10 June 2010
| National Charter Tour
A European Road Safety Charter presentation and signing event was held on 10 June 2010 in Vilnius, in cooperation with the Ministry of Transport and Communications of Lithuania. 23 Lithuanian entities, including companies, associations and non-governmental organisations signed new commitments to help save lives on national roads, while one existing signatory renewed its commitment.
Mr Giedrius Sudikas, Press Officer of the Representation of the European Commission in Lithuania, opened the Lithuanian National Charter Tour by welcoming 70 participants. Mr Sudikas’ active involvement in the event showed a strong interest for the European Road Safety Charter initiative by supporting and encouraging the signatories.
Mr Eligijus Masiulis, Minister of Transport and Communications of the Republic of Lithuania, presented the experience of the last 19 years in improving road safety. The Minister stressed out that in the year 2000 the number of road fatalities was the lowest – 641 road users. In 2009, compared with 2008, the number of accidents decreased by 20%, deaths with 29% and injuries with 23%. In particular, the number of injured children (62%) and pedestrians (51%) has decreased. According to the minister, the results have been achieved by implementing strict road safety laws. It was also the administrative arrest for particularly serious offences such as driving while drunk or driving without having the driving license. Another significant area which had a positive effect on reducing road fatalities is a consistent improvement of road infrastructure.
Mr Eligijus Masiulis: “We are planning to confirm a road safety program for 2011 – 2015, in which we aim to improve traffic safety situation that according to the number of road fatalities per 1 million country's population, Lithuania would be on of the best performance among the 10 European Union countries. Only our joint efforts and persistent work can improve the culture of road users and road safety situation in the country”, Minister Masiulis said. He agreed that it is important to change the attitude towards road safety issues, underlining that by doing this the country will achieve great results in traffic safety and a decrease the number of road fatalities.
Ms Isabelle Kardacz, Head of the Road Safety Unit of the European Commission, spoke about the direction of road safety in Europe, and Ms Martin Aitken, European Road Safety Charter Coordinator, presented the Charter initiative, the latest updates in number of signatories and the future developments.
This was followed by the signing ceremony in which 23 Lithuania entities became part of the large Charter family: Auto Bild Lietuva, Bronius Kazlauskas Driving School, Busturas, Delfi, Easy rental, Kaunas City Municipality, Charity and Support Fund “Nežudyk”, BMW Club Lithuania, Lithuanian Art Museum Art Education Centre, Lithuanian Students' Creativity and Technical Information Center, Lithuanian Confederation of Industrialists, Lithuanian Red Cross Society, Association of Lithuanian Drivers, Lithuanian Youth Council, Omnitel, Šiauliai College, Šiauliai City Municipality, V&E Media Company, International kindergarten “Saulės gojus”, Public Institution Police Club for Children and Youth, Vilnius County Police Headquarters, Vilnius University Students’ Representation and Vilnius Municipality.
Also one existing signatory renewed its Charter commitment for a further period of three years: Lithuanian Association of Driver Training and Upgrading Schools.
The signing event took place in Vilnius City Municipality. After the signing ceremony Vilnius City Mayor Mr Vilius Navickas gave a closing speech. He thanked the organisators, signatories and the participants for attending signing ceremony.
The active road safety network within Lithuania was very evident at the event proving a willingness to form real alliances and opportunities to communicate road safety practices together. The participants used the event to reaffirm their common goals as and dedication to road safety.
Between 2007 and 2009, the European Road Safety Charter has been signed by the following Lithuanian entities: Swedbank AB, Lithuanian Youth Center, Lithuanian National Road Carriers Association "LINAVA", Lithuanian Automobile Club, Lithuanian Association of Driver Training and Upgrading Schools, Association of Lithuanian Automobilists, Vilnius Traffic Safety School, Lithuanian Automobile Sport Federation (LASF), Lithuanian Roads Association, Klaipėda City Municipality Administration, Transeksta - Association of Companies for State Road Vehicle Inspection, Lithuanian Breweries Association (now Lithuanian Brewers Guild) and National Union of Student Representations of Lithuania.
Lithuania | 10 Jun 2010