On the Road to Safer Streets: Update from Road Safety Working Group

This update from Pedro Homem de Gouveia, Senior Policy & Project Manager at POLIS Network, provides an overview of the recent work of POLIS's Working Group for Road Safety and highlights the current opportunities and challenges facing road safety issues in Europe. 

POLIS’ Working Group for Road Safety had a very productive meeting on 7 April. Almost fifty participants from all over Europe logged in to this working group’s first ever web-meeting, to learn about key developments and discuss challenges ahead.

Walking and Cycling
How safe is walking and cycling in Europe? Despite some improvements, there still remains a lot that can and must be done for significant improvements to occur. Ellen Townsend, from the European Transport Safety Council, presented this recently published study. Whilst progress has been made in reducing traffic deaths, this has benefited car users far more than it has people walking and cycling (for cycling, progress is actually zero). Yes, cycled miles have been consistently going up, but  ‘progress’ in the deaths per mile ratio is of little consolation when we are talking about deaths, and 'vision zero' for road deaths.

Credit: ETSC (2020).

General Safety Regulations
Will Europe’s new General Safety Regulations help? Probably, but there’s a lot of work ahead. Peter Broertjes, who is leading the Automotive and Mobility Industries Unit at DG GROW, European Commission, presented these new regulations, with a special focus on Intelligent Speed Assistance (ISA). Key discussions are taking place right now, as the details for type-approval of vehicles are being established. These 'details’ will have a major impact on what ISA will be, and its effectiveness as a deterrent for speeding. POLIS will take an active part in this discussion, with the special support of Helmond’s Gert Blom. If you want to participate, or know more, please get in touch with Pedro Homem de Gouveia.

The Future of Urban Road Safety
What does the future hold in store for urban road safety? Local authorities must lead in the promotion of road safety in their streets, and must be supported by all levels of government – including at the European level. It is critical to build and reinforce alliances, and to enrich our perspective with the know-how and advice of other organizations. Top level officials from several key stakeholder organisations tuned in to provide their advice to cities: the European Transport Safety Council, European Disability Forum, AGE Platform, International Federation of Pedestrians, European Cycling Federation, European Cycling Industries, European Automobile Manufacturer’s Association, and POLIS’s own Small and Medium-Sized Cities Platform (with a great presentation by Floris Schurer – City of Groningen).

Get in touch with us if you need any clarification or further information on these topics, or want to receive the minutes and presentations of the meeting, or would like to contribute to our work on Road Safety!


Staff member(s)