This year’s European Day Without A Road Death (Project EDWARD) takes place today, emphasising a theme of vulnerability. It is organised by the European Traffic Police Network (TISPOL), which offers a somewhat pessimistic view of the state of play. “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,” TISPOL says in a statement. “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.”
On average, 70 people per day are killed on Europe’s roads, and TISPOL says: “Driver behaviour remains the most important barrier to progress as we approach 2020 and its reduction targets.”
The organisation continues: “This year we stress the notion that we are all more vulnerable than we think we are. The word vulnerable probably leads us initially to picture children crossing the road, cyclists in traffic, motorcyclists as well… but we are all at risk. So today let’s all reflect on the risks we face and the risks we pose to others.”
The campaign, which won a major safety award this year, was started in 2016. The organisers insist that awareness-raising “offers us the opportunity to put road safety high on the agenda – not just amongst ourselves who live and breathe it every day, but much further and wider as we reach out to everyone who uses the roads”.