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Graphic elementThe Facts

Every year, for every million inhabitants, 690 die on the roads in Greece, as opposed to 120 in Sweden. The statistics differ widely by country, particularly on account of drivers' attitudes. Some drive their cars responsibly and politely, while others are aggressive and only take their foot off the accelerator when they see the police, and will change their habits only if they are obliged to dip into their wallets!

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To launch truly effective road safety measures and to 'convert' users to other modes of transport effectively, there must be an understanding of the context, and peoples' motivations and mentalities. A number of European research projects are focusing on the conditions which must be met if the solutions planned are to succeed, and on their degree of acceptability according to different variables.

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Strategies which work
How can local authorities encourage inhabitants to abandon their cars and take up cycling or walking or use public transport? The DANTE project has analysed the best practices in eleven large towns in nine European countries and published a practical guide for decision-makers summing up the different persuasive strategies. Among the most readily feasible measures are better information on available public transport, new forms of collective transport and the organisation of car-pooling.

Questions of price
Will traffic flow better if a policy
to 'price' road use is applied?
A European project, EUROTOLL, tested various options among drivers in order to assess whether they would - or would not - accept the solutions proposed. Systems which use a high price as a deterrent are more readily accepted by the public if they are straightforward. Those with variables prices, such as motorway tolls that change according to the time of day, are also generally better accepted.

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