The Country Seminar and Workshop on the European Road Safety Charter (ERSC) was held with great success on Wednesday the 21st of March at the Amphitheater of the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport: The event was organized by the Road Safety Institute (RSI) "Panos Mylonas", ERSC’s Representative in Greece, and held under the auspices of the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport. Main purpose was to inform organizations and agencies in Greece about what the European Road Safety Charter is, why they should join and how they can do it.
The workshop was attended by around 80 participants, including institutional actors from Bodies and Organizations who praised the efforts of all stakeholders towards the common goal of preventing and reducing road accidents in Greece. General Secretary of the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport, Mr. Thanos Vourdas, during his greeting speech, he presented State’s will to promote road safety through concerted actions and large-scale interventions, as well as the three key actions towards this direction: the new draft law on transport, the reconstruction of the National Road Safety Council and the electronic academy platform for educational purposes. Greeting speeches have also been given by Mr. Dimitrios Anagnostakis, General Secretary of Public Order of the Ministry of Citizen Protection, Mr. Georgios Oursouzidis, Chairman of the Special Permanent Committee on Road Safety, and Mrs. Marina Chryssoveloni, President of the National Road Safety Council.
The European Commission's goal of halving the total number of road fatalities in the EU between 2010 and 2020, ie the 6.7% drop each year, was presented by the keynote speaker, Mrs. Christina Karaitidis, Contact Person of the Representation of the European Commission in Greece. Further to Mrs. Karaitidis, “in order to achieve this goal, the EU has set three pillars and seven strategic objectives for pursuing the highest road safety standards across Europe, an integrated approach to road safety, and shared responsibility at all levels”.
“The vision to reduce the number of road deaths by 2020 is shared by the 3,400 members of the European Road Safety Charter, which now aims to encourage, empower and expand this community" was emphasized by Mrs. Vasiliki Danelli-Mylonas, European Road Safety Charter Strategic Board and President of RSI “Panos Mylonas”. At her keynote speech, Mrs. Danelli-Mylonas stressed that companies of all sizes, associations and federations, cities and regions, institutions, schools and other civil society groups, public and private Organizations from all 28 Member States, all those who commit themselves to take action on road safety, can be part of the Charter. At the same time, she pointed out that "all committed entities have genuine recognition and their actions are made public on the Charter’s platform, allowing others to learn and be inspired by the good practices”.
Examples of good practices both in Greece and in other European countries were presented at the Workshop by representatives of the respective companies and organizations, providing this way an excellent opportunity to disseminate valuable information and discuss ways to improve Road Safety in Greece.
During the follow-up discussion with the public, answers were provided to further questions on inclusion in the Charter and the criteria for how good practice is defined. Comments made by those present about the current situation in Greece as regards road policing, driving behavior and perceptions of road users, as well as methods for adopting positive driving behavior were considered extremely valuable.
By the end of the discussion, Mr. Dimitrios Katsochis, President of the Hellenic Institute of Transportation Engineers, and Mrs. Danelli-Mylonas, thanked the organizations that actively participated at the Workshop and urged them to register on the European Charter, as well as to submit their own candidatures for good practice on the Charter website.
At her closing remark, Mrs. Danelli-Mylonas reminded the audience that “Together we are Road Safety” and “it is our shared responsibility to make the commitment and save lives”.