EDWARD = Zero EU Road Deaths for Just One Day
A unique and solemn day, the European Day Without A Road Death, known as Project EDWARD, was observed by the European Traffic Police Network (TISPOL) on September 21, with the support of the European Commission.
Although the EU's roads are among the world's safest, 70 people a day still die in road crashes and 370 people a day sustain serious life-changing injuries in traffic accidents, EU transport authorities have calculated.
That means 25,500 people a year are losing their lives in road crashes and about 135,000 others are living through serious road traffic injuries in Europe.
In fact, in the time you take to read this, at least one person will have been killed or seriously injured somewhere in the European Union.
And in fact, road crashes are the #1 killer of young people worldwide, according to the World Bank Group's Global Road Safety Facility.
So, Project EDWARD tries to change driver behavior with the slogan, "Let's belt-up, slow down and make sure everyone arrives alive."
TISPOL President Paolo Cestra said September 21, "The tragic toll of road deaths is seen every day by police officers and collision investigators. Every day across Europe, around 70 people will set off on road journeys, but they won’t make it home. That means 70 families will receive a knock at the door with the life-shattering news that they have lost a loved one in what was most likely an entirely preventable crash."
"With every road death, so many other lives are fractured and ruined. Quite simply we do not want that to happen to any family, and we will do everything we can to reduce the toll of road fatalities."
This was the second year for Project EDWARD, and across Europe over 100 events were held. Traffic death statistics are not yet available.
In its first year, records show that a total of 43 people died on Europe’s roads on Project EDWARD Day, September 21, 2016. Project EDWARD takes no direct credit this, because so many elements factor into the number of people who die in traffic on any given day.
Yet, it is a fact that 30 days after Project EDWARD Day 2016, of the 31 participating countries, 19 had managed a day with no death on their roads.
TISPOL says Project EDWARD encourages all road users to reflect on their behavior and attitude behind the wheel.
"After all, driver behavior remains the most important barrier to progress as we approach 2020 and its reduction targets." TISPOL said.
“Changing dangerous driver behavior, such as seat belt use, speeding, distracted driving and drunk driving would save many lives, says TISPOL. "Education when combined with enforcement and engineering is the best way to cut the numbers of killed or seriously injured."
Cestra urged everyone, "Please think about the way you drive, ride or cross the road. Think about how you can reduce risk by always wearing a seatbelt, keeping to speeds that are both legal and appropriate for the conditions, not driving after drinking alcohol or taking drugs, and not using a mobile phone at the wheel."
"If everyone commits to making small changes, then the road safety improvements will be huge and we will achieve big reductions in the number of people who are killed or seriously injured," said Cestra. He asks everyone to share TISPOL's road safety messages on social media using #ProjectEDWARD, and sign the Project EDWARD pledge of support at www.projectedward.eu.”
Excellence in Road Safety Rewarded
Five organizations from across Europe won Excellence in Road Safety Awards this year, which were presented by the European Commission at a ceremony in Bucharest on June 26.
The Commission honored initiatives in Greece, France, Portugal, Romania and Sweden. The prize recognizes commitments to road safety that have a "significant impact" on saving lives on Europe's roads.
Transport Commissioner 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 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 road safety action plans.
"The Excellence in Road Safety Award is a unique opportunity to reward the best practice, to recognize the hard work all of you are doing on a daily basis and to raise awareness about this great project in Europe and beyond," Bulc told the audience at the award ceremony.
The 2017 Excellence in Road Safety Award Winners are:
- Heracles Group of Companies, a member of LafargeHolcim (Greece)
The educational project Good Driver is a successful corporate social responsibility program designed for professional drivers of heavy goods vehicles and buses. The interactive campaign aims to encourage drivers to be personally accountable for their safety record.
This initiative was honored because it reaches the target group in a simple and entertaining manner; 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 known as "Street code for seniors" of the town of Martigues aims to raise awareness of seniors about their risks on the road and 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.
- CTT Correios de Portugal
The state-owned company is a postal operator with a large vehicle fleet and thousands of drivers, introduced a comprehensive road safety program to raise awareness of the risks on the roads and to help avoid them. The program covers a large number of areas from vehicle safety, recruitment and training of drivers to accident investigation.
