Road Safety News
Road Safety News concern a selection of the most recent developments on road safety in Greece, in Europe and worldwide.
SaferAfrica Project has been awarded the prestigious Prince Michael International Road Safety Award 2019 as recognition for establishing a Dialogue Platform between Africa and Europe focused on road safety management. The project was funded under Horizon 2020 and relies on a rich and multilevel governance inspired by a common goal: make African roads safer. NTUA participated with key role at all phases of SaferAfrica.
SafetyCube Project has been awarded the prestigious Prince Michael International Road Safety Award 2019 as recognition for its innovative road safety Decision Support System (DSS) that enables policy-makers and stakeholders to select and implement the most appropriate strategies, measures and cost-effective approaches to reduce casualties of all road user types and all severities in Europe and worldwide. SafetyCube (Safety CaUsation, Benefits and Efficiency) was a research project funded by the European Commission under the Horizons 2020, the EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation, in the domain of Road Safety. The project started on May 1st, 2015 and ran for a period of three years. NTUA participated with primary role at all phases of SafetyCube.
The November 2019 issue of NRSO Road Safety Update is the 100th newsletter of the NTUA Road Safety Observatory and we celebrate it with a dedicated infographic, proud having contributed to the very important road casualties reduction in Europe this period. With our first NRSO newsletter back on January 2007 and then more systematically with monthly newsletters since September 2011, we support systematically the international road safety community with key road safety knowledge and data, with ultimum objective safe traffic everywhere and for all.
During 30th POLIS Conference on 28 November 2019, in Brussels, Belgium, the Department of Transportation Planning and Engineering of the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA) declared its full support and signed the City declaration “The new Paradigm for Safe City Streets” including 10 principles to be recognized by EU cities, as necessary for sound and effective action for traffic safety.
A Diploma Thesis titled “Long-term association of road accidents and weather conditions in European cities” was recently presented by Areti Thanasko. The aim of this Diploma Thesis was to investigate the long–term correlation between road accidents and weather conditions in European cities. On that purpose, a database containing average monthly temperature and precipitation data for every city – as well as the monthly number of road accidents for the period 1991-2017 was developed. The application of the models concluded that increase of precipitation and temperature results at increase of road accidents. For the group of south cities, the impact of weather conditions in road accidents is found more severe. For each time period, the rain has a negative impact on accidents, although their correlation is positive. Furthermore, temperature increase due to climate change slows down the improvement of road safety.
A Diploma Thesis titled “The traffic and safety effect of smartphone texting and web surfing during driving in cities using a driving simulator” was recently presented by Maria Oikonomou. The aim of this Diploma Thesis was to investigate the impact of smartphone texting and web surfing on traffic and road safety when driving in an urban environment. For this purpose, driving profiles of 36 young people were collected through a driving simulator experiment while a survey was conducted to collect the characteristics and driving habits of the participants. A key finding is that web surfing and texting while driving cause: increased accident probability and decreased mean speed and its variation, headway distance and its variation, as well as steering wheel variation. Finally, the use of the Google Maps application has the greatest impact on mean speed variation, while the use of Facebook has the greatest impact on mean headway distance variation and mean steering wheel variation.
A Diploma Thesis titled “Analysis of pedestrians distracted behaviour talking on mobile phone” was recently presented by Dimitra Typa. The aim of this Diploma Thesis was to investigate the impact of hand-held cell phone conversation on pedestrians’ traffic and safety behaviour, when crossing signalized intersections. An outdoor-environment experiment, through video recording, was conducted in real road conditions, in three signalized intersections at the centre of Athens for the purpose of comparing the behaviour of distracted and non-distracted pedestrians. The results of the models’ application demonstrated that distraction caused by hand-held cell phone conversation had a negative impact on pedestrians’ main traffic and safety characteristics, since, in general, mobile use not only decreases pedestrians’ speed but also increases their probability of being involved in an accident with an oncoming vehicle.
A paper titled “Driving Safety Efficiency Benchmarking Using Smartphone Data” authored by Dimitrios Tselentis, Eleni Vlahogianni, and George Yannis is now published in Transportation Research Part C: Emerging Technologies. This paper aims to provide a methodological framework for the comparative evaluation of driving safety efficiency based on Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA). The analysis considers each driver as a Decision-Making Unit (DMU) and aims to provide a relative safety efficiency measure to compare different drivers based on their driving performance. The proposed methodological framework is tested on data from fifty-six (56) drivers during a 7-months period. Findings help distinguish the most efficient drivers from those that are less efficient. Most common inefficient driving practices are identified (aggressive, risky driving, etc.) and driving behaviour is comparatively evaluated and analyzed.
The 1st newsletter of the Horizon 2020 project BE OPEN was recently released highlighting some of the project latest news, the first BE OPEN workshop entitled “Open Science in Transport: Challenges and Way forward“ and key project achievements. The BE OPEN newsletter aims to keep you informed about the project’s progress, news, events and results.
The European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) has published a short video supporting that it is time for the EU to move from dozens of different drink driving limits to one that everyone can remember easily: Zero, despite the fact that every individual responds to alcohol differently.
The third edition of Road Safety Manual (RSM) developed by the World Road Association (PIARC) is designed to help countries at every stage of infrastructure development to fulfil road safety objectives. It is aligned with key pillars for the United Nations Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020: Pillar 1: Road Safety Management, Pillar 2: Safer Roads and Mobility, Pillar 4: Safer Road Users. This comprehensive resource builds on the broad range of knowledge and experience provided by PIARC in the previous editions. It includes new thinking on road safety and offers a clear argument on why adopting a Safe System approach is crucial for all countries.
