At a ceremony in Brussels, European Commissioner for Transport Violeta Bulc presented the Excellence in Road Safety Awards 2018 to six winners. The Award acknowledges inspirational and innovative initiatives under the umbrella of the European Road Safety Charter that contribute to improving road safety and saving lives.
Awards went to
- VOZIM, an association fighting reckless driving (Slovenia),
- Association Prévention routière (France),
- Community Speed Watch Online (United Kingdom),
- Aigua De Rigat SA, offering water services (Spain)
- City Council of Naron (Spain), and
- KTI research institute (Hungary).
For the third year in a row, a special prize was dedicated to Jacques Barrot, former Commissioner for Transport and ardent supporter of road safety. The winner was selected by the audience present at the ceremony from among the six winners. It is VOZIM from Slovenia!
Violeta Bulc said: "While road safety is our common goal, it is also a shared responsibility. It requires national and local entities, as well as the civil society and the industry to work in close cooperation to make our roads, vehicles and users safe. Under the European Road Safety Charter, we have gathered a wealth of good practices to be inspired by. With the current challenges we are facing, we need the best of all new and well-established thinking to help us improve road safety for all.”
While road fatalities have more than halved since 2001, still 70 people die on EU roads every day – annually an equivalent of a European town (25 300 reported fatalities in 2017) –, while the toll of the seriously injured is even higher, with estimated 135 000 people sustaining life-changing injuries every year. The Commission therefore took new measures in May 2018 to contribute to the EU's long-term goal of moving close to zero fatalities and serious injuries by 2050.
The European Road Safety Charter, initiated in 2004 and led by the European Commission, is the largest civil society platform on road safety. So far, more than 3 500 public and private entities (companies of all types and sizes, automobile clubs, associations, schools and local authorities) have committed to the Charter. The Charter invites members to make a commitment, pledging to take a specific measurable action within their area of responsibilities. Since 2006, the yearly Charter Award for excellence in road safety has been presented to one or several organisations that have carried out a particularly interesting or worthwhile road safety initiative.
Winners of the Excellence in Road Safety Awards 2018
- VOZIM (Slovenia): The ‘Heroes drive in pyjamas’ campaign addresses young people, often exposed to the risk of driving while under the influence of alcohol or other psychoactive substances. On national level, the campaign aims at raising the awareness of parents about the risks on the roads and mobilising them to improve their children’s safety, especially on weekends. At the same time, the campaign implements a holistic preventive approach to drink driving with the help of the traffic police, the private sector and municipalities.
The project is rewarded for addressing successfully an important societal problem: drink driving amongst young people. By making heroes of parents who drive their children to/from parties, the campaign is making good use of the phenomenon of peer pressure, which is a very powerful influencer of behaviour amongst youngsters.
- Association Prévention routière (France): ‘Ville prudente’ is a contest organized with the aim to reward French municipalities having taken concrete measures to improve road safety in their local environment. While encompassing all road safety actions, from urban planning to education, the project also stresses the need to improve the protection of the most vulnerable road users in urban areas: pedestrians, cyclists, motorcyclists, but also people with reduced mobility or children.
The project is rewarded for its highly innovative nature helping municipalities implement their own tailor-made road safety actions. It makes very clear that successful road safety actions are a joint effort of policy makers, enforcement authorities and road users. The project creates a very good example combining local engagement with the leverage effect of a nationwide recognition.
- CSW Online (United Kingdom): Working closely with the police, the application CSW Online was developed by professional software engineers on the back of years of experience managing a large, successful Community Speedwatch group. Community Speedwatch (CSW) is a national initiative where members of local communities come together with the support of the police to monitor speeds of vehicles using speed detection devices. CSW Online was created as a technological solution to modernise CSW and better co-ordinate groups on behalf of the police.
The initiative is rewarded for having raised the profile and effectiveness of Community Speedwatch as a way of residents to support the police in tackling local issues. By helping groups of volunteers to work to the same standards and using the same procedures, the scheme gains in credibility and reputation. In addition, the technology, the organisation and the methodology are all transferrable and easily adaptable to any country with problems and conditions like those in the UK.
- Aigua De Rigat SA (Spain): The company has enlarged its already existing plan for the prevention of occupational risks to include those encountered by its employees when travelling on the road. Following detailed analysis of staff mobility, concrete action plans have been put in place to improve the safety of road journeys that workers have to make to carry out their daily work. These plans encompass a wide range of activities from raising awareness on road safety risks to accident investigations.
Aigua De Rigat is rewarded for the comprehensive and preventive nature of its road safety strategy, which effectively covers all key areas of road safety at work. As part of the Suez Water Spain group, Aigua de Rigat S.A. has designed a system that can be applied to any company of the group in an easy way, as well as to other companies of the same size or profile.
- Concello de Naron (Spain): The Department for Education of the City of Narón developed an experimental series of measures in local schools, such as safe school path, Kiss&Go, dissuasive parking, with the aim to co-design safe and sustainable school itineraries for children. The project includes pupils, teachers, small businesses, local authorities, and as much as possible the whole community of the city. Thanks to the initiative, students can safely walk and cycle to school or use their scooter while improving their health, reducing their stress and making them part of an active community.
The project is rewarded for its innovative character using participatory methods to improve the safety on the roads of a whole community. The main strength of the project and the guarantee of its sustainability is a community-based network, where several generations, children, parents and grandparents are working together for safer roads. It is also worth noting the positive environmental impact of the project reducing both CO2 emissions and noise.
- KTI (Hungary): Two-wheelers (bicycles, mopeds and motorcycles) are more and more common in traffic in Hungary. They are increasingly involved in accidents too. The Two-Wheelers School programme of the Hungarian Institute for Transport Sciences aims to stop and change this trend. Based on the concept of life-long learning, it provides interactive trainings by experienced driving instructors. Participants learn about the use of protective equipment and the best ways to avoid accidents. By simulating dangerous situations, the ‘Riding Trainer’ allows students to put in practice what they have learnt on accident avoidance.
The project is rewarded for its professional educational approach: it is based on scientific accident analysis and developed with the help of experienced trainers. The interactivity, combining presentations with practices, ensures the effectiveness of the training. An additional merit of the programme is that while covering an entire country, it is always adapted to local circumstances so that students can get lifelike and helpful advice to avoid accidents in their everyday life.
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