A DAY WITHOUT FATALITIES ON EUROPE’S ROADS? That’s the aim of Project EDWARD each year. Launched in 2016, the project is supported by drivers across the continent, plus very generous public and private sector partners. 2018’s day of action is Wednesday 19 September. The long-term aim is to spearhead significant and sustained reduction in death and serious injury on roads across the world.
We have spent time reflecting on recent results which paint a very mixed picture of progress in reducing deaths and serious injuries on Europe’s roads. For the first few years of this decade, countries across the EU have been highly successful in pursuing the 2020 50% reduction target. But the arrival of a second successive year of disappointing news shows that this downward trend has stagnated.
After all, driver behaviour remains the most important barrier to progress as we approach 2020 and its reduction targets.
Drivers are unwittingly or sometimes knowingly putting other road users at risk in so many ways, perhaps by speeding, drink-driving, not wearing a seat belt, using the phone while driving, using vehicles they have not kept roadworthy, parking their cars on bicycle lanes, blocking pedestrian crossings, not turning on their lights or engaging in risky manoeuvres.
Many cyclists and pedestrians increase their risk levels by choosing to ignore the rules or look for risky short cuts. In the days leading up to the Project EDWARD day, we want all road users to think – even for a few short minutes – about the risks they face, the risks they may pose to others and how they can go about reducing those risks.
TISPOL’s target is that no one should die on the roads of Europe on Wednesday 19 September. And as we pause to reflect on how we use the roads, we believe 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, a charity, a school, college or university, or whether you simply care as an individual, please join us 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.
Project EDWARD is supported by all 30 TISPOL member countries (TISPOL is the European Traffic Police Network), and a growing number of well-known brands and road safety organisations have pledged to work with TISPOL to promote the messages of EDWARD as far and wide as possible. We hope that, with support from colleagues and partners across Europe, Project EDWARD will be a high-profile way of reminding everyone that there is a great deal of hard work going on across Europe towards 2020 casualty reduction goals – and beyond that, too.
We want everyone to feel part of this and to know that small actions lead to big improvements.