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 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.
The World Bank Global Road Safety Facility (GRSF) has published a report titled “Integrating Safety into Road Design”. This guide has been produced in response to the ever-growing need for safe road and roadside design to save lives from road crashes. The report focuses on elements of safe road and roadside designs for road networks that can provide safe mobility to all road users, as well as complementary changes to improve speeds, vehicle safety, road user behaviors, and post-crash care.
The LEVITATE Policy Support Tool (PST) is launched and publicly available developed within EU Horizons 2020 research project LEVITATE with the active contribution of NTUA. The LEVITATE PST is the go-to, one-stop-shop to support decisions on Cooperative, Connected and Automated Mobility (CCAM) related interventions. It is designed as an open access, web-based system that provides interested users with access to LEVITATE methodologies and results. It contains Forecasting, Backcasting and CBA estimator capabilities as well as a rich Knowledge module serving as background and scientific repository supporting the ensemble of quantitative and qualitative estimates produced from the PST.
The NTUA presentation in the launch event was titled:
FedEx funded an online package of new Resources for 5-star RAPs, which has launched to support road assessment programmes (RAPs) around the world eliminate high-risk roads. The launch comes at an opportune time, on the back of the UN High-level Meeting of Road Safety, as countries embrace implementation of the Global Plan for the Decade of Action for safer national roads that save lives. The Resource offers guidance on how to develop an effective programme and includes 140 award-winning examples, templates and downloadable materials, drawn from the best practice of partners world-wide.
The Global Designing Cities Initiative (GDCI) released recently two new handbooks titled “How to Implement Street Transformations” and “How to Evaluate Street Transformations“, which can offer cities a new way of implementing and evaluating pop-up or interim street transformations with a focus on community-driven street designs. GDCI has also announced it’s call for applications for the first Streets for Kids Leadership Accelerator, that aims to create a global cohort of city leaders in order to hone their knowledge to create change for kids in their cities. The Accelerator will bring together 60 changemakers from 20 global cities to participate in an eight-month virtual professional leadership program.
The UN Special Envoy for Road Safety, Jean Todt, launched the book “THE ROAD AHEAD, 26 voices for Safe and Sustainable Mobility” with support from the UNRSF on 22 June 2022 at the European Development Days (EDD) conference in Brussels. The book includes a selection of essays from leading specialists, members of government, public figures, and other promoters of road safety.
NTUA received the Best Paper Award during the 6th International Symposium on Highway Geometric Design and Urban Street Symposium which was held on 26-29 June, 2022 in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. The award concerned the paper titled: “Development and implementation of a methodology for the economic appraisal of road infrastructure safety schemes”, co-authored by George Yannis, Anastasios Dragomanovits, Julia Roussou and Dimitrios Nikolaou.
The Horizon 2020 project i-DREAMS (smart Driver Environment Assesment and Monitoring System) recently released its 5th 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 how to bring i-DREAMS to the market and society, the second successful review meeting and several i-DREAMS dissemination activities.
The Civil Engineering School of the National Technical University of Athens was ranked this year 18th in Europe and 50th worldwide among all Civil Engineering Schools. This ranking is produced by the QS Organisation (QS World University Rankings by Subject 2022) based on the following criteria: Research, Teaching, Employability, Facilities, Internationalization, Innovation, Engagement and Access. NTUA road safety activities have contributed to this ranking.
The Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport developed the National Road Safety Strategic Plan for the period 2021-2030, with the scientific support of the Department of Transport Planning and Engineering of the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA). The National Road Safety Strategic Plan 2021-2030 exploits state-of-the-art international experience and good practice, adjusted to the Greek reality and contains a set of 44 actions and 200 measures with concrete budget and timeplan addressing the key road safety problems in Greece: speeding and motorcycle traffic; aiming to meet the quantitative targets set for the reduction of the number of fatalities and serious injuries in road crashes by 50% by 2030. Within the current final open consultation process you are welcome to submit your remarks and comments.
The Horizon 2020 research project SHOW (SHared automation Operating models for Worldwide adoption) has recently released the SHOW 4th Newsletter. The Newsletter shares very interesting times for the project, with the first pilot sites progressing with their large-scale trials in public, allowing citizens to experience their automated solutions in public transport.
