In February we gave the Lunchtime seminar stage to EuroRAP members and partners to share an overview of their programme and relevant developments. The forum hosted presenters from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Cyprus, Italy, Serbia, Spain, and the UK and attracted 78 registrations from 31 countries.
Christian Bardají from the biggest Automobil club in Spain RACC Mobility Club summarized 20 years of EuroRAP in Catalonia. The extensive risk mapping work with the focus on motorcycles and heavy-duty vehicles accidents showed them the way to road improvements which resulted in a 72.2% reduction in average accidents with fatalities and serious injuries in the years 1998–2000 and 2018–2020. In the last 15 years, they are doing also detailed analysis of risks on split roads (highways and motorways) and conventional roads, which showed the risk of a serious or fatal accident on a conventional road is four times higher than on a split road in Catalonia.
Stelios Efstathiadis from Transportation Solutions, the EuroRAP Technical Lead in Cyprus, first introduced the road safety coordination group in Cyprus and then focused on 2021 road safety achievements. In comparison to Catalonia and their long tradition of using EuroRAP methods, Cyprus is new in the EuroRAP family. However, in only one year they managed to do crash risk mapping (crash rate and density) and star rating on 100 km of roads which represent 16% of the primary road network in Cyprus. For 50 km of roads star rating for design was applied. Besides the results in their first and very successful year with EuroRAP, Stelios also explained the expectations for the future. Amongst other things, they are planning to apply EuroRAP protocols to the whole road network in Cyprus.
Italian road safety achievements were presented by Lucia Pennisi from the Italian Automobile Club (ACI) and Edoardo Mazzia from FRED Engineering. Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, ACI concentrated its road assessment activities in their ‘home’ Lazio region in the past two years. Between August and October 2021, FRED Engineering (an iRAP accredited supplier), performed field surveys on the 323 km of selected road carriageways following iRAP specifications and requirements. The star rating results showed that only 37% of the assessed roads have three or more stars for cars. For motorcyclists, the situation is worse, since only 6% of the surveyed roads have at least 3 stars. Edoardo pointed out that high speeds on Italian motorways and highways have a significant negative impact on the star ratings. The final results of the project will be presented to Italian road authorities in March. In 2022, they are planning to continue with road assessments, probably focusing on Lombardia region.
Marko Ševrović from the University of Zagreb, Faculty of Transport and Traffic Sciences, and Slaviša Babić from Croatian Roads https://hrvatske-ceste.hr/ who manage more than 7300 km of state roads in Croatia presented the RAP achievements in Croatia. They are involved in numerous projects dealing with safety road assessments. In Croatia, EuroRAP protocols are not only used on the existing roads, but they use them when planning new roads as well. EuroRAP is the main tool to see what the risk level on state roads is, to see which sections and what should be done there and to assess after a period if the right safety measures were applied. In the end, Marko and Slaviša showed how EuroRAP assessments can be applied in practice. They showed how they successfully upgraded a new road in Croatia to prevent fatalities and serious injuries which happened soon after the road was opened.
Bosnia and Herzegovina:
Silma Sultanić from BIHAMK – Bosnia and Herzegovina Auto-Moto Club presented the pilot action of the successfully completed RADAR project (RADAR – Risk Assessment on Danube Area Roads) and investment plans for safer roads in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH). BIHAMK was one of the 9 project partners joined by 12 associated strategic partners which ran the RADAR project between 2018 and 2021. As part of the project, more than 230 km of roads were surveyed in BiH. The analysis showed only 4% of roads received 4 stars for passenger safety. 76% of the network received 3 stars, while 20% of roads received only 1 or 2 stars. The situation in BiH is even more worrying for vulnerable users: for motorcycles, 44% are 1 or 2 stars, 67% of roads are 1 or 2 stars for bicycles and 78% for pedestrians. Therefore, the implementation of the Investment Plan for Safer Roads is crucial for road safety in BiH. Silma pointed out the five most effective and cost-effective measures that could help save the most lives include the following solutions identified: improved horizontal signaling, roadside safety fences – driver’s side, protective fences along the road – passenger side, protected turn lanes, construction of a pedestrian path on the driver’s/passenger’s side.
Violeta Maksimović, Serbian Auto-moto Association (AMSS), highlighted the legal framework for road infrastructure improvements in Serbia. The government has passed a range of different documents containing the mandatory use of road safety infrastructure improvement tools. A very important EU-funded project which is still running in Serbia started in Serbia in August 2019. Its three main components focus on improving and strengthening road safety management and road infrastructure safety at the national and local levels and introducing MAIS3 together with road injury scale. In the framework of the project, 3.900 km of Class IB State Roads were surveyed, coded and analysed in 2021 in Serbia. Results helped identify ten road sections of highest risk. Another important result of the project is Local road safety databases established in 60 cities and municipalities across Serbia. With the successful work of the AMSS and Serbian road authorities, the number of fatalities on Serbian roads has declined in recent years.
United Kingdom (UK):
To wrap up the National Schemes Forum, Suzy Charman from UK’s Road Safety Foundation introduced us to the EuroRAP programme in the UK. Suzy first shortly presented the Road Safety Foundation, which was established in 1986, is one of the founding partners of the EuroRAP and a license holder for RAP in the UK and Ireland. They have done crash risk mapping annually since 2002. There is an extensive programme with national and local authorities for Star rating. One of the recent developments in the UK is the iRAP Road Authority User Group which connects 15 road authorities collaborating in different programmes and projects.
Getting to know better the achievement and work strategies in seven different countries has shown that the cooperation between EuroRAP members and partners and national, regional and local authorities is crucial when it comes to road safety.
To see the full recording and check out the details of each presentation of the EuroRAP Lunchtime seminar #4, click HERE (coming soon). The PPT presentations are available HERE.
This was the fourth of EuroRAP’s lunchtime seminar series which provide information about the EuroRAP protocols through the ‘RAP basics’ events, insight into iRAP research and innovation through our ‘Hot Topic’ seminars and inspiration for EuroRAP programmes through our ‘National schemes spotlight’ seminars. These three webinar types are presented in rotation giving us food for thought every month.
The virtual seminar series is aimed at all EuroRAP partners and other interested parties – from automobile clubs to road authorities, to researchers.
Our next online seminar on 8th March 2022 at 1 pm CET will focus on RAP basics: Star Rating. Register HERE. We look forward to seeing you there.