The European Commission presented the Excellence in Road Safety Awards 2017 to five winners at a ceremony that took place on 26 June 2017 in Bucharest, Romania. This prize recognises commitments to road safety that have a significant impact on saving lives on Europe's roads.
Awards went to:
- Heracles Group of Companies, a member of LafargeHolcim (Greece), for its innovative educational project 'Good Driver'. The initiative aims to improve drivers' behaviour and encourage them to be personally accountable for their safety record via an interactive campaign;
- Ville de Martigues (France), for its campaign 'Street code for seniors'. The project was rewarded for improving the safety of a particularly vulnerable group of road users: the elderly;
- CTT Correios de Portugal, praised for the comprehensive nature and effectiveness of its preventive road safety programme for the company's thousands of drivers;
- Romanian Automobile Club, for its highly innovative project 'Mr Bear' - using a mobile app road safety education. The project educates kids on road safety by turning them into active passengers, while also preventing their parents from speeding and enhancing the drivers’ attentiveness;
- Motorförarnas Helnykterhetsförbund (The Swedish Abstaining Motorists’ Association), rewarded for its innovative practice in enforcement. The project, relying on a new technology, aims to stop drunk drivers from leaving the ports.
During the ceremony, the special prize dedicated to Jacques Barrot, former Transport Commissioner and an enthusiastic advocate of road safety in Europe, was awarded by the audience to the Romanian Automobile Club.
The EU Commissioner for Mobility and Transport, Violeta Bulc, said: "While road safety is our common goal, national and local actors are best placed to design solutions to meet national and local road safety challenges, through innovative measures, through tougher action against dangerous drivers and through better education and awareness-raising. The Excellence in Road Safety Award is a unique opportunity to reward the best practice, to recognise the hard work all of you are doing on a daily basis and to raise awareness about this great project in Europe and beyond."
Recently, annual road safety statistics published by the European Commission showed that after two years of stagnation, 2016 brought a positive turn by reducing road fatalities on EU roads by 2% compared to the previous year. Even though European roads remain the safest in the world, there are still 25,500 people a year losing their lives in road crashes and about 135,000 sustaining serious road traffic injuries.
There are three main areas where there is still a big room for improvement: education, enforcement and the use of new technologies in finding new solutions to existing problems. The Commission evaluated the good practices submitted to the Charter Awards on this basis, and rewarded those practices that offer the most effective and innovative solutions for better road safety results.