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GEM praises impact of Project EDWARD

Monday 26th September 2016

GEM Motoring Assist has praised the impact of Project EDWARD, saying it managed to strike a chord ‘far beyond the road safety sector’.

Organised by TISPOL, the inaugural ‘European Day Without A Road Death’ took place last Wednesday (21 Sept) and was supported by a number of UK organisations, including Road Safety GB.

On the day itself, the campaign hashtag #ProjectEDWARD trended on Twitter, making the initiative one of the most talked about things in the UK. TISPOL says tweets involving the hashtag reached more than 11 million people

The event was financially supported by GEM and, as part of the initiative, GEM’s road safety officer, Neil Worth, participated in a TISPOL seminar in Brussels. He addressed an audience of policymakers, road safety professionals and police chiefs, speaking of GEM’s whole-hearted support for the event and the concept of casualty reduction targets.

Neil Worth said: “Targets give meaning and direction to road safety work. We have something to aim for, and can consolidate and combine our efforts much more effectively when we have something to work towards.

“I know this is the view of most road safety practitioners, and I hope our efforts on Wednesday will help Government recognise the value of targets, and once again make them part of an overall casualty reduction strategy.

“We set out to make one day without death on Europe’s roads. That was always going to be a very challenging task, and I know that there were some fatalities. So I cannot describe Project EDWARD as ‘a success’ in that regard.

“But as a way of raising awareness and striking a chord far beyond the road safety sector, I think Project EDWARD was a runaway success and am excited about involvement in future events.”

 

 

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The premise of Project EDWARD was to raise awareness of road safety issues across the UK and Europe. In terms of reach over 103,000 signed the pledge whilst 19 million people interacted on social media. Indeed #ProjectEDWARD was the fifth highest item trending on Twitter in the UK - a testament to its reach and how well it was received.

Project EDWARD set out to achieve zero casualties not only on 21/09/16 but every day and as such the project is being viewed in the long term.

Tispol will be publishing the final figures for the day later this month.

We would like to thank everyone who signed the pledge and took part on the day.
Neil Worth GEM Motoring Assist

Agree (3) | Disagree (1)
+2

I fulfilled my pledge of "continuing to drive in a manner wholly appropriate to the road in question", and accordingly was not involved in an accident. Actually, this is my pledge every day, but I digress.

It will be interesting to see if there is any *noticeable* reduction in KSIs as a result of the promotion of an "event" such as this - if there are, then well done. I do doubt my attention span will extend to six months in the future when such accident statistics are likely to be made available to check for myself.

But as an aside, my friends wouldn't have cared about Project EDWARD anyway - or at least the premise of it - as despite the rather prolific coverage of this thing on Social Media, your average 17-24 year old is going to ignore this sort of thing.
David Weston, Corby

Agree (12) | Disagree (1)
+11

Saying Project EDWARD was a 'runaway success' would imply that there had indeed been no deaths on Europe's roads on this day or, at the very least, a significant reduction - was there? Supposing there happened to have been an increase?

I'd be interested to know what the pro-active measures taken around Europe on the day were, that were intended to have achieved this goal. I've always seen collision reduction as a long term process and not something that could be achieved in one fell swoop on one particular day.
Hugh Jones, Cheshire

Agree (10) | Disagree (2)
+8

I hope Project Edward was/is effective and the effects of the campaign continue. By the way, we do have targets as part of our overall road casualty reduction strategy - in Wales.
Pat, Wales

Agree (5) | Disagree (0)
+5