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:
- The Heracles Group of Companies, a member of LafargeHolcim (Greece)
- The Ville de Martigues (France)
- The CTT Correios de Portugal
- The Romanian Automobile Club
- The Motorförarnas Helnykterhetsförbund (Sweden)
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.
The Awards are part of the European Road Safety Charter, launched by the Commission in 2004, the largest civil society platform on road safety in Europe. Today it includes more than 3,400 signatories, most of them with concrete road safety action plans.
Meet the winners of the Excellence in Road Safety Awards 2017
Heracles Group of Companies, a member of LafargeHolcim (Greece): The educational project 'Good Driver' is a very successful corporate social responsibility programme specifically designed for professional drivers of heavy good vehicles and buses. The initiative aims to improve drivers' behaviour and encourage them to be personally accountable for their safety record via an interactive campaign.
The initiative was rewarded for its innovative educational approach: it reaches the target group in a simple and entertaining manner, as it is available to professional drivers independently of their location thanks to a digital platform. The results are measurable at all stages, and the live reporting allows for corrective actions.
Ville de Martigues (France): The campaign 'Street code for seniors' of the municipality of Martigues aims to raise awareness of seniors on their risks on the road. The general objective is to reduce the number of fatalities and road traffic injuries affecting elderly road users. In parallel, the initiative aims to gather statistics and information on accident scenarios specific to elderly road users, to raise awareness on their physiological limits and the influence of psychotropic substances, and to refresh their knowledge on traffic rules.
The project was rewarded for improving the safety of a particularly vulnerable group of road users: the elderly. An additional merit of this comprehensive educational programme is to combine successfully road safety concerns with sustainable mobility while improving the quality of life of the targeted community.
CTT Correios de Portugal: The state-owned company is a postal operator with a large vehicle fleet and thousands of drivers that introduced a comprehensive road safety programme to raise awareness of the risks on the roads and to help avoid them. The programme covers a large number of areas from vehicle safety to recruitment and training of drivers as well as accident investigations.
CTT Correios de Portugal was rewarded for the comprehensive nature and effectiveness of its preventive road safety programme, which covers all key areas where impact can be maximised for better results. The initiative pays particular attention to vulnerable road users, mainly as cyclists and motorcyclists. It involves a high number of participants, over 2,500, and can be extended outside
The Romanian Automobile Club: The project 'Mr Bear' aims to turn careless drivers into responsible ones with the help of their junior passengers. The innovative app 'Junior Co-Pilot Game' uses GPS technology being fully synced with the car. It sends warns to the young players when their parent speeds up over the legal limits. If the speed is not adapted, the player can lose points or the game ends. The app includes road signs and regulations for kids, transforming this app in a real education tool for all.
The Junior Co-Pilot Game was rewarded for its highly innovative nature using mobile app in kid’s road safety education. The project educates kids on road safety turning them into active passengers while it prevents speeding and enhance drivers’ attentiveness. The entertaining nature of the activities increases the efficiency of the programme. http://www.plimba-ursul.ro
The Swedish Abstaining Motorists’ Association has a vision: no one should die because of drunk driving. Statistics show that drunk driving rate around ports is three times higher than the national average. Therefore, the project, relying on a new technology, aims to stop drunk drivers from leaving the ports. In addition to the checkpoints, a traffic control centre gives remote support to drivers and alerts the police, the Customs or the Coast Guard when a drunk driver got stopped in the automatic sobriety test (Alco Gates).
The initiative of the Swedish Abstaining Motorists’ Association was rewarded for its innovative practice in enforcement, key to any successful road safety policy. Sobriety tests in traffic are part of the road safety work, the number of sobriety tests conducted by the police in traffic, however, tends to decrease every year. Alco Gates can help the police to become more effective without requiring major personnel actions.