European Road Safety Partnership
5 Participating countries: Poland (Coordinator POLITECHNIKA GDAŃSKA), Italy (UNIVERSITA DEGLI STUDI DI CATANIA), Croatia (SVEUCILISTE U ZAGREBU), Belgium (EUROPEAN ROAD ASSESSMENT ASSOCIATION), Germany (BAUHAUS-UNIVERSITAET WEIMAR)
Road safety (RS) is one of the major challenges of the modern world. More than a million road fatalities annually worldwide, constituting the main cause of death of young people (up to 25 years of age) and an increasing proportion of elderly among victims, is a sufficient argument to take radical remedial action. The situation in Europe indicates very clearly that there has been no significant improvement in road safety in recent years.
The road infrastructure safety management system (RISM) has been implemented and developed as part of comprehensive efforts to improve RS. The first EU Directive2008/96/EC stipulated mandatory coverage of only the TEN-T network. The new Directive 2019/1936/EC (Directive) covers all national roads and all other roads the construction or reconstruction of which will be financed or co-financed by the EU. The effectiveness of implementing the Directive relies primarily on preparing dedicated safety management staff. These specialists must be highly competent in both theoretical and practical aspects of road safety. Due to large gaps in technical university curricula in the RS area, future staff of road authorities will not be fully prepared for challenges that are imposed by the Directive. In addition, staff already engaged in RISM must constantly supplement their knowledge and gain new experience in this field. This will allow for a permanent increase in their competence, which will contribute to the increase of the level of RISM and consequently decrease the number of accidents and victims.
RS is an area which combines various disciplines: engineering, mechanics, psychology, sociology and others. It is also an area undergoing constant changes (e.g. the emergence of a new risk group, the elderly). Therefore, it requires the adaptation of methods, tools and actions to improve the safety of road users. Due to the wide variation in the level of RS in European countries and diverse experience of good and bad practice, international cooperation is needed to exchange experiences, to standardise the implementation of high safety norms through appropriate methods and tools. Three factors: interdisciplinarity, variability, and international cooperation force the undertaking of actions to improve education and increase expertise and competences. The EuroS@P project will raise the level of teaching and training, using innovative didactic materials that will be widely available.
The implementation works are divided into 7 work packages, resulting in 16 Intellectual Outputs (IO). IO.1-4 will include a review of existing educational and RISM implementation activities in partner countries. In IO.5-9 and IO.10-13 new teaching and training materials will be developed, including analytical and field work (in four partner countries). They will enable the construction of methods and tools to assess the safety of road infrastructure. The methods and tools will be dedicated to RS inspections, especially on regional and local roads and the assessment of the safety of pedestrian crossings. IO.14-16 will cover the development of an e-learning platform with prepared materials. This will increase the availability and promotion of the project results.
The main objective of the EuroS@P project is to promote the best educational solutions in the RISM area, with increase of awareness and knowledge of RS, by:
1) Developing an e-learning platform with access to project products,
2) The development of teaching and training materials dedicated to conducting classes at universities and training courses for RISM staff,
3) Raising competences and skills in RISM, by changing curricula at universities and equipping students and staff with didactic materials based on innovative RISM methods and tools,
4) Creating the foundations for Road Safety Professional Certification (RSP),
5) The development of a lasting relationship and the continuation of active international cooperation between project partners with the possibility of its extension to other institutions.
The EuroS@P project targets the following groups:
1) Students, researchers, academic teachers at universities.
2) Road authority staff at national, regional and local levels.
3) Experts, specialists, practitioners involved in RS activities, including staff who conduct training in various RS courses.
4) All users of road infrastructure, as an indirect target group, for whom the risk of road accidents will ultimately be reduced by increasing the effectiveness and efficiency of RISM activities.
The project is also supported by a group of associates who will cooperate with project partners to consult and evaluate the results. They will implement final products and promote the dissemination and accessibility of the project results.