Project EDWARD 2018 is said to have ‘struck a chord far beyond the road safety sector’, with new figures showing the event’s hashtag reached 25 million people in 24 hours.
Project EDWARD (European Day Without A Road Death) was created in 2016 by TISPOL, the European Traffic Police Network, to ‘re-energise the reduction of fatalities and serious injuries on Europe’s roads’.
The 2018 edition took place on 19 September, with local authorities across the UK placing extra emphasis on road safety.
One of the day’s highlights was a a 60-minute #ProjectEDWARD broadcast, live from the headquarters of the Spanish Guardia Civil in Madrid. The broadcast comprised a ‘lively’ 60 minutes of discussion and debate, interviews, features and highlights from the Project EDWARD road trip.
In total, 31 European countries participated in the event – with the #ProjectEDWARD hashtag reaching 25 million Twitter users on the day – the best of any Project EDWARD day to date.
Among the famous people tweeting their support for the initiative was Nico Rosberg, the 2016 F1 World Champion, who described road safety as ‘something very important to me’.
road safety is something very important to me. rhat’s why I’ve been part of @fia’s #3500Lives campaign and partnered with @Heineken for #WYDND. now I’m proud to be also supporting #ProjectEDWARD for road safety ➡️ https://t.co/LmW9PZAgev
— Nico Rosberg (@nico_rosberg) September 19, 2018
Provisional figures also show that 50 people lost their lives on Europe’s roads on 19 September – one of whom has from the UK.
TISPOL’s long-term aim is to use Project EDWARD to spearhead significant and sustained reduction in death and serious injury on roads across the world.
Ruth Purdie, TISPOL general secretary, said: “The figure of 50 deaths on Europe’s roads on Project EDWARD day is below the average of 70. But we must remember that there is a terrible tragedy behind every one of these deaths, as well as a massive economic impact.
“That is why we must continue to play our parts – whether as politicians, policy makers, police officers or simply as individual road users – to take responsibility for our own safety and that of others.
“Because it is the simple act of taking individual responsibility that would lead to a significant and sustained reduction in road death.
“We should, however, be proud of our efforts in raising awareness of road safety through Project EDWARD. The best-ever social media figures confirm that Project EDWARD struck a chord far beyond the road safety sector.”