Results released for Project EDWARD 2019: Eleven countries record zero road fatalities
As a sad reminder of how big the road safety problem is, a total of 52 fatalities were recorded on Europe’s roads on 26 September, this year’s European Day Without A Road Death (Project EDWARD). According to the European Traffic Police Network (TISPOL), who organise Project EDWARD, eleven of the 28 countries participating* recorded no fatalities. While the total number of fatalities was still too high, it was lower than the average of 70 deaths per day for the entire EU.
Each September, Project EDWARD campaigns for a fatality-free day on Europe’s roads, with the goal of raising awareness of road safety. Project EDWARD’s key message is that if each road user makes small changes to reduce their own risk and to other road users, then together we can make big improvements. The ultimate objective is to eliminate the number of people killed every day on the roads of Europe – not just the day of Project EDWARD. The project was run by TISPOL for the fourth time this year and was supported by the European Commission.
EU Commissioner for Transport Violeta Bulc declared: “Today’s results from the Project EDWARD day of action show that we are still far from achieving a day without a road death on Europe’s roads and far from achieving our Vision Zero – zero fatalities and serious injuries on EU roads by 2050. But today’s results are a reminder to all of us that we need to sustain and redouble our efforts to improve road safety around Europe. Targets and awareness raising actions such as Project EDWARD are crucial tools to keep us all focused and to go even further on road safety."
TISPOL President Volker Orben said: “Any death on our roads is one too many. We must all commit ourselves to a future with zero road deaths. No one ever said this would be easy, but one of our priorities now must be to reach more and more people with our messages, so that any sort of offending on the road becomes socially unacceptable. We also urge everyone to support us as we continue our efforts to protect all road users. It is only by working together, and supporting each other, that we can reach that future we all want so much. As long as people die on Europe’s roads, we will organise Project EDWARD days – and we will never give up using all means at our disposal to deliver Every Day Without A Road Death.”
As part of the campaign, more than 100 road safety events were organised across the EU and beyond, with the aim of reducing the number of road fatalities and serious road traffic injuries to the ambitious target of zero. Among the organisers were national governments, NGOs, public agencies, charities, schools and universities, holding events of different sizes. A range of venues saw information and communication activities, workshops, conferences and competitions raising awareness of risks for road users and promoting both safe behaviour and compliance with traffic rules. The Road Safety Days interactive map gave these events higher visibility, and helped others to get inspiration for their own road safety projects.
*One EU Member State that participated in the project, Bulgaria, has not published information on fatalities.