Road Safety News
Road Safety News concern a selection of the most recent developments on road safety in Greece, in Europe and worldwide.
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 15 February 2023!
The European Commission has just published Guidelines on methodology for network-wide road safety assessments, with the active contribution of NTUA. Τhese Guidelines aim to help public authorities in EU Member States to carry out the safety assessments of their road networks as required under the Road Infrastructure Safety Management Directive. The guidance documents comprises a framework addressing both a reactive (accident based) and a proactive (feature based) safety assessment, covering issues such as the lane width, road curvature, design of junctions, roadside layout and potential conflicts between motorised vehicles and vulnerable road users and also suggests a methodology for a common safety rating system for classification of the existing road network. This way, the authorities will be able to identify priorities for future actions and investment to address road safety concerns.
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 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.
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 Guide 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. These resources are aligned with 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 Resources offer 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, covering a wide array of global road safety issues: Green and Sustainable Cities, Economic Growth, Quality Education, Health, Gender Equality, Partnership.
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.