shop for vehicle safety is an e-guide commissioned by the European Commission (DG Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion) and it has been developed by a consortium made up of TNO, TOI, Kooperationstelle, Fesvial, vhp, and Learnways. Work-related vehicle risks account for 29% of all fatal occupational accidents. However, good practices to avoid and reduce these risks have already been implemented within the member states in the EU. Sharing them can help employers and workers to improve vehicle-related safety. With this interactive e-guide many good practices are provided as well as an overview of relevant regulations and information about safe driving for work, workplace transport safety, and working on or near a road.
Global Designing Cities Initiative together with the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO) launched “The Global Street Design Guide“, as a very timely resource that will set a global baseline for designing streets and public spaces while redefining the role of streets in a rapidly urbanizing world. The Guide broadens how to measure the success of urban streets to include access, safety and mobility for all users, environmental quality, economic benefit, public health and overall quality of life.Michael R. Bloomberg, Founder of Bloomberg Philanthropies, and Former Mayor of the City of New York highlighted that this guide helps city leaders meet those challenges in ways that also connect people to jobs and services and bring new life to neighborhoods and it is full of creative ways cities are reshaping streets to better serve the public.
At the end of another year full of surprises, non-stopping efforts, few disappointments and some great achievements like the new breakthrough Road Safety Decision Support Systems: SafetyCube and SafeFITS, we persist with creative hope and scientific rigor for even more safe road traffic everywhere and for all.
Universita di Pavia is implementing for 2018 a post bachelor programme in Management of road safety and reconstruction and analysis of road accident. The innovative course has the aim of training highly qualified professionals with a solid background in road safety and capable of operating in all the phases of investigations and analysis of road accidents. The programme is a full time international one-year program and designed for students from all over the world. The master’s course language is English and Italian.
The Transport Research and Innovation Monitoring and Information System – TRIMIS is an online platform for researchers to share and discuss innovation in mobility in Europe. It is an evolution of the Transport Research & Innovation Portal (TRIP), and incorporates TRIP’s database of over 10,000 EU and national transport research projects. TRIMIS monitors the implementation and effectiveness of the roadmaps developed by the Strategic Transport Research and Innovation Agenda (STRIA). TRIMIS analyses technology trends, research and innovation capacities and developments in the European transport sector, providing open-access information.
Global NCAP and AA South Africa launched #SaferCarsforAfrica on 22 November 2017 in Cape Town, with the first independent crash test assessment of some of South Africa’s most popular compact and small cars. The crashworthiness results of the five cars tested showed a wide range of safety performance, from four to zero stars for adult protection, with the lowest ratings resulting in a high probability of life threatening injury in a road crash.
The World Health Organization (WHO) in collaboration with other United Nations Agencies and Regional Commissions is developing the global performance targets on key risk factors and service delivery mechanisms to reduce road traffic fatalities and injuries, aligned to the UN Sustainable Development Goals for 2030. The second revision of the related WHO Discussion Paper was published in August 2017 and in November 2017 a comprehensive set of 12 Global Road Safety Performance Targets was put forward aiming to guide global road safety policy and related activities up to 2030. The Member States have also invited WHO and other UN Agencies to continue the work by developing a set of related indicators.
The World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims is observed on the third Sunday of November each year (this year on 19 November 2017) by an increasing number of countries on every continent around the world. From 1995, the European Federation of Road Traffic Victims (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.Several activities took place worldwide, including those of:
- the World Health Organization (WHO) supported this World Day of remembrance and produced Save LIVES: a road safety technical package, last May
A recent United Nations‘ Press Release highlighted the fact that 650 people are killed each day in road accidents throughout Africa. “There is projected increase in urbanization, motorization, infrastructure development projects and vehicle ownership in the region over the coming decades. Road traffic fatalities and injuries will continue to take a rising toll on countries if no significant changes are made” warned the Special Envoy for Road Safety, Jean Todt, addressing the 2017 Africa Road Safety Conference in Cape Town, South Africa. To change this trend, Mr. Todt urged participating governments to implement the Global Plan for the Decade of Action and the African Road Safety Action Plan, which focuses on safer roads, vehicles and road users. It also details improved post-crash care and stronger road safety governance, including the enforcement of strong legislation. He also called for implementing basic laws not obeyed in some countries, such as using seat belts and helmets, child safety seats, and prohibiting drunk drivers.
The Hellenic Institute of Transportation Engineers (HITE), has released its position towards the improvement of road safety in Greece with an elaborate problem analysis and a comprehensive set of prioritised measures. In addition, HITE has released its position on the changes of the Road Traffic Code proposed by the Government. Even though some proposed provisions are considered very useful (cycle and HGV traffic rules, fines rationalisation, etc.) the intention to decrease speeding fines and to increase motorways speed limits are blatant failures highlighted by the HITE.
The 25th Meeting of the International Traffic Safety Data and Analysis Group (IRTAD) organised by the International Transport Forum (ITF) took place in Marrakesh, on 13 October 2017
NTUA presentations concerned:
A special issue of Safety Science on Naturalistic Driving Research is now calling for papers with NTUA Professor George Yannis as Guest Editor. Manuscripts submitted to this Special Issue will enable information dissemination on the latest methodologies and findings from naturalistic driving research worldwide. Topic Areas may include, but are not limited to: Crash risk and crash causation, Distraction and inattention, Interaction with cyclists and pedestrians, Vehicle automation and connectivity, Eco-driving, Typical everyday driving behaviour, Novice drivers, Elderly Drivers, Naturalistic Cycling, Naturalistic Riding (Powered two-wheelers), Methodology and definitions.
Deadline for Submission of full paper online: December 31, 2017
FIA Region I and its member Clubs are launching #ParkYourPhone, a campaign to encourage responsible smartphone use in traffic. For drivers, pedestrians and cyclists, only a few seconds of distraction can make a difference between life and death. FIA President and UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Road Safety, Jean Todt, said “Drivers, cyclists and pedestrians need to understand the dangers of using smartphones in traffic. To combat the 3,500 lives lost every day in road accidents, I urge all road users to park their phones when they are in traffic.”
Safe Future Inland Transport Systems (SafeFITS), the Global Road Safety Model developed by NTUA for the United Nations – Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) with the support of the International Road Transport Union (IRU) was presented by NTUA Professor George Yannis, at the Global Forum for Road Traffic Safety (WP.1) as part of its Seventy-fifth session in 19 September 2017, in order to showcase current developments and obtain feedback from national representatives. The SafeFITS tool is built around a statistical model based on historical road safety data and the relations between different road safety indicators. SafeFITS will enable Governments to identify the most appropriate road safety measures and policies to save even more lives.
VIAS Institute is the organisation that is taking over the role of Belgian Road Safety Institute (BRSI) after 30 years. The change of name is the final part of a process that was put in motion six years ago. Over the years, BRSI has built up a strong reputation in the area of road and traffic safety. BRSI have done so – based on research – by targeting the way in which they work on the changes to people’s behaviour out on the road. Improving road safety, along with mobility and safety in general: that is the aim of VIAS Institute, as a major Belgian Knowledge center.
The Vehicle and Traffic Safety Centre at Chalmers (SAFER) has recently launched its new website, aiming to further communicate worldwide SAFER research findings and presenting all projects, publications, news, seminars and other activities. SAFER is the open innovation arena with the contribution of Volvo, VTI, Chalmers University and other partners, where researchers and expertise work together to create safe mobility. Its traffic safety approach covers people, vehicles and the infrastructure – and together they contribute to safer road transports and smarter, more sustainable cities.