CTT Correios de Portugal was honored for its comprehensive and effective preventive road safety program. The initiative focuses on vulnerable road users, such as cyclists and motorcyclists. It attracted a high number of participants, over 2,500, and can be extended outside the company.
- 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 fully synced with the car. It sends warnings to the young players when their parent speeds up over the legal limit. 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 honored for the innovation of using an entertaining mobile app to educate kids about road safety.
- Swedish Abstaining Motorists’ Association
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. Relying on a new technology, the project aims to stop drivers from leaving the ports if they are drunk. In addition to the checkpoints, a traffic control center 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. The alco-gates, or alcohol detection units, can be fitted to car park boom gates, which remain lowered until the driver records a breath test under the legal limit.
Police are on hand to assist those who fail the test to leave their car and make other transport arrangements.
Annual road safety statistics published by the European Commission show that after two years of stagnation, 2016 brought a positive turn by reducing road fatalities on EU roads by two percent compared to the previous year.
Private Sector Advocates for Technology
New technologies promise to save or improve the lives of thousands of the 1.25 million people who die and the 50 million people who are injured every year on the world’s roads.
But technological advances must be developed in tandem with behavior changes to have a chance of bringing down the traffic death toll.
Recognizing that safer roads are a shared responsibility, Together for Safer Roads was launched by a coalition of global private sector companies to align the private sector’s road safety efforts with those of the United Nations Decade of Action for Road Safety.
Together for Safer Roads includes companies from a range of industries collaborating to improve road safety. The coalition brings together members’ knowledge, data, technology, and global networks to focus on areas that will make the greatest impact both globally and within local communities.
Through vehicle safety improvements, the collection of road and vehicle data, connectivity, driving apps, and more technologies being developed every year, here are some ways technology can make a difference.
Technology is making vehicles safer. Vehicle safety improvements, including seat belts, airbags, child safety seats, mounted brake lights, and electronic stability control have saved an estimated 600,000 lives in the United States in the past 50 years.
In the future, there will be more of these innovations. One possibility: seat belts that adjust automatically according to the impact of the crash and the size and position of the driver or passenger.
Data collection points to best ways to reduce crashes. In most parts of the world, data about road safety and crashes is lacking. In some parts of Africa, road crash deaths may be six times higher than what is reported.
Safety information, such as average driving speed, use of seat belts and child restraints, drunk driving statistics, availability of trauma care, and other data is often unavailable in many developing countries.
Improvements in data collection could help analyze challenges and solve crash problems in specific locations.
Smarter vehicles could lead to fewer crashes. Increased connectivity can alert drivers to road traffic and connect them to help in case of an emergency. In time, driverless and shared cars could improve road safety, while also lowering traffic congestion.
Drivers can reduce distractions through the help of apps such as AT&T’s DriveMode. Distracted driving accounts for about 10 percent of road crash deaths in the United States, says Together for Safer Roads. The AT&T app aims to help drivers by silencing incoming text message alerts while in transit.
The future holds many more ways that technology can save and improve lives on the road. To learn more about how technology can improve road safety, read the TSR Expert Panel’s White Paper “Investing in Road Safety: A Global Imperative for the Private Sector.” See it here: http://www.togetherforsaferroads.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/TSR-Annual-Report_single-pages.pdf
In his introduction to the White Paper, Carlos Brito, chairman of Together for Safer Roads, 2015-2017, wrote, "In 2016, as part of our Safer Roads Challenge program, we launched three local partnerships with city governments in Atlanta, São Paulo, and Shanghai. These pilot projects are vital as we scale our program framework to additional localities around the world."
"A big highlight came from Brazil," Brito wrote. "Following our partnership and activations, the São Paulo State government reported a 5.8 percent reduction in road deaths in 2016 compared to 2015. And within the 15 cities prioritized within São Paulo State, we saw an estimated 10.7 percent reduction in casualties, or 71 lives saved, from the previous year."
Cadillac Takes Hands-Free Driving Coast-to-Coast
Beginning September 25, Cadillac embarked on the first official hands-free drive on freeways from the U.S. East Coast to the West Coast, using its Super Cruise technology.
A select group of key stakeholders and media are putting the power of this technology to the test in 12 Super Cruise-equipped Cadillac CT6 vehicles, which left from Cadillac House in New York City and are traveling to Los Angeles, California.
