Road Safety News
Road Safety News concern a selection of the most recent developments on road safety in Greece, in Europe and worldwide.
The Horizon Europe research project PHOEBE (Predictive Approaches for Safer Urban Environment) has recently released the PHOEBE 1st Newsletter, highlighting the pilots in Athens, Valencia and West Midlands and the engagement with first stakeholder groups. PHOEBE has also created cooperating bonds with the sister projects V4SAFETY and SOTERIA from the same EU road safety funding call. The PHOEBE newsletter aims to keep you informed about the project’s progress, news, events and results. Sing up here
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 pilot sites had the opportunity to present their achievements in a recent Review Meeting with the European Commission. With most of the sites now operating, the project is already moving to a new stage where the focus will be on the lessons learned and the transfer of knowledge; the replicability of the pilot sites in other areas; and the impact on business models, policy and regulation beyond the lifetime of the project. SHOW will be present also at a number of upcoming events, including ITS European Congress and the UITP Global Public Transport Summit.
The European Commission has published the results of the Baseline project on 8 key performance indicators that influence road safety in Europe, with the active contribution of NTUA. This study aimed to give a clearer understanding of road safety performance in the participating Member States. The key performance indicators addressed in this project were on speeding, distraction; use of seatbelts and child restraint systems; use of helmets; vehicle safety; infrastructure safety and quality of post-crash care. This project is the biggest effort ever undertaken in Europe (and beyond) in the field of data collection and analysis for road safety performance indicator a road safety strategies and monitorings at national and European level.
The Horizon 2020 project i-DREAMS (smart Driver Environment Assesment and Monitoring System) recently released its 7th Newsletter, presenting the main accomplishments of the project during the last 4 years. The Newsletter presents the succesful final event, insights into the results and outputs of the project via the final brochure, a PechaKucha presentation and the third edition of the Policy Brief.
The World Road Association – PIARC, within its knowledge sharing year-long campaign for “boosting Road Safety in LMICs”, made public a comprehensive synthesis on Vehicle Safety, as presented by the President of PIARC Task Force 2.1, Ana-Luz Jimenez Ortega, with the active contribution of NTUA. This synthesis contains the key vehicle safety fundamentals and issues together with the corresponding measures and recommendations for road safety Authorities and decision makers.
The Hellenic Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport, has released the Public Policy Guide for Cycling, 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 and is based on the 8+2 pillars, among them “Bicycle-friendly infrastructure”, “Boosting the sense of safety of bicycle users” and “Education – Communication”.
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 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
- Evaluation of safety interventions on risky driving behavior using data from a novel naturalistic driving experiment – 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.
NTUA Professor George Yannis, after more than 30 years of dedication to road safety science and several Marathon races, decided to combine both passions for a cause: to run 30 Marathons in 30 months in order to actively promote the adoption of 30km/h speed limit in as many cities as possible worldwide, as a fundamental policy for safer, healthier and greener cities for all. Speeding is the number one cause of road crashes worldwide and the active promotion of 30 km/h cities can save 50% of lives lost today.
The European Commision adopted a Recommendation designed to help Member States support their towns cutting transport emissions and improving urban mobility. The 430 major cities along the trans-European transport network (TEN-T) will receive support to develop their Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans (SUMPs). The Recommendation updates the concept of SUMPs to integrate the latest policy developments and strategies to reduce road fatalities in cities, address climate change, and make use of new mobility services.
The European Commission with the active contribution of NTUA, has presented proposals to modernise driving licence rules, including the introduction of a digital driving licence valid throughout the EU and new provisions to facilitate the enforcement of traffic rules across borders. More than 20,000 lives were lost on EU roads last year and the majority of victims were pedestrians, cyclists and users of scooters and motorbikes. The new rules will improve safety for all road users, and will help the EU achieve its Vision Zero – having no deaths on EU roads by 2050.
