Good Practices and Award-Winning Road Safety Initiatives: European Road Safety Charter Conference
Good Practices and Award-Winning Road Safety Initiatives: European Road Safety Charter Conference

On Monday, May 8, 2023, the informative conference of the European Road Safety Charter (ERSC) by the Road Safety Institute (R.S.I.) "Panos Mylonas", National Relay in Greece, took place with great success. The event was held at the auditorium of the Transport and Communications Directorate of the Athens Central Regional Unit and brought together members of the Charter network in Greece, including municipalities, motorways, companies and associations. The conference was a unique opportunity for the participants to learn about the Charter and to present the actions and best practices they have implemented in the context of their commitments for Road Safety.
 
The attendees were welcomed by the President of R.S.I. "Panos Mylonas", Mrs. Vasiliki Danelli-Mylona, stressing the role of Civil Society in promoting Road Safety and achieving the goal of eliminating fatalities and injuries from road crashes (Vision Zero). The Secretary General of Public Order of the Ministry of Citizen Protection, Lieutenant General Michael Karamalakis, referred, during his address, to the long-standing and constructive cooperation that the Ministry of Citizen Protection and the Hellenic Police have developed with R.S.I.:
"...we are engaged in a daily struggle for the adoption of proper driving culture, for the improvement of the road environment and for the information and awareness among citizens concerning the dangers of reckless driving, with respect for human life. We must not forget that driving safely means I live well!"
 
The Deputy Governor of Transport of the Region of Attica, Mrs. Adamopoulou Georgia, representing the Governor of Attica, Mr. George Patoulis, stated that the Region gives special weight to Road Safety both with initiatives aimed at improving the daily life of the citizens, and with actions implemented in the road network of the whole region, some of which have taken place in cooperation with R.S.I. "Panos Mylonas"
"We declare our support to strengthen your work either through extensive educational interventions we implement in schools of the Region of Attica, with the ultimate goal of improving traffic education and the general road safety culture in our country."
 
The Head of the Representation of the European Commission in Greece, Mrs. Niovi Rigou, referred to the EU Road Safety Strategy and the funding programmes for the improvement of road safety in the Member States. Mrs Rigou stressed the importance of the European Road Safety Charter in promoting best practices and referred to the Road Safety Excellence Awards, inviting the Members to submit their best practices in order to promote the important work that takes place in Greece at European level. 
 
Mrs Elena Kountoura, MEP and Coordinator at the Transport and Tourism Committee (TRAN), through a video message from Strasbourg, congratulated the President of the Institute and the Charter Members for their commitment to the promotion of Road Safety in Greece. Mrs Kountoura referred to her report on the European Union's Road Safety Policy Framework 2030, which was adopted by an overwhelming majority and constitutes the European Parliament's roadmap on how to achieve the bold but absolutely realistic goal of reducing by 50% the number of deaths and serious injuries from road traffic collisions on Europe's roads.
 
The President of Central Union of Municipalities (KEDE) and Mayor of Trikala, Mr. Dimitris Papastergiou, stressed the obvious connection of the Municipalities with Road Safety and Sustainable Mobility, as a very large part of road crashes in Greece occur in the urban road network. Mr Papastergiou also referred to the cooperation of KEDE and the municipality of Trikala with R.S.I. "Panos Mylonas" through joint campaigns such as the recent one for the adoption of 30 km/h zones in residential areas and mainly through collaborations in implementing Traffic Safety Educational Programs for future and novice drivers in high schools.
 
Lieutenant General Nikolaos Spanoudakis, Inspector General of Police of Southern Greece, representing the Headquarters of the Hellenic Police, after stressing the catalytic role of enforcement in road safety performance, referred to the “Memorandum of Cooperation” between the Hellenic Police and R.S.I. "Panos Mylonas" for the implementation of joint activities signed since September 2018 to raise awareness among citizens and for the cultivation of proper driving behavior and attitudes for all road users.
 
The guests had the opportunity to attend presentations by Road Safety experts about innovative applications as well as to learn about best practices presented by the Members of the Charter. One of them was the R.S.I. "Panos Mylonas" project for the improvement of Road Safety at a high-risk section of the road network of Northern Evia, where, in only 4 km, a disproportionally large number of fatal traffic incidents had taken place.  With the installation of speed limit signs and Radar (VMS) for the active speed measurement of passing vehicles, and through the continuous monitoring of speed data in order to carry out targeted traffic controls, the elimination of traffic incidents in this section was achieved.
 
ZAVOD VOZIM, ERSCharter National Relay from Slovenia, presented the "Heroes Drive in Pajamas" campaign, an initiative to reduce drink-driving, while the presentation of the Charter Member from Greece Draeger Hellas followed the same theme, with Mr Georgios Kontostolis presenting the pilot application of the Alcohol Ignition Interlock device to prevent drink-driving.
 
The Deputy Mayor of Rethymno, Mr. Angelos Malas, presented to the attendees the successful actions and interventions for the promotion of Sustainable Mobility and Road Safety of vulnerable road users, residents and visitors of the city, that lead the city to the first place. It should be noted that from this year the EU Urban Road Safety Award, which was previously part of the European Mobility Week, is now under the umbrella of the European Road Safety Charter Awards. Greece was distinguished in 2021 with the city of Rethymno.
 
The event was attended by Members of the Road Safety Charter in Greece as well as representatives of various Organizations and Authorities, such as the Aegean Motorway, Nea Odos, Olympia Odos, the Association of Greek Insurance Companies, the Municipality of Alimos, the Municipality of Vari - Voula - Vouliagmeni and the MP of MERA 25 and Member of the Special Committee on Road Safety of the Greek Parliament, Mr. George Loyiadis. 
 
We are grateful to the Region of Attica and the Transport and Communications Directorate of the Regional Unit of the Central Sector of Athens for kindly providing the venue the event took place, as well as to all the Charter Members and friends of the Institute who honoured us with their presence.
 
Do you have a road safety project or initiative that you think deserves EU-wide recognition? Apply now to win a prestigious Excellence in Road Safety Award. Your award application will not only put you in with a chance to win a prestigious European award, but it will also help us to share good practices from across Europe. More information can be found
here and for any questions please contact erscharter@ioas.gr

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