There was a 39% year-on-year fall in road deaths across Europe on 21 September 2016, the inaugural ‘European Day Without A Road Death’ (Project EDWARD).
The figures, published by TISPOL today (18 Oct), show that across 31 countries, 43 people were killed on 21 September, compared to 70 the previous year.
TISPOL is cautious in attributing the fall in deaths to the awareness initiative, but says it delivered fantastic results in terms of revitalising Europe-wide collaboration and participation.
Project EDWARD was designed to draw attention to the 70 deaths that occur each day on the roads of Europe. It was supported by a number of UK organisations including Road Safety GB, RoSPA and the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC).
On the day, 19 countries recorded zero fatalities, compared with 11 countries in 2015, while seven other countries recorded a reduction in fatalities. Three countries recorded an increase in fatalities. The UK saw three road deaths – the same figure as the same day in 2015.
Paolo Cestra, TISPOL president, said: “When we launched Project EDWARD, we accepted that it would be incredibly difficult to achieve a day without road death across Europe. But we believe these results show that when everyone works together towards such a worthwhile goal, we can make a big difference.
“We understand that many factors impact on fatality figures on any particular day, so we cannot state what direct impact Project EDWARD had.
“But we believe Project EDWARD has delivered fantastic results in terms of revitalising Europe-wide collaboration and participation, as well as sharing simple road safety messages far and wide.”
In terms of the initiative’s impact on social media, TISPOL recorded 7,923 Twitter posts on Monday 19, Tuesday 20 and Wednesday 21 September. The hashtag #ProjectEDWARD had a unique reach of 19,298,225 users.
Project EDWARD featured in Twitter Moments, while it trended in the UK as high as number five – making it one of the most talked about things in the country. At one point it trended in top 50 globally.
Paolo Cestra added: “We thank everyone who signed the pledge, who shared our information messages and who made one or two small differences in the way they use the road.
“Any small individual action counts in helping to reduce the number of people killed and seriously injured on the roads of Europe.”