Inappropriate or excessive speed contributes to up to a third of fatal accidents and damages the environment due to increased exhaust emissions and noise levels. An EU-funded study has set the basis for reducing both with research into speed management measures.
In this context, the '"Show me how slow": Mobilising evidence from transport research into speed' (SHLOW) project focused on speed management as a major approach to preventing road casualties as well as protecting the environment. A positive path towards achieving this is through raising citizen awareness on the link between safety and sustainability in transport research and policy.
The EU-funded project set out to offer training to 50 students who were future road safety professionals, and give support to each one for a small-scale speed management activity in their home country. The European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) and project beneficiaries also recognised the value of promoting further research into the acceptance and use of road safety speed management studies and technologies.
Contributions by ETSC include a project website launch (http://www.shlow.eu) and the publication 'ShLOW: Reducing Excessive and Inappropriate Speed Now: a Toolkit'. The latter, a compendium of speed management road safety measures, has been widely disseminated to students across Europe and offers knowledge on best practices for reducing excessive and inappropriate speed in road transport.
ETSC delivered 57 lectures in the project’s 10 participant countries. An important effort geared toward conveying the speed reduction message to students across Europe, presentations explained Europe’s road safety situation, the role of excessive speed as a major risk factor and the SHLOW project.
Of the 85 students applying to participate in the project, 50 were selected and invited to take part in a SHLOW CAMP. Following the camps, students were to return to their home country to set up and run their own speed management activity. The results of each were to be assessed by an independent jury; those judged as best would be invited to the final Brussels SHLOW event, an award ceremony.
Hands-on efforts such as this promise to reduce fatal road accidents and enhance the safety and quality of life for Europe’s urban residents.