In the organisational structure of the Technical University in Łódź, the Institute of Vehicles and Machinery Construction and Exploitation conducts didactic and scientific activities in the area of construction and exploitation of machines, with particular consideration given to road vehicles. Some years ago, the demands of the market were instrumental in the formation of the Faculty of Transport, which included Road Transport. Students of this specialisation study the questions of road safety (BRD) on lectures and in laboratories and make it the subject of their Masters’ theses. The participation of the Institute in the “Coopers” International Programme on the construction of intelligent transport systems has enriched the range of research topics, as road safety constitutes an important element of those systems.
Irrespective of the research and didactic activities on the subject of road safety, which are inscribed in our statute, we notice that social and material consequences of road accidents require decisive steps to be taken to popularise road safety issues and integrate different environments in their work towards its improvement.
Therefore, we see the need to concentrate the additional activities of our Institute, apart from its statutory requirements, on conducting consulting services for institutions dealing with road safety, on programming the activities and the integration of environments for the improvement of road safety and on further propagating and popularising the road safety issues.
In this area we are already conducting or will conduct the following:
1. Coordinating and preparing the form and substance for the project of “Łódzki Road Safety Portal” which will be launched under the auspices of WR BRD (Road Safety Police Department) in Łódź. The first part of the portal will have an open formula and will constitute a comprehensive forum of information (news, maps of difficult points, suggested detours, weather conditions and others, indicating confusing road signs and wrong traffic management, information about courses, statistics of road incidents, etc.) for the inhabitants and visitors of the region. The second part will have a closed formula (log in) and will present governmental information on road safety as well as will be a forum for inter-departmental discussion. In order to launch the project, an agreement between over a dozen of organisations was signed, with our Institute in the capacity of Project Coordinator. The signatories, among others, are Urząd Wojewódzki (Voivodeship Council) and Urząd Marszałkowski (Self-government Council) in Łódź, Voivodeship Headquarters of the Police and Firefighters in Łódź, Voivodship Road Transport Inspection, Board of Education and four road safety centres. The representatives of the signatories will constitute the Programme Council and Editor’s Board of the portal.
- Co-organising of a seminar on “The Integration of the Environment of Experts for Long-term Activities to Improve Road Safety in the Region of Łódź”. It is expected that about 70 persons, representing the widest possible range of managing organisations, services and entities responsible for road safety in the region will participate. The purpose of the seminar is to set out the directions, methods and programmes in order to prepare the region for the integrated activities within the balanced transport. The scheduled date: November 2009.
- Including Road Safety topics in the list of subjects for Master’s theses, with the specialisation of “Road Transport”. In the first year, 4 master’s theses and 7 interim papers on road safety were written. It is expected that in the next few years these numbers will increase. Shortened versions of the theses will be presented on the web page of the “Optimo Modo” Foundation, and the most interesting ones at the executive committee’s meeting of the Voivodship Council for Road Safety (WR BRD) in Łódź and at conferences on road safety.
- Engaging the members of the Students’ Scientific Association “Fans of Motorisation” in the activities popularising road safety issues. These activities will consist in presentations of the development of passive and active elements improving car driving safety on the examples of old cars reconstructed by the students (“Żuk”, “Moskwicz”, “WSK” motorcycle). The presentations will take place during events popularising road safety, organised by other entities.
Commitment duration: October 2009 – October 2012