Τhe European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) together with environmental and road safety organisations, has written to the European Commissioners responsible for Climate Action, Energy, Environment and Transport, calling for recommendations on lower speed limits as a way of tackling dependence on Russian oil, as well as emissions and road deaths. The six organisations say that with the catastrophic invasion of Ukraine, European reliance on Russian oil has become a strategic threat and the current crisis requires bold action.
The European Commission announced the winners of the European sustainable mobility Αwards, where Rethymno (Greece) won the EU Urban Road Safety Award. The jury was impressed by Rethymno’s inclusive approach to road safety, which targets three main pillars: upgrading the public transport system, increasing and encouraging behavioural change through a variety of activities, and the establishment of integrated cooperation with local stakeholders. The awards were presented at a hybrid ceremony in Brussels hosted by Matthew Baldwin, Deputy Director-General of the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Transport and Mobility.
The Third Meeting of the Road Safety Governmental Committee was held on 31 March at the Hellenic Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport. The main priorities of the Government Road Safety Committee are the new National Road Safety Strategic Plan for the period 2021-2030, the new Road Safety Law and the improvements of the Road Traffic Code, the National Road Safety Repository and the National Road Safety Observatory. Participants in the committee were: the Minister of State Akis Skertsos, the Deputy Minister of Infrastructure and Transport Michalis Papadopoulos, the Deputy Minister of Citizen Protection Eleftherios Oikonomou, the Deputy Minister of Education and Religious Affairs Zeta Makri, the Alternate Minister of Health Mina Gaga, the Alternate Minister of Interior Stelios Petsas, on behalf of the Deputy Minister to the Prime Minister Theodoros Livanios the General Secretary of Digital Governance and Procedures Leonidas Christopoulos and the General Secretary of Transport Giannis Xifaras.
The Road Safety Institute “Panos Mylonas” (RSI) in cooperation with the Hellenic Institute of Transportation Engineers (HITE) presented the Digital Platform DRIVE IN THE MOMENT, on March 21, in the context of the 15th Panhellenic Road Safety Week, March 21-27, 2022. The Minister of Infrastructure and Transport, Mr. Costas Karamanlis, who attended the event, referred to the National Plan for Road Safety, which extends to four main axes: Safe Roads – Responsible Drivers – Traffic Education – Fair Rules for All and welcome the initiative of the “Drive in the Moment” program, which aims to raise awareness, especially among young people, about the serious issue of distraction by using a mobile phone while driving.
ETSC – Lower speed limits are a triple win for reducing dependence on Russian oil, emissions and road injury, March 2022
The European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) has written a letter that was published in the edition of the Financial Times, titled : Lower speed limits are a triple win for reducing dependence on Russian oil, emissions and road injury. According to the letter, a measure that could cut oil imports in the EU in the short term is to reduce speed limits across the bloc.
A Special Road Safety Event attended by the European Road Safety Coordinator, Matthew Baldwin and the Executive Director of the European Transport Safety Council ETSC, Antonio Avenoso, was successfully organized by the member of the European Parliament Elena Kountoura in Athens, on 14 March 2022. The guests presented and analyzed the goals, the challenges and the opportunities for improving road safety in the European Union the following years.
The European Commission aiming to improve road safety and in order to prepare a Revision of the current Directive on driving licences, is opening a call for expressions of interest to participate in a series of workshops on EU rules regarding driving licenses. These three workshops aim to collect stakeholders’ views for the purpose of preparing a possible revision of the Directive on driving licences. Each workshop will tackle a specific element of the EU driving license rules: 1: training, testing and vehicle categories; 2: issuance and mutual recognition of driving licenses; and 3: driving disqualifications and fitness to drive.
The 2021 infographic of NTUA Road Safety Observatory (www.nrso.ntua.gr) highlights one more very intensive and highly fruitful year, despite the pandemic. The nrso scientific team with high dedication, efficiency and expertise continues to grow and excel, being active in 31 innovative research projects, succeeded to publish a record number of 78 scientific papers (28 in peer reviewed journals), and travelled around the world in hundreds of webmeetings (and some in-person meetings) to develop and promote road safety science. This year, besides intensive research in six Horizon 2020 projects and three innovative national research projects, we were also lucky to contribute to the National Road Safety Action Plan 2021-2030. Getting ready for the post-pandemic period, we are more than ever committed to our scientific quest for safer roads everywhere and for all. And of course we are waiting you all in-person at the highly promising 8th Road Safety and Simulation Conference in June in Athens.
