Keep up to date with LIVE updates of the #ERSD - Nicosia, Cyprus
Wednesday, 25 July 2012 , YOURS News
The Fourth European Road Safety Day (#ERSD) is underway in Nicosia, Cyprus. YOURS is will be keeping the international network updated on the latest goings on at the European Road Safety Day which has a unique focus on youth involvement in road safety across Europe. You can check out periodic updates on the site to hear what is happening at the event.
Conference Update: 09:00
The conference is underway and there has been introductions from Mr Efthymios Flourentzour, Minister of Communicationsand Works. Address from the President of Cyprus via Mr Titos Christofides. There has also been a live video link presentation by Mr Siim Kallas, Vice Preseident of the European Commission responsible for Mobility and Transport at the European Commission.
Mr Siim Kallas presenting to the #ERSD
Mr Kallas reported on the latest report in road safety, the PIN Report which he highlighted, 'Has shown a slow down of reducing road crashes in Europe'. The PIN report aslo illustrates that we can save lives by following the key risk factor management of seatbelts, drink driving, speed, distracted driving and so forth. Currently, Mr Szabolcs Shmidt, Head of Road Safety European Commission is presenting to the delegates on the importance of engaging young people against the backdrop of the recent reports highlighting the fact that young people are still the most affected demographic in road crashes in Europe. He mentions the 'shared responsibility' of young people and national support around Europe including the government, NGOs, private industry and civil society.
Conference Update 10:30
The latest European Report; PIN has just been presented to the ERSD focusing on the key findings of the biggest killer of young people in Europe; road crashes. Mr Antonio Avenoso of the European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) mentioned that there is a link between the level of testosterone and young male crashes. He mentioned that road crashes are a male issue. Young people are overrespresented in the three main killers of young people; speeding, distracted driving and drink driving. He ended by mentioning, 'Youth only comes once and is important that we protect these years.
Mr Floor Lieshout presents to the ERSD
YOURS has also just presented to the conference asking critical questions of the young people in the audience and key policy makers in Europe. Mr Floor Lieshout asked policy makers how they use the passion, creativity and determination of young people in road safety work. Floor also introduced the conference to the youth and road safety action kit and the involvement of young people in YOURS' global network. You can view the presentation by Mr Floor Lieshout on PREZI.
A debate is now taking place on the content of the presentations.
Conference Update 12:00
During the debate after the first presentations, several commendations were given on the work of the youth organizations across Europe. While much has been achieved with regards to reducing road fatalities amongst young people, more action is rquired certainly during the Decade of Action for Road Safety. There were several comments in the debate that calls for the involvement of young people in policy making in Europe.
After the coffee break, the presentations continued in the formal section of the conference. Mr Joel Vamain from the Interministerial Delegation for Road Safety - France spoke on creating a culture of road safety amongst young people including the tackling of new issues such as new technology. Cyprus University's findings on road safety research was also included in presentations after the event.
Mr Marios Stavrou talks of road safety actions with young people in Cyprus.
Currently, Mr Marios Stavrou, Chairman of the Cyprus Youth Organization REACTION, speaks of the stufy and the actions taken in Cyprus. Mr Stavrou speaks of the use of peer-to-peer education to get a road safety message to resonate with young people on their own level. On the issue of fines and enforcement of road safety rules, he spoke of a 'cat and mouse' analogy whereby police often position themselves as the cats to catch mice but this does not solve the problem. We need to change this approach and work with young people rather than chasing them.
Conference Update 13:00
Delegates have discussed the presentations for the morning touching on key points of involving young people in the solution of road safety to prevent road crashes amongst youth in Europe. Mr Szabolcs Schmidt of the Road Safety Unit at the European Commission closed the session by stating 'There are many challenges facing young people across Europe, involving young people in policy formulation and solutions, we can increase their safety across Europe'.
The European Road Safety Day has involved over 200 delegates from across Europe
Mr Lieshout said, 'The morning sessions of presentations have been a wake up call for policy makers in Europe, the PIN Report is particularly important in its addressal of youth and road safety issues in Europe. While progress has been made for young people, young people should be invited and ecouraged to help with youth policy issues relating to youth and road safety plans for Europe'.
Delegates break for lunch and the conference will resume with interactive workshop discussions on Education and Training, Enforcement and Risky Behaviours.
Conference Update 14:30
The ERSD continues with delegates breaking into workshops to tackle three workshop sessions running simultaneously. Education and training touches on the interactive education methods of peer-to-peer messaging. The enforcement workshop has touched on the relationship between the police and young people and creating a culture of mutual understanding. The risky behaviour workshop has focused on key risk areas relating to young people such as speed, drugs, alchohol and distracted driving and solutions to overcome these behaviours via a range of alternatives to get young people home when risks occur.
Conference Update 16:00
On return from the individual works, facilitators from each session reported back to the conference with their recommendations from their discussions. These recommendations include:
Risky behaviours workshop.
Education and life long learning workshop:
- To implement road safety education as early as possible for young people.
- Peer-to-peer messaging and education is important and should possible become a mandatory part of driver educations
- Educators should use the 'safety is cool' approach.
- Educators can also use positive role models and famous endorsements to help with their work.
- Breaking rules and laws relates to unsafe driving and the police must play a fundamental role in enforcement and sanctions to law breaking and breaking of safety rules.
- The police are recognized as key players in the road safey system and help public to accept rules.
- Police should also support preventative methods and all youth should undertake a zero tolerance alcohol limit.
- The police should also work with NGOs and youth organizations by becoming a 'golden partner' in its work.
Risky Behaviours workshop:
- While there is a heavy focus on alcohol across Europe there should be an equal focus on drugs.
- The workshop agreed that people should not drink and drive at all i.e. no alcohol limits - zero tolerance.
- With regards to young people accepting traffic rules - altnerative routes home should be given to young people who are at risk on the road after drinking and therefore alternative routes and public transport should be offered.
- A focus was placed on the power of women in saying no risky behaviours committed by male driver counterparts.
- With regards to motorcycle safety, cyclists should go 'beyond the rules' and do more than the law requires to be safer on the road such as using appropriate clothing and driving skills.