Five organisations from France, Portugal, United Kingdom, Greece and Poland received the 2015 Excellence in Road Safety Award from Violeta Bulc, the EU’s Commissioner for Transport, at a ceremony in Brussels. The Excellence in Road Safety Award, also known as the Charter Award recognises the most innovative practices carried out in the framework of the European Road Safety Charter. The objective of such an award is to recognise the hard work of organisations that engage in road safety, and to inspire others to do so as well. The winners were selected from some 2200 signatories of the Road Safety Charter following an evaluation made by the European Commission.
Violeta Bulc, EU Commissioner for Transport said: “Safe and smart road infrastructure will not be enough to stop all road deaths – but it can contribute to saving lives. Today’s winners are an important reminder of why Europe is at the forefront of road safety. Their excellent work deserves recognition. However improving safety is a shared responsibility. More than 26, 000 people still die on our roads every year, and many more suffer horrific road traffic injuries. That is why I hope we can all work together to save thousands of lives. This year, we will review the rules for the training and qualification of professional drivers, and of the safety management principles for motorways and road infrastructure. There is also an on-going process to analyse the serious road traffic injuries, in addition to the analysis of road deaths.”
About the winners of Excellence in Road Safety Awards 2015
Attikes Diadromes, the Operator of “Attiki Odos”
Attikes Diadromes is Greek highway operator company, operating Attilki Odos, a road construction and road maintenance company. Their main project is the maintenance of a modern 3-lanes motorway extending along 65 km, passing through the densely populated areas of Athens and connecting 30 cities.
The action performed by Attikes Diadromes is a project designed to educate adolescents on road safety, to raise their level of awareness on road safety and to educate them through an innovative seminar held in high schools on key issues of road safety, with a special focus on safety for mopeds and motorcycles. Attikes Diadromes also organized an educational theatrical play on road safety targeted towards children from 5 to 11.
This initiative has been rewarded for the high level of community responsibility shown by Attikes Diadromes in taking on a road safety project which lies outside their usual line of work. Such a project provides added value by pin-pointing a concrete local problem – the high number of youth injured while driving a powered two-wheeler.
Automovel Club de Portugal
The Portuguese Automobile Club launched an initiative called ACP kids, a road safety educational programme for children in schools, in the streets and via a TV show. The Automobile Club cooperates with the Ministry of Education to guarantee the quality of their education materials which are tailor-made for different age-groups.
The Jury decided to award Automovel Club de Portugal because of the originality of their project (a global road safety educational programme) and their ability to reach a wide audience. Special effort was devoted to make this awareness campaign attractive to children and easily accessible to a younger audience. The children have also been made ambassadors for road safety, enabling them to spread their knowledge to parents, siblings and friends alike.
The Cycle-Smart Foundation
The Cycle-Smart Foundation works on safer cycling education as well as on a reward scheme for young cyclists who wear a cycle helmet. Volunteers and road safety officers hand out on-the-spot prize envelopes to children aged between 5 and 15 seen to wear a cycle helmet. Since 2008, police officers have joined this effort and help handing out these cycle helmet rewards.
The Cycle-Smart Foundation receives the Charter Award for its long term efforts and creativity in encouraging children to wear helmets and be more visible while cycling. They provide an example of the power of positive reinforcement as an alternative to enforcement and punishments. The Cycle-Smart Foundation also shows that a very small charity organisation can still have a major impact and create great added value with their work, not least by mobilising partners – in this case the police – to work together for a common goal.
PKP Polish Railway Lines Company
Since 2005, the PKP Polish Railway Lines Company has been running a series of campaigns to tackle the problem of a high number of accidents at level crossings and in railway areas. The campaign is called “”Stop and Live!” Actions include educational lectures at driving schools and businesses and awareness events with accident simulations and rescue demonstrations at level crossings. They also use IT to better warn drivers.
The PKP Polish Railway Lines Company is awarded for their complete action plan to increase safety at rail-road level crossing. They address an important and complex problem, the level crossing accidents, with constructive and informative campaigns. Taking pro-active action for reducing these accidents is a good way of showing responsibility.
Sanofi have committed to develop an internal road safety policy to keep their employees safe. The initiative includes dedicated training programmes, awareness campaigns at work and a reward scheme for encouraging safe driving.
Sanofi is awarded for its extensive road safety training plan directed towards its sales teams, setting a good example of employer responsibility. Work-place related road crashes are a problem not sufficiently addressed but, as Sanofi shows, there is much that can be done by the businesses themselves. The action also reminds that road safety is not only the responsibility of actors inside the automotive industry but an issue of much wider importance.
The European Road Safety Charter, led by the European Commission, was initiated in 2004 in the framework of the Road Safety Action Programme. The European Road Safety Charter is the largest civil society platform on road safety. So far around 2 200 public and private entities (companies of all types and sizes, automobile clubs, associations, schools and local authorities) have committed to the Charter. Specifically, the Charter aims to encourage civil society to become more active in road safety.
The Charter invites members to make a commitment, pledging to take a specific measurable action within a defined period of time and 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 that have carried out a particularly interesting or worth-while road safety initiative.
Original source: European Commission