A paper titled “A review of spatial approaches in road safety” authored by Apostolos Ziakopoulos, and George Yannis is now published in Accident Analysis and Prevention. The aim of the present research is to critically review the existing literature on different spatial approaches through which researchers handle the dimension of space in its various aspects in their studies and analyses. Specifically, the use of different areal unit levels in spatial road safety studies is investigated, different modelling approaches are discussed, and the corresponding study design characteristics are summarized in respective tables including traffic, road environment and area parameters and spatial aggregation approaches.
The European Federation of Road Victims (FEVR) along with the European Commission – DG MOVE and the WHO Regional Office for Europe commemorated the World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims on 18 November 2019, in Brussels, Belgium. From 1995, 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. The slogan of 2019 was: “LIFE IS NOT A CAR PART”.
The European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) has published a Report titled “Briefing: EU Strategic Action Plan on Road Safety”. In June 2019, the European Commission adopted the EU Road Safety Policy Framework 2021-2030, outlining specific policy measures planned for 2021-2030 and developing on the EU Strategic Action Plan on Road Safety published in May 2018. ETSC stresses the need for stronger measures including legislation and a wider coverage of existing and emerging road safety issues that will be essential to addressing the recent stagnation in progress on reducing road deaths in the EU.
European Commissioner for transport Violeta Bulc announced the six winners of the European Road Safety Charter – Excellence in Road Safety Awards 2019 at a ceremony at the prestigious Vaudeville Theatre in Brussels on October 2019. Every year several initiatives of the European Road Safety Charter are rewarded for their contribution to safer roads across Europe. Violeta Bulc said: “Road safety is our common concern and priority. All of you are role models in your local communities, but also now acknowledged on the European scene. I wish to thank you wholeheartedly for your contribution to the improvement of the road safety culture in Europe. You are making a real difference in your community and you are inspiring others to do the same.”
Twelve EU Member States are joining forces to share smart ideas for improving road safety, as part of a new EU-funded project: “Road Safety Exchange”, coordinated by the European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) and launched in Brussels on October 9th, 2019. The three-year EU Road Safety Exchange project aims to tackle the current important disparities between the various EU countries and will link up experts on one hand from Bulgaria, Greece, Lithuania, Poland, Portugal, Romania, and on the other hand from Austria, France, Ireland, the Netherlands, Spain and Sweden. Transport experts from the twelve participating countries will work together to share best practice on reducing speed, building safe infrastructure and improve enforcement, data collection, as well as the safety of pedestrians and cyclists in urban areas.
A paper titled “A systematic cost-benefit analysis of 29 road safety measures” authored by Stijn Daniels, Heike Martensen, Annelies Schoeters, Wouter Van den Berghe, Eleonora Papadimitriou, Apostolos Ziakopoulos, Susanne Kaiser, Eva Aigner-Breuss, Aggelos Soteropoulos, Wim Wijnen, Wendy Weijermars, Laurent Carnis, Rune Elvik, Oscar Martin Perez is now published in Accident Analysis and Prevention. For the purposes of this study the authors collected and (re-)analyzed evidence in order to conduct cost-benefit analyses (CBAs) for 29 road safety measures. The information on crash costs was based on data from a survey in European countries. A systematic procedure was applied including corrections for inflation and Purchasing Power Parity in order to express all the monetary information in the same units (EUR, 2015). Cost-benefit analyses were carried out for measures with favourable estimated effects on road safety and for which relevant information on costs could be found. Results were assessed in terms of benefit-to-cost ratios and net present value and are included also at the SafetyCube DSS.
NACTO’s Guidelines for Regulating Shared Micromobility outline best practices for cities and public entities regulating and managing shared micromobility services on their streets. Its recommendations were developed to reflect the wide variety of experiences that North American cities have had in regulating and managing shared micromobility. Shared micromobility is still in its infancy and there are outstanding questions and option for which there is not yet a defined best practice, as highlighted within these Guidelines.
Road traffic crashes are not just statistics, they affect real lives and real people. Many people have been affected by road traffic crashes, or know people whose lives and relationships have been torn apart by these needless tragedies. The Global Alliance of NGOs for Road Safety launched a survey aiming to bring forth the voices of people to highlight the problem and call for governments to act urgently. The results will be released at the Third Global Ministerial Conference on Road Safety and disseminated through press releases, publications, mass and social media. They will provide evidence to show government leaders what needs to be done at local, regional, and global levels to save lives.
During the European Mobility Week 2019, the European Commission and the EU Member States handed over to Global Alliance of NGOs for Road Safety the commitment of halving the number of fatalities and serious injuries on European roads between 2020 and 2030, within the way forward to the Global Ministerial Conference on Road Safety in Stockholm in February 2020. On the occasion, Commissioner Violeta Bulc also announced an “Urban Road Safety Award” for cities, to be handed out next spring.
Within the European Mobility Week 2019, the European Commission and the Global Alliance of NGOs for Road Safety co-organised a Road Safety Roundtable in Brussels on 16 September. During this event, a commitment from European cities, coordinated by POLIS and Eurocities, entitled “The New Paradigm for Safe City Streets” was handed over including 10 principles to be recognized by the cities, as necessary for sound and effective action for traffic safety.
Road deaths and serious injuries are not just unfortunate accidents. They are predictable, preventable, and unacceptable. Evidence shows that setting a road safety target is an effective way to reduce the number of people killed and seriously injured in traffic crashes. That is why the Towards Zero Foundation’s #50by30 campaign calls for a new target to halve road deaths and serious injuries in a new decade of SDG action for road safety to 2030. A new target and a new decade of action will help to save 675,000 lives a year, accelerate progress in global road injury prevention, and work towards a world eventually free from road fatalities and serious injuries.