Thousands of lives can be saved if appropriate measures for road safety are taken. Road design, improved vehicle standards, upgraded laws on circulation and better emergency care could prevent significant human and economic losses.
In the Danube Region, great parts of the road network rate poorly for safety in case of vulnerable road-users. The discrepancies among #EUSDR countries are visible in terms of key road infrastructure and investments, but also mindsets and approaches to road safety. If all Danube countries would have highly developed infrastructure, harmonized laws on speeding, drinking and driving and use of the seatbelts, they might effectively contribute to the long-term European goal of reducing the death roads to zero by 2050.
EUSDR Priority Area 1b – Rail-road-air mobility, jointly coordinated by Serbia, Slovenia and Ukraine, develops activities to raise awareness for road safety and encourage exchange of best practices among stakeholders in the Danube Region. Their target is to halve the number of fatal and serious road traffic injuries from 2020 to 2030.
For reaching this target, PA 1b supports, facilitates and promotes the implementation of projects that contribute to reducing the risk of crashes on the roads. Thus, in 2015 a project concept for identifying key risk factors and practical, affordable actions towards the ‘common road safety area’ was developed. Symbolically named RADAR the project was financed through START – Danube Region Project Fund initiative, a seed money facility fostered by PA 10.
In 2018, the Slovenia-based European Institute of Road Assessment started the implementation of the project Risk Assessment on Danube Area Roads – RADAR, financed by the Danube Transnational Programme. Thus, a step forward to safer roads in the Danube Region was done by elaborating the Danube Infrastructure Road Safety Improvement Strategy and Danube Infrastructure Road Safety Improvement Action Plan. The provisions comprised in these documents were presented and discussed with decision-makers in the #EUSDR participating countries, to ensure their uptake in the national strategic documents.
The training courses organised in each project partner country increased the capacity of main national stakeholders to identify risk on road infrastructure and implement improvements based on the best cost-benefit ratio.
Pilot Actions were implemented in eight countries (Slovenia, Croatia, Hungary, Serbia, Czech Republic, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Moldova) in order to test the best practices agreed beforehand. The results were collected and stored in a databased available for all interested stakeholders.
The implementation period for the RADAR project will end in 2021. However, PA 1b will continue to actively support initiatives to reduce road risks in the Danube Region.