Road Safety News
 

'Make the pledge' and support Project EDWARD

Friday 27th May 2016

TISPOL is encouraging road users to ‘make the pledge’, after officially launching Project EDWARD on 25 May.

The first European Day Without a Road Death (Project EDWARD) takes place on Wednesday 21 September 2016, with TISPOL hoping that all of its 30 member countries will participate.

Supported by Road Safety GB, the event has been created to ‘re-energise the reduction of fatalities and serious injuries on Europe’s roads’.

The road safety pledge asks road users to promise to: ‘drive at speeds that are both legal and safe’, ‘pay particular attention when driving near schools’, ‘never drive after drinking alcohol or taking drugs/medicines, ‘always wear my seat belt’ and ‘not use my mobile phone while driving’.

TISPOL also hopes to use the event to encourage drivers to reflect on their behaviour and attitude, which it describes as the biggest barrier to reaching casualty reduction targets.

Aidan Reid, TISPOL president, said: “We believe Project EDWARD can make a big impact in re-energising casualty reduction across Europe. EDWARD will encourage all road users to reflect on their behaviour and attitude. After all, driver behaviour remains the most important barrier to progress as we approach 2020 and its reduction targets.

“TISPOL’s target is that no one should die on the roads of Europe on Wednesday 21 September. And as we pause to reflect on how we use the roads, it is my belief that Project EDWARD can make a significant contribution towards further sizeable and sustained reductions in road death and serious injury.

“So whether you represent a national government, a private organisation, a public agency, police service, a charity, a school, college or university, or whether you simply care as an individual, please join me and make the pledge to support Project EDWARD, and do your bit to reduce risk and improve safety for the people who use our roads.”

 

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I have been in many shops and had doors swing shut as people didn't look to see if anyone was following or perhaps bother to hold it open if anyone was approaching the door. Also there are many bottlenecks in shops and can anyone say that all shoppers are happy to give-way to others?

I think that a person's attitudes and behaviours are apparent in all their situations but once in a vehicle they become separated from others and feel that they can perhaps get away with being more aggressive or discourteous in their behaviours.

Anyone remember the Goofy driving film from years ago?

As regards failed traffic signals I'm pretty sure that on hour one of the failure drivers are prepared to act more courteously towards others but as time passes the junctions become more blocked as drivers lose the novelty value aspect of the failure - extremely unscientific I know it's just a personal opinion based on observations.
Nick, Lancashire

Agree (9) | Disagree (1)
+8

Peter, outdoor pedestrianised shopping precincts have all the same hazards you mention. Yet, even though we don't provide a safe personal tunnel for each visitor to those, we don't see carnage occurring each day.

So what's different about the human users when they also happen to be road users? The short answer is "nothing", because they are exactly the same people. The difference though is in the way they are treated as road users. On roads we try to interfere in the natural order that would prevail (as it does in shopping precincts) by creating laws that give certain users priority over other users in defined circumstances (give way lines, traffic lights, etc.). It is at these precise locations that the majority of collisions occur. If you give a person a legal excuse to assume priority they generally will insist on taking that priority - at all costs. Have you ever noticed how traffic approaching a light that has been green for a while speeds up to get across the junction before the lights change? What would happen if a child stepped out or a driver errantly overshot the red light? Contrast that with how traffic slows down if the lights are out-of-order and traffic filters naturally, safely and efficiently from all directions.
Charles, England

Agree (4) | Disagree (8)
-4

Charles, I do not disagree at all with the need for "safe" infrastructure. I just don't think it is the only solution worth working towards to reduce the occurrence of collisions on the highway network. It will be a number of solutions that will work in the end.
Nick, Lancashire

Agree (5) | Disagree (0)
+5

There's a difference between the reasonably safe, most of the time driver i.e. well-intentioned with a generally considerate attitude, but with occasional lapses judgment and concentration (i.e we're all human) and then there's the sociopathic, reckless, couldn't give a damn driver for whom legislation, legal sanctions or punishment, as Charles puts it, were meant for - this latter group should be the targets for enforcement - skip the 'education' bit for these - it's a waste of time and resources. If that's what they're planning for 21st September, fine, I'm all for it.
Hugh Jones, Cheshire