Super Cruise is Cadillac’s driver assistance feature, which enables hands-free, driver-assisted operation on 130,000 miles of limited access, divided freeways in the United States.
Crossing through 16 states, plus the District of Columbia, hands-free Cadillacs will make stops in major cities across the U.S. including: Cleveland, Ohio; Chicago, Illinois; Memphis, Tennessee; Dallas, Texas; Santa Fe, New Mexico and Phoenix, Arizona.
“Cadillac is setting new industry standards with ground-breaking driver assistance technologies like Super Cruise, the world’s first true hands-free driving system for the freeway,” said Cadillac President Johan de Nysschen. “We are excited to bring Super Cruise, a true testament to Cadillac’s innovative spirit and technical capability, on its first-ever hands-free drive on freeways from coast to coast.”
The cross-country drive marks the first time that Super Cruise technology was demonstrated on New York City freeways. Cadillac has been granted a New York automated vehicle testing license under a new law championed, enacted and advanced by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.
The Super Cruise-equipped Cadillacs were led by a police escort as they embarked on their cross-country journey.
“We are proud to work hand-in-hand with government officials to continue to develop new technologies that will define the future of transportation in the U.S.,” said de Nysschen. “It’s especially fitting to kick off this drive in New York City, the home of Cadillac’s new global headquarters, and we’re honored to have the support of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul, both of whom foster New York’s leadership in innovation and cutting-edge technology.”
"Revolutions in transportation were at the heart of New York's original rise to national prominence and economic prosperity, and this cross-country demonstration continues that tradition," said Hochul.
"By changing state law to allow automated vehicle testing and partnering with Cadillac to bring its headquarters to New York City, Governor Cuomo has positioned New York State to take the lead in the development of the driverless/hands-free technology that is rapidly transforming the automotive industry.”
Super Cruise is available this fall in the 2018 Cadillac CT6. Unlike other driver assistance systems, Super Cruise utilizes two advanced technology systems - a driver attention system and precision LiDAR map data - which brings a new level of technology and intuitive control to further elevate freeway driving.
Bloomberg Invests in Global Road Safety
Bloomberg Philanthropies Initiative for Global Road Safety convened 150 road safety experts from 17 countries in Mumbai, India this June to address one of the world’s leading causes of preventable death - traffic accidents.
Nearly 85 percent of the world’s countries lack adequate laws to counter the growing rates of traffic-related deaths and injuries, says Bloomberg Philanthropies. As a result, an estimated 1.25 million deaths and up to 50 million injuries occur every year. Ninety percent of the fatalities occur in low- and middle-income countries.
At the Mumbai meeting, government officials, nongovernmental stakeholders, law enforcement and other partners shared best practices and learnings since last year’s meeting in Bangkok, Thailand.
“The Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai has been a great partner in tackling road safety challenges, an urgent issue in India and across the world,” said Dr. Kelly Henning, director of the public health program at Bloomberg Philanthropies.
“Without action, road traffic crashes will become the seventh leading cause of death globally by 2030," she said.
Sessions focused on law enforcement, communications to inform the public on safer road use and change their behavior, new technology and innovation in road safety, and new case studies on cities and countries that have implemented successful strategies.
Participants include representatives of Mumbai city government, the World Bank, World Health Organization and Bloomberg Philanthropies.
Along with its partners, Bloomberg Philanthropies has been a leader in developing and helping implement interventions to prevent traffic crash deaths, including increased seat-belt and helmet use, speed reduction, drinking and driving reduction, safe sustainable urban transport, and improved road infrastructure.
The Bloomberg Philanthropies Initiative for Global Road Safety has dedicated US$250 million over 12 years to implement interventions that have been proven to reduce road traffic fatalities and injuries in low- and middle-income countries.
The Initiative for Global Road Safety focuses on improving road safety laws in five countries, implementing evidence-based interventions in 10 cities, and crash testing new vehicles in three world regions.
From 2007 to 2009, Bloomberg Philanthropies funded a pilot program in Cambodia, Mexico, and Vietnam to see if proven road safety interventions could be adapted and used on a global scale.
This effort was expanded in 2010 to support the implementation of these interventions and successfully reduce road traffic fatalities and injuries in 10 low- and middle- countries that account for half of the global road crash fatalities - Brazil, Cambodia, China, Egypt, India, Kenya, Mexico, Russia, Turkey, and Vietnam.