The Department of Transportation Planning and Engineering of Civil Engineering School at the National Technical University of Athens was ranked 4th in Europe this year and 26th worldwide among all Transportation Departments, with the best performance among all NTUA Departments. This ranking is produced by EduRank‘s final score based on three parts: 45% Research performance, 45% Non-academic prominence and 10% Alumni score. NTUA road safety activities have significantly contributed to this ranking. Departments’ Director George Yannis stated that: “the persistence in scientific excellence of our highly qualified transportation engineers contributes to a future with efficient, green and safe transport systems in Greece, in Europe and globally”.
The European Parliament has passed a resolution calling for an EU cycling strategy, in an important step for equal treatment and financial support for the healthy and clean mode of transport. The Parliament’s resolution highlights the importance of cycling as a fully-fledged mode of transport that should be treated with the same importance as any other mode of transport. The initiative follows action on the issue by 11 EU countries, including France and Spain, through the “European Cycling Declaration,” which also calls for an EU cycling strategy.
The World Road Association – PIARC launched an ambitious PIARC Knowledge Exchange project, as presented by the PIARC Secretary General Patrick Mallejacq. The project aims at sharing knowledge about road safety, with the active contribution of NTUA, especially within the low and middle-income countries with limited resources but also with more developed economies with different needs and priorities. Throughout the year, PIARC will release materials and webinars regarding 8 road safety topics: Management, Infrastructure, Tunnels, Vehicles, Data, Speed, Behavior and Vulnerable Road Users.
The Global Designing Cities Initiative (GDCI) released recently a new guide titled “How Do Kids Experience Streets? The Reverse Periscope Companion Guide“. GDCI’s Streets for Kids Reverse Periscope is a do-it-yourself tool that encourages planners, city officials, and others to experience the obstacles and attractions of city streets from a child’s perspective. With this guide, anyone could learn how to create Reverse Periscope, what to look for when using it, and how to hold a community workshop to help more people experience Streets for Kids.
iRAP with the suport of FIA Foundation and the Transport Accident Commission (TAC) has created the iRAP Safety insights Explorer, which can shine a light on the true scale road crashes, the safety of the world’s roads, and the positive impact that can be made with investment. With the iRAP Safety Insights Explorer you can explore: Estimates of the numbers and types of injuries that occur for every country by age and sex, star Ratings and key design attributes for more than 502,000km of roads in 84 countries, the business case for investing in safer roads, including the life-saving impact of ensuring that most travel occurs on roads rated 3-stars or better for everyone for every country.
Are you involved in urban transportation planning? Your voice is valuable for PHOEBE project, which aims to improve road safety prediction tools holistically! Please participate in the PHOEBE’s 20-minute survey that studies the key outputs and analyses supporting transport policy and safety objectives. You are invited to send us your input by 28 February 2023!
The European Commission has just published the EU Methodology for Network-Wide Road Safety Assessment, as developed by NTUA, FRED and FPZ and adopted by the EU Member States. Τhis Methodology will assist EU National Road Authorities to carry out safety assessments of their road network easily and efficiently, as required by the EU Road Infrastructure Safety Management Directive. The Methodology comprises both a reactive (crash based) and a proactive (feature based) safety assessment, covering issues such as lane width, road curvature, junctions design, roadside layout and potential conflicts between motorised vehicles and vulnerable road users. Subsequently, the two assessments are integrated into a common safety rating system classifying all roads in a country. This way, Road Authorities will be able to identify priorities for future road safety interventions and investments.
Getting into 2023, we steadily progress in our scientific excellence quests with persistence, dedication and passion to promoting evidence based safe mobility everywhere and for all. The decade targets and programs for safer roads everywhere are well set globally and we should strengthen our individual and collective efforts to sincerely include traffic safety into the mobility agenda and start implementing the vision zero traffic fatalities. We thank you all for the excellent cooperation and we are sending you our very best wishes for Merry Christmas and a Very Lucky New Year, full of personal and professional achievements.
The Horizon 2020 project i-DREAMS (smart Driver Environment Assesment and Monitoring System) recently released its 6th 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 some insights in the first results and findings from field trials in Belgium and the UK are described. The first outcomes have been also presented to the User Advisory Board and Expert Advisory Board.
The Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) has recently launched 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.
