Road Safety professionals are counting down to the first Project EDWARD (European day Without A Road Death), which takes place on 21 September.
Project EDWARD, the brainchild of TISPOL (the European Traffic Police Network), seeks to raise awareness of road safety in the weeks leading up to 21 September, the day chosen as ‘European Day Without A Road Death’ (EDWARD).
Over 80,000 people have pledged their support for Project EDWARD online via a page on the TISPOL website (www.tispol.org/edward). Anyone willing to support Project EDWARD is invited to take a moment to sign the pledge. Project EDWARD already has the support of the European Commission, Transport Commissioner Violeta Bulc, the National Police Chiefs’ Council and a growing number of public and private organisations in the UK.
GEM road safety officer, Neil Worth, said: “A day without a road death is of course the vision we should strive for every day, not just on 21 September. But as a simple awareness-raiser, I am convinced that Project EDWARD can be a great success, whether or not we achieve zero deaths on the day itself.”
He added: “Casualty reduction must remain a priority for all national governments. There were some excellent reductions in road deaths and serious injuries earlier in this decade, but they have stalled in the past couple of years. It is therefore vital that we re-focus our attention on the efforts needed to get back on course in order to have a chance of achieving the European 2020 targets. We believe strongly in the value of setting targets, and we believe that the support from all industry sectors and from individuals can make a massive difference in reducing the number of people killed and seriously injured on our roads.”
Mr Worth concluded: “TISPOL has made clear that a zero figure on 21 September is very unlikely. But if we aim for zero and end up with a daily tally far below the European average of 70 fatalities, then Project EDWARD could be seen to have succeeded, and will add further weight to the real value of casualty reduction targets. So we urge drivers, riders, pedestrians, cyclists and other road users to pause for a moment on 21 September to reflect on simple ways to reduce risk and improve safety, then we will be going a long way towards that ultimate goal of no deaths on Europe’s roads.”