China is undergoing rapid motorization and urbanization. As a consequence, around 200,000 people lose their lives every year due to road traffic crashes, says the World Health Organization. In rural areas, most of those killed are riders of two-wheelers or pedestrians, while in cities, drivers and passengers of cars and e-bike riders are most at risk.
China is one of the 10 countries included in the Bloomberg Philanthropies Global Road Safety Programme, initially conducted over five years (2010–2014) by a consortium of international partners together with national governments and local organizations.
In 2015, Bloomberg Philanthropies launched Phase Two of the Initiative for Global Road Safety, which is addressing road traffic safety in 10 cities: Accra, Addis Ababa, Bandung, Bangkok, Bogota, Fortaleza, Ho Chi Minh City, Mumbai, Sao Paulo, and Shanghai; five countries: China, India, Philippines, Tanzania, and Thailand, and three vehicle market regions: Latin America, India, and Southeast Asia; with the primary goal of reducing road traffic fatalities and injuries.
Bloomberg Philanthropies has invested $259 million since 2007 to implement interventions that have been proven to reduce road traffic fatalities and injuries in low- and middle-income cities and countries.
Facts support these interventions. For instance, motorcycle helmets are a proven way to decrease deaths and disabilities. Helmet usage decreases the risk of injuries by 69 percent and deaths by 42 percent.
The simple act of buckling a seat-belt is one of the most-effective ways to save lives. Seat-belt use reduces serious and fatal injuries by 40 percent to 65 percent.
Drinking and driving can put everyone on the road in danger. Drinking and driving increases both the risk of a crash and the likelihood that a death or a serious injury will occur.
An increase in average speed is directly related to the likelihood of a crash occurring and to the severity of its consequences. A pedestrian struck by a car going 40 mph has a 70 percent chance of dying, while a pedestrian struck by a car going 30 mph has a 20 percent chance of dying – or an 80 percent chance of surviving.
Since Bloomberg Philanthropies began funding proven road safety interventions:
- More than 3.36 billion people have been covered by strengthened road safety laws;
- More than 93 million people have been exposed to media campaigns promoting road safety;
- More than 66,000 professionals have been trained on-road safety tactics;
- Governments have committed US$5.3 billion towards infrastructure improvements that will make roads safer; and
- At least 125,000 lives will be saved through Bloomberg-supported road safety activities.
Partners with the Bloomberg Initiative for Global Road Safety include:
- Global Health Advocacy Incubator
- Global Designing Cities Initiative
- Global New Car Assessment Programme
- Global Road Safety Partnership
- Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
- Vital Strategies
- World Bank Global Road Safety Facility
- World Health Organization
- World Resources Institute
India Bans Booze Along Major Highways
ArriveSAFE is an India-based nongovernmental project to reduce avoidable road traffic crashes and resulting deaths and injuries. Globally, 1.25 million people are killed and nearly 50 million suffer serious, life-altering injuries every year.
ArriveSAFE advocates for better policies on road safety and for getting these policies implemented on the road.
The group works with government agencies to make India's roads safe, increase knowledge level of road users through education and reason-based awareness campaigns on key risk factors like speeding and drunk driving.
To that end, ArriveSAFE filed a lawsuit that led to a Supreme Court of India order banning the sale of alcohol within 500 meters, or a third of a mile, from any national or state highway across the country. The ban took effect on April 1 to curb drunken driving.
The order does not prohibit licensed establishments within municipal areas.
Liquor vendors on highways provide “a potent source for easy availability of alcohol,” and combined with signboards and advertisements hurt safety of drunken drivers and others, the Supreme Court said in its December 2016 judgment.
As many as 21 percent of people who suffered brain injuries in accidents in India were under the influence of alcohol, while 90 percent of them consumed liquor within three hours prior to the crash, according to a study by the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences in Bengaluru.
But the ban was partially lifted by the country’s top court on August 23, easing a five-month drop in business for India’s liquor and hospitality firms.
Although the ban was bad for business in many hotels and restaurants located along highways, Bharat Malkani, executive committee member of the Federation of Hotel and Restaurant Associations of India, told Bloomberg News, “We are seeking a long-term and comprehensive policy framework that will ensure enforcement of drinking and driving.”
By Sunny Lewis – Environment News Service
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