For the second time in a row, the EuroRAP General Assembly was held as an electronic meeting. On Thursday 17 June, over 50 delegates from all over Europe met to discuss the latest developments and to exchange views on themes such as innovation, RAP protocols, advocacy, and projects. We were happy to welcome Jean Todt, UN Special Envoy for Road Safety and FIA president for an inspirational keynote speech in which he underlined the importance of safe road infrastructure.
Ferry Smith, Chairman of the EuroRAP Board addressed the participants, recalling several changes in the EuroRAP team, with a new era of Members supporting Members. He introduced the new Management Committee comprising Suzy Charman (Road Safety Foundation), Olivera Rozi (EIRA), Shona Holroyd (iRAP), and Marianne Dwarshuis (ANWB). The chairman also welcomed Suzy Charman and Christian Bardaji (RACC) into the EuroRAP Board.
Ferry Smith looked back on the past year, which started off the second United Nations Decade of Action for Road Safety (2021-2030). Due to COVID-19, lockdowns were in place all over Europe and consequently, there were around 3900 fewer road deaths in the European Union in 2020 compared to the previous year. Most likely, this reduction is attributable to Covid-19 restrictions on travel, though notably, the reduction in fatalities did not track the level of traffic reduction experienced. In some countries, crashes were more severe and the number of seriously injured increased. As mobility patterns change, it becomes even more important to provide safer roads, particularly those that can support safer active travel.
Finally, the Chairman applauded the great number of National Programmes that are already in place. This gives an enormous boost to improving road safety at a national level.