NTUA Road Safety Update - June 2019

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The European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) published the 13th edition of PIN Annual Report pdf5, with the active contribution of NTUA, presented at the 2019 Annual PIN Conference which took place with great success on 19 June, 2019 in Brussels. According to this PIN Report, the new European figures show that the number of persons killed last year fell by just 1% and the EU target to cut road deaths in half over the decade to 2020 looks well out of reach.

Ireland was the winner of this year’s ETSC Road Safety Performance Index (PIN) award, being the second safest EU Member State in 2018, in terms of road mortality (road deaths per million inhabitants) and having moved up five places in the ranking of EU countries since 2010 when it held the 7th place. pdf5 

Latest Developments

The European Commission – DG Move has published a Staff Working Document titled “EU Road Safety Policy Framework 2021-2030 – Next steps towards “Vision Zero” which includes details as to how it intends to put its Strategic Action Plan on Road Safety into practice . This Document includes a first list of Road Safety Key Performance Indicators (KPI), elaborated in close cooperation with Member States and the active contribution of NTUA, that will be monitored across the EU to underpin the target of 50% reduction in fatalities and serious injuries by 2030. The list (including indicators like vehicle safety, seat belt and helmet wearing rate, speed compliance and post-crash care) is a living document that will be developed further over time, but first data can be gathered on this basis from next year.  pdf5

The European Commission – DG Move has published a study titled “Sustainable Transport Infrastructure Charging and Internalisation of Transport Externalities” which aims to assess the extent to which existing policies internalise the external and infrastructure costs of transport and to discuss ways by which further internalisation could be achieved. As input for this assessment, the infrastructure and external costs of the various transport modes are estimated and a comprehensive overview of transport taxes and charges applied in the various countries is provided.  According to the study results, the most important cost category is accident costs equating to 29% of the total external costs, which on the contrary of most other costs it is not targeted by any taxes or charges aiming its reduction.   pdf5

Road Safety is acknowledged as a priority issue in the EuroMed partner countries (Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Tunisia). However, the collection of credible road safety data is a major challenge. In this context, the recent EuroMed Report, which was launched with the active contribution of NTUA, consists of provision of technical assistance on setting up road safety reliable, harmonized and comparable data collection systems at the EuroMed Partner Countries and sharing at regional level. The Final Report concludes that the adoption of common definitions for road crash variables and values strongly depends on the successful implementation of basic definitions (accident, road, casualty severity) and the systematic and complete reporting of crashes and casualties. pdf5

The 1st newsletter of the Horizon 2020 project Levitate was recently released highlighting the key activities of the first 6 months of the project. It contains an inspiring interview with Rune Elvik, Senior research officer at TØI, suggesting that any progress in Connected and Automated Transport cannot eliminate the human factor. Furthermore, it highlights the results from the first Workshop of the Levitate Stakeholder Group in Gothenburg on May 2019 and of the respective presentation of Levitate project at the scientific Workshop organized by the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA) on ‘Digitalisation and Road Safety Research’ in Athens on May 2019. 

The Department of Transportation Planning and Engineering of the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA) was ranked 16th in Europe and at 80th place worldwide among all Transportation Science & Technology Schools,  according to the ShanghaiRanking’s Global Ranking of Academic Subjects (GRAS) 2019.  NTUA Road Safety activities have contributed to this excellent performance. Accordingly, the NTUA Civil Engineering School was ranked 7th worldwide (3rd European) among all Civil Engineering Schools. 

Our Publications

The ESRA Consortium with the support of the Forum of European Road Safety Institutes (FERSI) organised the 2nd ESRA Symposium on Road Users Attitudes Worldwide, which took place with great success in Brussels, on 18 June 2019. New highly interesting results from the ESRA2 Global Survey on Road Users Attitudes, collected at the end of 2018, were showcased, namely thematic reports on speeding, mobile phone use and fatigue together with 32 country fact sheets . NTUA contributed actively with the following presentations:

On 28 May, 45 experts from Europe and Australia were gathered in Gothenburg, Sweden, within the framework of the Horizon 2020 project Levitate, in order to discuss which societal impacts Connected and Automated Vehicles will have. Levitate is building tools to help European cities, regions and national governments prepare for a future with increasing levels of Automated Vehicles in passenger cars, urban transport services and urban logistics. The Workshop marked the first meeting of the LEVITATE Stakeholder Group, which aims to facilitate a continuous dialogue between experts, users and the consortium about the impacts of Connected and Automated Transport (CAT)

NTUA contributed actively to the 1st Stakeholder Workshop with the following presentation: ppt5 CATS-PST Connected and Automated Transport Systems Policy Support Tool