The European Commission presented its ‘Sustainable and Smart Mobility Strategy’ together with an Action Plan of 82 initiatives as a guide for the next four years. This strategy lays the foundation for how the EU transport system can achieve its green and digital transformation and become more resilient to future crises. Traffic safety is a major component of the EU Mobility Strategy. As outlined in the European Green Deal, the result will be a 90% cut in emissions by 2050, delivered by a smart, competitive, safe, accessible and affordable transport system.
Getting into 2022, we continue progressing 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 it is now time to sincerely include traffic safety into the mobility agenda and start implementing 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 3rd Newsletter of the Horizon 2020 project Drive2theFuture was recently released highlighting the 2nd Drive2theFuture Workshop, held on March 2021, with the so far achievements of the project. The Newsletter also includes a session entitled “Do we trust self-driving cars? – Social acceptance of autonomous mobility”. The aim of the session was to give an overview about Connected, Cooperative and Automated Mobility (CCAM), its objectives and overall landscape, learn about driver behaviour and social acceptance of CCAM in Europe .
The Horizon 2020 project LEVITATE (Societal Level Impacts of Connected and Automated Vehicles) released a video explaining the LEVITATE Policy Support Tool, which is expected to be an open access, web-based Decision Support System that will allow users to explore the impact assessment, forecasting and backcasting of different CCAM development scenarios in cities.
The Horizon 2020 project i-DREAMS (smart Driver Environment Assesment and Monitoring System) recently released its 4th Newsletter, presenting the main accomplishments of the project, through creative solutions and risk mitigation strategies. The Newsletter presents team’s and participant’s view on the Belgian field trial, seven new technical reports submitted in 2021 and several i-DREAMS dissemination activities.
The Horizon 2020 research project SHOW (SHared automation Operating models for Worldwide adoption) has recently released the SHOW 3rd Newsletter. The Newsletter provides information on latest achievements and upcoming activities of the project. Also, there is an open call for follower sites, which will allow all cities in Europe to endorse and replicate SHOW activities.
European Commission – Supplementing Regulation on vehicles’ intelligent speed assistance systems, November 2021
The European Commission adopted a supplementing Regulation (EU) 2019/2144 of the European Parliament and of the Council by laying down detailed rules concerning the specific test procedures and technical requirements for the type-approval of motor vehicles with regard to their intelligent speed assistance systems and for the type-approval of those systems as separate technical units. The Regulation also includes a list of road speed limit signs used in each Member State.
The European Commission published a breakdown of fatalities in the EU by road user and (other) “main vehicle” involved in the crash. The matrix shows clearly that fatalities overwhelmingly occur in collisions involving cars and trucks, and the need to increase the protection of vulnerable road users such as pedestrians and cyclists. EU policies are already evolving in this direction with the new mandatory safety measures introduced by the General Safety Regulation focussed on VRUs.
The European Commission published the final figures on road fatalities for 2020, following the publication of the preliminary figures in April 2021. These figures show that an estimated 18.800 people were killed in a road crash last year, an unprecedented annual fall of 17% on 2019, largely due to the effect of the COVID pandemic on mobility; however this fatalities drop being proportionately less than the sharp fall in traffic levels across the EU. The Commission has also published the Country Profiles which provide a detailed statistical analysis of the road safety situation in each country.
The European Commission hosted the annual Excellence in Road Safety Awards on 18 November 2021, recognising the contributions of the European Road Safety Charter‘s community of members towards the common goal of improved road safety across Europe. Fundatia Siguranta Auto Copii (Romania) was the winner for its National Children Care Safety Caravan initiative, Interpolis (the Netherlands) for its hip-hop film and PhoNo app targeting teenagers, Cork County Council (Ireland) for its Road Safety Virtual Reality Education and Fundacion Educatrafic (Spain) for its road safety training and education.