Agree (2) | Disagree (2)
0

Does anyone know what is going to happen on the appointed day i.e. Wednesday 21st September 2016? Is vehicular travel going to be banned throughout Europe on that day so that no road deaths can possibly occur? Apart from a mysterious 'pledge', there doesn't seem to be any clue, either in the link, or in the video of the launch, which just shows some vaguely important looking people mumbling in a large room.
Hugh Jones, Cheshire

Agree (7) | Disagree (2)
+5

Charles. Many collisions occur at junctions, as at these there is a conflict of directions road users wish to take. I would like a collision free environment which would be in effect a road that takes me to my destination without any junctions. The street environment can and does contribute to road collisions by having all 3 types of hazard. 1. Everything moving in the vicinity of the desired line of travel. 2. Everything stationary in the vicinity of the desired line of travel and 3. Weather. My road to my destination now needs to be a climate controlled tunnel. Many collisions are caused by real people who have personal, health and societal issues. drivers need knowledge, skills and attitude towards safer travel and sometimes the environment challenges these to the point where an incident occurs.
Peter City of Westminster

Agree (4) | Disagree (0)
+4

Nick, clearly the roads would be safer if all drivers were "safe drivers", but we need to remember that drivers are human beings and as such cannot be relied upon to be unfailingly "safe" at all times. No amount of legislation, legal sanctions or punishment can change that - the laws of human nature are set in tablets of stone.

It is for this reason, that we need to concentrate on providing an infrastructure which will reduce the likelihood of driver errors (by making inappropriate speed less likely, for example) and which can tolerate driver errors when they inevitably do occur. The means to this end is not laws and regulations (because they rely on something that cannot be guaranteed, compliance) but the provision of an inherently safe infrastructure.

In the same way that we cannot deny the laws of gravity when we design bridges, we cannot deny the laws of human nature when we design road infrastructure. Or to put it another way: if bridges kept falling down, would part of the solution be bridge laws which relied for their effectivity on the natural laws of gravity being suspended around bridge structures? Why would we expect the laws of human nature to be any more pliable?
Charles, England

Agree (3) | Disagree (6)
-3

I should have asked that if you "Disagree" to then please share the proposed solution. This forum is supposed to help share, develop and refine ideas (even change people's opinions in the face of evidence?) so please share.
Nick, Lancashire

Agree (5) | Disagree (0)
+5

"Safe roads" with "safe drivers" leads to fewer collisions. With either combination of "safe roads" and "unsafe drivers" or "unsafe roads" with "safe drivers" we will see more collisions.

Please "Agree" if you think fewer road injuries will be reached through a combination of several different techniques and approaches or "Disagree" if there is one solution which is so good that it negates the need for any other actions.........
Nick, Lancashire

Agree (18) | Disagree (2)
+16

David
A road safety model which relies on the road users obeying usage laws rather than on road providers being legally obliged to provide safe roads is akin to safety at work model which relies on the workers obeying work practice laws rather than on employers being legally obliged to provide a safe working environment. They might have got away with trying that in the 18th and 19th centuries, but they certainly would not get away with it in the 21st century.
Charles, England

Agree (8) | Disagree (20)
-12

Charles is partly correct in that we do need to understand the subtleties of human behaviour, but prior to that we can deal with the low-hanging fruit such as drink & drug driving, speeding, etc. When we have solved these problems, we can move on to the things he mentions. Like it or not, the fear of being caught prevents many people from breaking the law, so enforcement by TISPOL (whoever they are) and their friends in my opinion has a place in road safety.
David, Suffolk

Agree (19) | Disagree (4)
+15

Whilst TISPOL, whoever they are, are stating "After all, driver behaviour remains the most important barrier to progress as we approach 2020 and its reduction targets", we can only assume they do not understand human behaviour and therefore we cannot hold out much hope that they will efficiently achieve their (perfectly admirable) targets. Throwing money at traffic law enforcement clearly does not work.

Although it is the same drivers, with the same behaviours, using them - why do collisions happen more often in some places than in others? Why do collisions never happen at all in some places? As it isn't the drivers that vary between these places (they are all human beings), it must be the environment. Isn't it time to investigate what makes a collision-free environment and see if we can't emulate that in collision prone environments, and stop trying to make scapegoats of the (normal, real people) drivers?
Charles, England

Agree (8) | Disagree (17)
-9