The 5th Congress of the European Academy of Neurology (EAN2019) took place with great success in Oslo, on 29 June – 02 July. More than 6.000 participants from more than 100 countries attended with an overwhelmingly positive feedback in several Symposia, Teaching Courses, Focused Workshops, Hands-on Courses, and Interactive Sessions. Some sessions concerned cognitive impairment and road safety  in which NTUA contributed actively with the following presentations:

NTUA Professor George Yannis made a synthesis presentation of road safety performance and respective measures in Greece, at the European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) PIN Panel Meeting, on 20 June, 2019 in Brussels.  Greece has made the most impressive road safety improvement in the EU during the last decade (51% road fatalities decrease), with 690 fatalities in 2018: the best ever performance since 1965 and only 61 lives to be saved to reach the EU 2020 target. This is the combined result of the economic crisis and a series of important and systematic measures on road infrastructure, traffic safety legislation and safe road user behaviour campaigns.  ppt5 Road Safety in Greece

The European Commission – DG Move and the Hellenic Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport organised the kick-off meeting of the project ‘EU Road Safety Exchange’ which took place with great success in Athens, on 10 June 2019. ‘EU Road Safety Exchange’ is a three-year twinning project (2019-2021) that supports improved institutional capacity and exchange of knowledge and best practice on road safety topics between EU Member States. The objective of this project is to reduce the overall number of road deaths and serious injuries on EU roads and help close the road safety gap between EU Member States by providing support to those with the highest potential to make significant improvements.  NTUA actively contributed at the kick-off meeting with the following presentation: ppt5 Motorcycle Safety in Greece

Akis TheofilatosDimosthenis Pavlou, and Dimitris Tselentis, PostDoc Researchers of the Department of Transportation Planning and Engineering of NTUA were awarded with the NTUA Thomaidion Award for outstanding road safety publications in scientific journalspdf5 The awards for publications in Scientific Journals concerned:

  • Theofilatos A., Yannis G., Investigation of powered 2-wheeler accident involvement in urban arterials by considering real-time traffic and weather data, Traffic Injury Prevention, Volume 18(3), April 2017, Pages 293-298 doi
  • Pavlou D. – Beratis I.N., Papadimitriou E., Andronas N., Kontaxopoulou D., Fragkiadaki S.,  Yannis G., Papageorgiou S.G. Mild Cognitive Impairment and driving: Does in-vehicle distraction affect driving performance?, Accident Analysis & Prevention, Volume 103, June 2017, Pages 148-155 doi
  • Tselentis D., Yannis G., Vlahogianni E., Innovative motor insurance schemes: A review of current practices and emerging challenges, Accident Analysis & Prevention, Volume 98, January 2017, Pages 139-148 doi

A paper titled “Analysis of driver behaviour through smartphone data: The case of mobile phone use while driving” authored by Eleonora Papadimitriou, Anastasia Argyropoulou, Dimitris Tselentis, and George Yannis is now published in Safety Science. The aim of this paper is to explore driving behaviour during mobile phone use on the basis of detailed driving analytics collected by smartphone sensors from OSeven Telematics. The data came from a sample of one hundred drivers (18,850 trips) during a naturalistic driving experiment over four months. The results suggest that mobile phone use while driving may be accurately predicted by the model in more than 70% of casesdoi

A Diploma Thesis titled “Mobility and Road Safety in European cities” was recently presented by Dimitrios Giagkou, focusing on the impact of mobility characteristics on road safety in European cities. For this analysis, various international databases (CARE, UITP, Eurostat) were exploited with data on road accident fatalities, demographics and mobility characteristics of 25 European cities in 2012. Generalized Linear Models were developed for both the total number of fatalities and for specific subcategories too. The results led to the conclusion that more public transport capacity offered, more cycle trips and fewer motorcycles lead to a reduction in the number of fatalities in urban road accidents. Moreover, it was found that denser road network, higher population density and higher GDP per capita are correlated with fewer fatalities in urban road accidents. pdf5 ppt5

Point of View

An interview with Professor George Yannis at the inSCIght on-line magazine of Hasselt University

How did it all start?

Everything started with my studies in civil and transportation engineering back in Athens, and later on in Paris. There I developed my passion for applied transportation science and the great social as well as economic value it holds to our society. It’s the complex and challenging task of planning, designing, developing and operating an efficient, safe and environmentally friendly transportation system to fit everyone’s needs that have kept me wanting more, year after year.

The entire interview is available here.

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This Road Safety Update aims to support frequently the Greek and the International Road Safety Community with current key road safety knowledge and data, which are gathered, analysed and organised within the research activities of the Department of Transportation Planning and Engineering of the National Technical University of Athens.

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