The approval of the National Road Safety Strategic Plan for the period 2021 – 2030 took place at the Fourth Meeting of the Road Safety Governmental Committee which was held on 29 November. The Strategic Plan adopted, developed with the scientific support of NTUA, aims to reduce road fatalities by 50% by 2030 through 44 actions and 200 measures following the safe system approach and the vision zero fatalities by 2050. Committee Chairman, Deputy Minister for Transport, Mr. Michalis Papadopoulos, stated that “the improvement of road safety level in our country is one of the key priorities of the Government and the Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis for safe traffic for everyone and everywhere“.
NTUA Professor George Yannis has received the prestigious EU TRAVisions 2022 Senior Researcher Award during the European Commission Transport Research Arena Conference (TRA 2022), held on 14-17 November 2022 in Lisbon. Professor George Yannis won the competition of EU Senior Researcher for Road Transport Research based on his exceptional and long-standing research contribution on Open Road Safety Decision Support Systems (ERSO, SafetyCube, SafeFITS, PRACT, Levitate).
The Horizon 2020 research project SHOW (SHared automation Operating models for Worldwide adoption) has recently released the SHOW 6th Newsletter. The Newsletter provides information on the latest outcomes of the project. Many of SHOW’s demonstrations have kicked off during the past weeks, and numerous congresses, conferences, and various events have already showcased its pilot sites to the public with positive feedback. Another pivotal component of the project is international cooperation and participation in cross-border twinning events. SHOW’s aim now is to enhance urban mobility by understanding people’s needs.
The Global New Car Assessment Programme (Global NCAP) has recently developed the Fleet Safety Guide 2022 , under the title “Global NCAP Fleet Safety Guide And Safer Vehicle Purchasing Policy”. Ensuring safer fleet purchasing decisions will not only help safeguard the safety of their staff, but also help accelerate the global uptake of safe vehicles and contribute to the United Nations (UN) Second Decade of Action for Road Safety 2021-2030 target to achieve at least a 50% reduction in road fatalities and injuries by 2030. This important guide provides recommendations on vehicle selection using NCAP ‘five star’ ratings and identifies the most important UN safety standards for passenger cars. Importantly, it also now includes recommendations for commercial vehicle categories and motorcycles.
The European Commission hosted the annual Excellence in Road Safety Awards on 17 October 2022, recognising the contributions of the European Road Safety Charter’s community of members towards the common goal of improved road safety across Europe. Preventiedienst stad Leuven (Belgium) was the winner for its VRKeer virtual reality initiative targeting young people, Initiative für sichere Straßen GmbH (Germany) for its EDDA+ Hazard Score Map project using multiple data sources to implement change and create safer roads, Zavod Reševalni pas (Slovenia) for its rescue belt campaign to raise awareness and change driver behaviour and Acciona Energía (Spain) for their Drive Safe Programme for their employees across multiple locations.
ETSC – Will EU Member States act on the European Commission’s suggestion to reduce speeds? October 2022
The European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) has written to all 27 Member State Transport Ministers to ask if their countries will act on the European Commission’s suggestion to reduce speeds on motorways and in urban areas, in order to save energy. Eleven of them replied, with a mixed range of responses which can be summed up as “we’re working on it”, “we’ve already done it” and, in one case, “thanks, but no thanks”. Characteristically, Greece’s Deputy Minister of Transport told ETSC that the Greek National Strategic Plan will include the aims of reducing rural roads to 80 km/h from 90 km/h currently, with the establishment of a maximum speed in urban residential areas of 30 km/h.
The Horizon 2020 research project SHOW (SHared automation Operating models for Worldwide adoption) has recently released the SHOW 5th Newsletter. The Newsletter provides information on the latest outcomes of the project. Beyond technical developments, additional pilot sites have kicked off their real-life operations and will start collecting feedback from the project’s local teams and from the citizens using it’s services.
The Final Synthesis Report of the European Survey of Road Users’ Safety Attitudes (ESRA) has been published with the active contribution of NTUA, containing a wealth of information on road safety in 48 countries, based on the ESRA2 survey. The results of the survey were published through a series of Reports: 15 Thematic Reports on road safety topics, the Country Fact Sheets and the 2022 Main Report.