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European Day Without A Road Death is scheduled for this Thursday, September 21.
Despite significant progress in preventing road casualties in recent decades, there are still on average around 70 deaths and several hundred serious injuries every day on Europe’s roads.
The concept of a European Day Without A Road Death was devised by TISPOL, the European Traffic Police Network, with the goal of reaching as many road users as possible and encouraging them to spare a thought for road safety.
Neil Worth, motoring assist road safety officer at road safety organisation GEM, said: “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.
“But we cannot win on our own. Gaining the support of individual road users is vital, and we know that if everyone is prepared to reflect on the risks they face and the risks they may pose to others, then we can have safer drivers, safer road users and safer journeys.”
GEM, which funded 10 awareness-raising videos for last year’s campaign, is urging all road users to put safety first to achieve a day with no road deaths.
“We are proud to be supporting TISPOL in this initiative,” said Mr Worth. “We firmly believe that if each road user can make small changes to reduce risk, then together we can make some big improvements – and reduce the number of people who die or are seriously injured on Europe’s roads.”
The videos were shared across social media in the days leading up to last year’s Project EDWARD and remain available to promote safer journeys in 2017.
Each video, lasting less than 30 seconds, takes as its focus a key aspect of road safety – and offers road users a great opportunity to reflect on how they can be safer in what they do. www.youtube.com/gemmotoring.
According to TISPOL, recent statistics paint a mixed picture of progress in reducing deaths and serious injuries on Europe’s roads. For the first few years of this decade, countries across the EU have been successful in pursuing the 2020 50 per cent reduction target. But it said that this downward trend has stagnated.
The organisation says drivers are unwittingly, or sometimes knowingly, putting other road users in many ways, by speeding, drink-driving, not wearing a seat belt, using the phone while driving, using vehicles they have not kept roadworthy, parking their cars on bicycle lanes, blocking pedestrian crossings, not turning on their lights or engaging in risky manoeuvres.
But it’s not just drivers who are at fault. Many cyclists and pedestrians increase their risk levels by choosing to ignore the rules or look for risky short cuts.
A TISPOL spokesperson said: “In the days leading up to the Project EDWARD day, we want all road users to think – even for a few short minutes – about the risks they face, the risks they may pose to others and how they can go about reducing those risks.”