Road Safety Awards: Commission rewards initiatives in Spain, UK, Denmark, Poland and Albania
At a ceremony in Brussels, Commissioner for Transport Violeta Bulc presented today the Excellence in Road Safety Awards 2016. This prize recognises commitments to road safety that have a significant impact on saving lives on Europe's roads.
Awards in the category "school challenge" went to
- the Colegio Público Miguel de Cervantes in Gijón (Spain), and
- the Lockerbie Academy (UK).
Awards in the category "best practice" went to
- Børneulykkesfonden and Codan Forsikring (Denmark),
- Centrum Bezpieczeństwa Ruchu Drogowego (Poland), and
- ACA Automobil Club (Albania).
This year, a special prize was dedicated to Jacques Barrot, former Transport Commissioner and ardent supporter of road safety, who handed over the very first European Road Safety Award exactly ten years ago. The winner was selected by the audience present at the ceremony from among the five winners. It is : Lockerbie Academy (UK).
Violeta Bulc said: "I am very impressed with the commitment and creativity that this year's winners have demonstrated. Grassroots initiatives like these are crucial in our efforts to reach our strategic goal to halve road fatalities by 2020. I can only encourage everyone, at whatever level you work, to carry on the great work and to pass on your experiences, so that great ideas can be used again elsewhere."
Recently, annual road safety statistics published by the European Commission confirmed that European roads remain the safest in the world despite a slowdown in reducing road fatalities. 26,000 people lost their lives on EU roads last year, 5, 500 fewer than in 2010. There was however no improvement at EU level compared to 2014.
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 3 000 signatories, most of them with concrete road safety action plans.
Meet the winners:
In the category "school challenge":
Colegio Público Miguel de Cervantes from Gijón (Spain): The Spanish school developed a comprehensive educational programme which aims to improve young road users' behaviour in road traffic especially when cycling. The programme included forecasting possible problems that may arise in road traffic, creative awareness-raising activities in the classroom and teaching practical knowledge and skills.
The project was rewarded for improving safety of a particularly vulnerable group of road users: cycling children. In addition, this comprehensive educational programme successfully combines road safety concerns with sustainable mobility while improving the quality of life of the targeted community.
Lockerbie Academy (United Kingdom): The Lockerbie Academy has integrated road safety in its educational programme, namely in physics through the themes of speed, velocity, distance and braking. Together with Police Scotland, students simulated road crashes. They also surveyed parents and teachers about their awareness of driving in bad conditions and worked on a plan to assist drivers in different traffic situations.
The initiative is rewarded for its innovative nature of raising awareness of road safety while progressing in the normal school curricula. The entertaining nature of some activities increases the effectiveness of the programme. It also creates a link between generations while improving road users' behaviour. Finally, the programme could be easily transferred to other schools thanks to its well-drafted educational material.
In the category "best practice":
Børneulykkesfonden and Codan Forsikring (Denmark): The Danish Children Accident Prevention Foundation and the Codan insurance company developed a traffic safety campaign, which for the fifth year handed out 100.000 reflectors all over the country. The 'National Reflector Day' is now a yearly tradition in Denmark. The last Thursday before wintertime is dedicated to road safety: handing out of reflectors and reflective vests all over Denmark; the 'Reflectors Run', where children and adults are covered in different kind of reflectors; training of 'Reflector Officers' in kindergartens. The campaign is publicised by ads in cinemas, trains, newspapers, etc. In 2015 the campaign was expanded to focus more on youngsters. In order to make reflectors "cool", a designer and a rapper designed a ready to wear line of reflector clothing. At the same time, awareness of the campaign has increased from 10% in 2014 to 35% in 2015.
The 'National Reflector Day' is rewarded for its effectiveness and innovative approach to protect vulnerable road users, such as cyclists and pedestrians. The highly mobilising character of the campaign and its popularity amongst youngsters as well as the wide media coverage it has received are equally important parts of its success in changing road users' behaviour knowing that the use of a reflector reduces the risk of being involved in an accident by up to 85%.
Centrum Bezpieczeństwa Ruchu Drogowego (Poland): The Polish Centrum BRD carries out activities in three fields: conducting training courses in first aid and rescue services, producing first aid sets; and preventive activities related to road safety. Its education activities cover people of all ages and all levels: from pre-schoolers to seniors, from beginners to professionals. The teaching is always adapted to each group. The courses combine theory and practical trainings as well as innovative elements. The Centrum BRD also implements modern technologies for example by creating an e-learning platform for distance education or by developing a so-called 'rescue drone'.
The Centrum BRD is rewarded for the exhaustive and complementary nature of its activities covering education and training, first aid and the use of new technologies for rescue services. All these directions are mutually complementary and enable the company to fulfil the mission of saving more lives on the roads. Innovation is also a central part of its portfolio by adapting existing teaching methods to new platforms or using drone assistance in emergency and rescue services.
ACA Automobil Club (Albania) The Automobile Club of Albania developed a programme for changing road users' behaviour – a critical point in the country's road safety culture. The education campaign targets children from 5 to 12 year old and consists of broadcasting a series of cartoons purchased from abroad on national TV channels as well as in schools and kindergartens. At the same time, booklets and DVDs of the cartoons are distributed for educational purposes. In the future, the programme will gradually be introduced in primary schools all over the country. By educating children the campaign also seeks to improve adults' behaviour in a country in characterised, for historical reasons, by a poor knowledge of traffic rules, a low awareness of risks and a very high fatality rate on the roads.
The initiative is rewarded for its innovative approach of changing road users' behaviour in a context where new habits and attitudes need to be built without any reliable road safety tradition. Focusing on the new generation to influence all groups of road users seems to be very effective in the given context. The initiative is also a good example of how existing good practice and tools can be reused with maximum of efficiency and a minimum of investments.
For more information
European Road Safety Charter: http://erscharter.com
Commission's road safety work: http://ec.europa.eu/roadsafety
- Publication date
- 22 September 2016
- Directorate-General for Mobility and Transport