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NTUA Road Safety Update - March 2017

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The European Commission has published the most recent road safety statistics, based on provisional data for 2016 road deaths in Europe indicating a drop of 2% in the number of fatalities recorded across the EU last year. 25,500 people lost their lives on EU roads in 2016, 600 fewer than in 2015 and 6,000 fewer than in 2010. A further 135,000 people were seriously injured on the road according to Commission’s estimates. Following two years of stagnation, 2016 marks the return of a positive downwards trend and over the last six years, road fatalities have been cut by 19%. While this pace is encouraging, it may nevertheless be insufficient if the EU is to meet its target of halving road fatalities between 2010 and 2020, as said by Commissioner for Transport Violeta Bulc

The European Commission, in collaboration with the Maltese Presidency of the European Union, organised with great success a High-Level Conference on Road Safety in Valletta, Malta. This participatory stakeholder event brought together road safety experts, stakeholders and political decision-makers on 28th March 2017, followed by a Ministerial Conference on the 29th March 2017. The objective of this conference was to launch a political debate and outline future political direction. 

  • The Presentation of the 2016 road safety statistics by the Commissioner for Mobility and Transport, Violeta Bulcvideo
  • The Valletta Declaration on Road Safety:  pdf5
  • The Recommendations about: Road safety strategies and policies pdf5, Enforcement of traffic rules pdf5, Infrastructure safety pdf5, Smart road solutions pdf5, Vulnerable road users  pdf5

The European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) released a Report concerning Drug Driving in Europe, Policy measures for national and EU action, authored by Laurence Atchison. Driving under the influence of psychoactive drugs leads to deaths and serious injuries on Europe’s roads. Both illicit and licit drugs can disrupt the psychological state of the driver and impair their driving performance. Using multiple drugs simultaneously, or in conjunction with alcohol, increases the risk of a collision even further. This report aims to provide a summary of drug driving across Europe, drawing on the latest research to provide an overview of how drugs affect collision risk and the prevalence of different types of drugs in different road users and regions  pdf5

The Global Road Safety Partnership (GRSP) has launched a new series of Positioning Papers, designed to create an understanding of the scale of road traffic deaths and injuries and their linkages to other humanitarian and development issues. The Positioning Papers seek to highlight that road safety is a multidimensional issue that requires an urgent and sustained contribution across many sectors, and that evidence based road safety interventions can address broader development issues such as children’s rights, public health, consumer rights and more. The Positioning Papers further enhance the GRSP’s suite of tools to support road safety advocacy campaign planning, including a general advocacy campaign toolkit and media advocacy toolkit, all of which are available on its Advocacy Tools web page. 

The Netherlands’ Institute for Road Safety Research (SWOV) published two reports on Automated Vehicle Safety. The first Report concerns “Safe interaction between cyclists, pedestrians and automated vehicles; What do we know and what do we need to know?” and identifies what is needed to know in order to ensure that an automated driving system, particularly during the transition period, does not compromise the safety of pedestrians and cyclists.    pdf5

The second Report concerns “Safely towards self-driving vehicles; New opportunities, new risks and new challenges during the automation of the traffic system” and describes which developments can be expected during the automation of the traffic system and discusses the implications of these developments for road safety: the opportunities and the risks.    pdf5

The Hellenic Ministry of Infrastructure, Transport and Networks, realizing the objectives of the policy agenda and the commitments under the National Action Plan (ITS Action Plan 2012), launched for the first time, a particularly important action which is expected to mark a new era for Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) in Greece: the National Architecture for Intelligent Transport Systems.

The action was carried out by teams of experts coordinated by the Department of Planning and Development of Transport of the Ministry and is based on internationally accepted concepts. The action is based on the involvement of all stakeholders through wide and open consultation process.    pdf5

Basic characteristics of road fatalities in Greece for the period 1991-2015 are summarised in a comprehensive Table prepared by the NTUA Road Safety Observatory (data source: ELSTAT). Since 2005, there are approximately 1.000 less road fatalities per year in Greece. According to these time series data a spectacular decrease in road fatalities for young people (68%) and children (86%) is observed during the last decade, as well in fatalities outside urban areas, especially when raining and in accidents with heavy goods vehicles. On the contrary, fatalities decrease during the last decade is quite limited for motorcyclists and cyclists, older drivers, men drivers, single vehicle accidents, as well as in junctions outside built-up areas.  pdf5

The International Transport Forum (ITF) launched recently  a new visualisation tool for transport indicators, including road fatalities data. The tool makes it possible to compare trends across countries, create rankings or show data on a map.

19 indicators for more than 50 countries cover topics including CO2 emissions, road safety, infrastructure investment, modal shares and the transport network. 

