Road Safety News
Road Safety News concern a selection of the most recent developments on road safety in Greece, in Europe and worldwide.
A paper titled “Capturing the effects of texting on young drivers behaviour based on copula and Gaussian Mixture Models” authored by Loukas Dimitriou, Katerina Stylianou, and George Yannis is now published in Transportation Research Part F: Traffic Psychology and Behaviour. This research effort aims to investigate the impact of texting on young drivers’ behavior and safety based on data from driving simulator experiments, for different driving contexts, like motorways, urban and rural roads, during daytime and night, and for alternative weather conditions (‘clear sky’ and rain). GMMs application showed that drivers using mobile phones who were involved in a collision presented a different driving behavior compared to the drivers who were occupied but were not involved in a collision.
The European Traffic Police Network (TISPOL) together with the European Commission DG Move Road Safety Unit have launched the project EDWARD – the European Day Without A Road Death 2018. This year the European Day without a Road Death took place on Wednesday 19 September 2018. Several events, initiatives and promotional activity right across Europe will take place. Moreover, in the EDWARD website lots of new resources can be found, artwork can be downloaded (including images and Infographics), a countdown timer to the day itself, an interactive map and a brand new pledge to sign.In Greece the event for the European Day without a Road Death took place with great success in 18 September in Athens.
A Diploma Thesis titled “The effect of anger on driver behavior and safety” was presented by Orestis Gavalas in July 2018. The aim of the Diploma Thesis is to investigate the effect of anger on driver behavior and safety. In order to achieve this goal, a driving simulator experiment was conducted and a questionnaire including the DAX scale was filled in a sample of 125 drivers. The collected data were grouped into anger components using the factor analysis method. Subsequently, both linear and logarithmic regression models were developed. Valuable conclusions were reached including men demonstrating higher levels of driving anger as well as that anger decreases with increasing age. The presence of anger is related to the increase in average speed, the reduction of headway (measured in time) and the increase in the probability of being involved in an accident and a road traffic infringement. On the other hand, forgiveness and noble mindedness lead to fundamentally opposite effects.
SafetyCube is a research project funded by the European Commission under Horizon 2020, the EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation, in the domain of Road Safety. The latest SafetyCube newsletter is now available, highlighting the innovative road safety Decision Support System (DSS) which is online already one year, enabling 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.
A Diploma Thesis titled “Critical driver behaviour and risk factors in Europe” was presented by Dimitrios Vachaviolos in July 2018. The aim of the present Diploma Thesis is the analysis of critical behavior and risk factors of drivers in Europe. To this end, we analyzed the responses of a representative sample of 17,980 European citizens who participated in the pan-European ESRA survey, which took place in 2016. The analysis of behavior and the investigation of the critical factors affecting driver behavior and safety, was carried out by using statistical methods of cluster analysis and binary logistic regression. The model results revealed that speeding leads to the increase of accident involvement probability, as is the case also for fatigue – drowsiness and distraction.
The African Road Safety Observatory is now on line constituting a space for interaction to highlight the road safety needs in African countries, developed with the active contribution of NTUA. It is one of the main results of the SaferAfrica project funded by the European Commission Horizons 2020 Programme and includes various knowledge and tools, such as statistics, reports, fact sheets, knowledge resources and links and it is integrated with crowd-sourcing functions to facilitate the participation of experts and end-users, through an interactive Dialogue Platform.
A Diploma Thesis titled “Mobility and road safety in European cities” was presented by Dimitrios Giagkou in July 2018. The objective of this Diploma Thesis is to investigate the impact of mobility characteristics on road safety in European cities. For this analysis, various international databases were exploited with data on road accident fatalities, demographics and mobility characteristics of 25 European cities in 2012. Generalized Linear Models were developed for both the total number of fatalities and for specific subcategories too. The results led to the conclusion that more public transport capacity offered, more cycle trips and fewer motorcycles lead to a reduction in the number of fatalities in urban road accidents. Moreover, it was found that denser road network, higher population density and higher GDP per capita are correlated with fewer fatalities in urban road accidents.
A Diploma Thesis titled “Impact of economic, social and transport indicators on road safety during the crisis period in Europe” was presented by Dimitrios Nikolaou in July 2018. For this analysis a database containing Human Development Index (HDI), suicides, passenger-kilometers and road fatalities for European states for 2006-2015 was developed. The results led to the conclusion that Human Development Index has the most important impact and its increase leads to road fatalities decrease. Moreover, the economy evolution effect on road accidents is more important than social and transport indicators. Expecially after the economic crisis, the impact of the economy is even higher. Concerning passenger-kilometers there is an increase in their impact on the number of road fatalities after the economic crisis.
The 3rd Newsletter of the African-European Dialogue Platform on Road Safety (SaferAfrica) Horizons 2020 project has been recently issued with the active contribution of NTUA. This edition highlights the newly born African Road Safety Observatory, the African RSO and includes also the SaferAfrica recommendations on the implementation of the African Road Safety Action Plan and an attempt to answer how can the African Road Safety Observatory help to improve road safety in Africa.
A Diploma Thesis titled “Relation of the performance of road safety to medical, economic and social indicators to countries in the European Union” was presented by Myrto Damianou in July 2018. The purpose of this diploma thesis is to identify potential relationships between road accidents and road behavior, as far as the health sector is concerned. Its aim is to relate the performance of road safety to medical, economic and social indicators related to countries in the European Union. Thus, the 27 European Union Member States are studied for an indicative time frame, from 2008 to 2014. After determining the correlation between road fatalities and the aforementioned indicators, the statistical models were defined, according to the application of the theory of linear regression and the linear mixed model.
A Diploma Thesis titled “Comparative investigation of road accidents cost in the European Union” was presented by Ypatia Mihou-Archimandritou in July 2018. The objective of this Diploma Thesis is the comparative investigation of road accidents cost in the European Union and its correlation with social, economic and transport indicators. For this analysis, data from various international sources were exploited and a common database was developed, containing data about the rate of passenger cars use, GDP per capita, population, road accidents fatalities, suicides, number of passenger cars, Misery Index and other for the year 2015. The results led to a conclusion that an increase of the rate of passenger cars use leads to a decrease of the accident cost, while an increase of Misery Index leads to an increase of the accident cost. Furthermore, in economically strong countries higher accident cost is observed in comparison to the other two groups.
The Department of Transportation Planning and Engineering of the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA) was ranked 15th in Europe and at 65th place worldwide among all Transportation Science & Technology Schools, according to the ShanghaiRanking’s Global Ranking of Academic Subjects (GRAS) 2018. NTUA road safety activities have contributed to this excellent performance. Accordingly, the NTUA Civil Engineering School was ranked 7th worldwide (3rd European) among all Civil Engineering Schools.
A Diploma Thesis titled “Modelling the economic impact of road accidents in Greece” was presented by Eleftherios-Marios Kourtis in July 2018. The objective of this Diploma Thesis is the estimation of the human cost of road accidents based on the “Willingness-to-Pay” (WTP) methodology, and the identification of drivers attitudes towards the probability of getting involved in a road accident, using the “Stated Preference” method. The results demonstrate a positive correlation between the number of road accidents that a driver was involved so far and the annual amount that is willing to invest. Additionally, it was found that most of the drivers support the reduction of the probability to get involved in an accident. Lastly, based on the WTP methodology, the road accident fatality human cost was estimated at 1.761 million euros.
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.