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CORDIS

The European Road Safety Observatory

Exploitable results

In 2004 there were over 43 000 people killed on the roads of the 25 Member States of the European Union (EU), additionally around 3.3 million people were injured. The costs to society exceeded Euros 180 billion which is around twice the annual budget of the European Commission and 2 % of EU GDP. The EU target of a 50 % reduction in fatalities by 2010 will only be achieved by the introduction of the most effective countermeasures. It relies on the existence of basic knowledge of crashes and their causation and the availability of road safety data to monitor and assess performance. In its 2002 White Paper (as well as other public documents), the European Commission expressed the demand for a 'Road safety observatory'. The Safetynet project meets those demands. The data resources developed within Safetynet are intended to revolutionise the EU approaches to road safety. The 'Road safety observatory' will enable the Commission to monitor progress towards targets, identify best practise, and ensure that new regulatory and other safety actions will result in the maximum casualty reduction. All data assembled or gathered within the project will be available over the web to the entire road safety community. The first major result was mainly concerned with setting up a comprehensive and relevant statistical framework for road accident data collection among the EU countries. This allowed for compatible statistics from the EU-25 Member States, as well as assisting New Member States to make their national accident data compatible with the CARE system: development of appropriate statistical outputs based on CARE data, establishment of a common accident data collection set and methodology and estimation of the real number of road accident casualties. In this setting, the Safetynet project made the CARE system a reference point for road safety analysis in Europe. More specifically, Safetynet developed a methodology development report detailing the task of setting up a fatal accident data collection routine in the seven EU partner countries. The second main result is a detailed analysis of 'Safety performance indicators' (SPI) for road safety throughout the EU. Based on this analysis, the Safetynet project designed an SPI manual in order to assist countries in establishing the necessary systems of data collection for producing national SPIs, in each one of a set of predefined safety fields, and to make them comparable on a European level. For each safety area, the manual defines quantitative SPIs, demonstrates existing practices for their measurements, provides best practice examples (when available), and details the procedures which are necessary to collect and process the required data for the estimation of the SPIs' set on a national level. A third important aspect of the Safetynet project involved the construction of a 'European road safety information system' (EuroRIS). EuroRIS provides an easy way for all potential users to retrieve up to date information on road safety in the European Member States. This result stemmed from an assessment of the RIS's scope and possibilities, its investment and operation costs, and the expected benefits. Safetynet detailed a set of specifications regarding the system's content and form. Last, Safetynet launched an awareness website, ERSO ('European road safety observatory'), in May 2006, together with an ERSO 'Promotion pack' containing a variety of ready-to-use materials (e.g. the ERSO logo, a press release, a flyer), the end goal being to contribute to the improvement of road safety in Europe, through better informed professionals and better informed road users.

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