The 5th International Conference on Driver Distraction and Inattention organised by IFSTTAR, ARRB Group and SAFER took place with great success (20-22 March 2017), in Paris. Presentations concern  new forms of mobility (e.g. autonomous vehicles, electric vehicles, soft modes of transport, etc.), other road user groups (e.g. motorcyclists, bicyclists, pedestrians, etc.), new modes of HMI interaction (e.g. voice recognition, I-watches, gesturing, etc.), new sources of distraction from outside the vehicle (e.g. advertising on moving trucks, bus shelters, mobile trailers, etc.), and sources of distraction in domains other than transport (e.g. aviation, medicine, process control, etc.).   The e-proceedings of DDI17 are now available:   NTUA contributed with two presentations concerning:

pdf5 ppt5 The detrimental effect of mobile phone use on the driving competence of patients with neurological diseases affecting cognitive functions

pdf5 ppt5 How does distracted driving affect lateral position of older drivers?

The European Association of Operators of Toll Road Infrastructures (ASECAP) held with great success its 10th Annual Road Safety Conference on Tuesday 21 March 2017 in Brussels on the theme: “Road safety – A shared responsibility. A story of success or failure?”, composed by two parts. Part One focused on a) EU priority on road safety: are we fulfilling the EU safety action plan? and b) The infrastructure of tomorrow: what role to play in the EU safety action plan (explanations and expectations)? Part Two concerned the theme Life saving chain: avoiding road safety fatalities and reducing serious injuries. 

The 10th Road Safety Week organised by the Road Safety Institute ‘Panos Mylonas’ (RSI) and the Hellenic Institute of Transportation Engineers  (HITE) on 18-24 March 2017, with information and awareness actions in Attica and throughout Greece, in order to provide appropriate information for accident prevention which are a scourge on our society. With the quote “Responsible driving means respect for life!“, this year’s tenth road safety week gives priority to enhancing road safety, responsible driving and courtesy on the Greek roads, through initiatives for education and awareness to road safety for all users road: students, parents, teachers, citizens and policy makers.    pdf5

The International Traffic Safety Data and Analysis Group (IRTAD) of the International Transport Forum (ITF/OECD) after successfully organising international conferences (Helsinki in 1995, Vienna in 2000, Brno in 2006, Seoul in 2009, Buenos Aires in 2013), this year is organising the 6th IRTAD Conference, “Better road safety data for better safety outcomes” on 11-12 October 2017, in Marrakesh, Morocco. The objectives of the conference are to discuss improvements in the quality of data systems and data analysis in IRTAD and other countries through discussion of methodological issues to improve road safety data collection and analysis at country and city level, through showcasing recent initiatives to improve the quality of safety data collection and analysis and through presentation of recent research and analysis undertaken by the IRTAD Group.    pdf5

Submission of abstracts deadline: May 2017

The University of Patras, Department of Civil Engineering, in cooperation with ITS Hellas and with the support of the Hellenic Institute of Transportation Engineers are organising the “Smart Cities and Mobility as a Service” Conference which will be held in Patras, Greece during 7-8 December 2017. The aim of the Conference is to present the latest research and results related to Smart Cities and Mobility as a Service topics. 

Abstract submission is due to 23 May 2017.

A Diploma Thesis titled ‘Investigating the acceptance of autonomous vehicles by Greek drivers‘ was presented by Charalampos Souris in March 2017. A stated-preference approach was used that included hypothetical scenarios of cost, time, and safety, which were distributed in a specially developed questionnaire. By using models of logistic regression and the respective utility functions it was possible to extract a mathematical description of the drivers’ attitude towards autonomous vehicles. Results show that the Greek drivers attitude is dependent on the cost, time, and level of safety of the autonomous vehicles, the existence of driving support systems (GPS, parking assistant) in their cars today, their opinion on the traffic of autonomous public transport and taxis on the roads, their driving experience, age, and family income.  pdf5 ppt5

A paper titled ‘Simulation of Texting Impact on Young Drivers’ Behaviour and Safety on Motorways‘ co-authored by George Yannis, Alexandra Laiou, Panagiotis Papantoniou and Christos Gkartzonikas is now published in Transportation Research Part F: Traffic Psychology and Behaviour. A driving simulator experiment was carried out, in which 34 young participants drove in different driving scenarios. Results suggest that texting leads to statistically significant decrease of the mean speed and to increased headway in normal and in specific traffic and weather conditions on motorways, as drivers appear to produce compensatory behavior while texting. Furthermore, texting leads to increased accident probability, probably due to longer reaction time of the driver at unexpected incidents.   doi

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This Road Safety Update aims to support frequently the Greek and the International Road Safety Community with current key road safety knowledge and data, which is gathered, analysed and organised within the research activities of the Department of Transportation Planning and Engineering of the National Technical University of Athens.

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