Excellence in Road Safety Awards 1 February 2011
The European Road Safety Charter awards ceremony was held on the 1 February 2011 with great success. In addition to the recognition of road safety excellence, some of Europe’s largest multinationals signed their commitment to the European Road Safety Charter.
With an attendee number of more than 250 people the awards ceremony was a unique occasion for all types of stakeholders to exchange ideas and share knowledge on road safety related issues. The event hosted some very prestigious speakers such as Mr Siim Kallas, Vice-President of the European Commission in charge of Transport, Dr. Dinesh Sethi from the World Health Organization and Sarah Copsey from the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (OSHA).
Three workshops were held simultaneously which dealt with issues related to International road safety activities in the decade to come, Occupational road safety and ways of improving vulnerable user’s road safety in the city. All three workshops were found to be very constructive and the participation of the attendants demonstrated the willingness of various actors to share best practices and to join efforts in creating safer roads. The presentations delivered by the key speakers as well as a summary of these workshops can be found in their respective communities on the website www.erscharter.eu
Mr. Pierre-Antoine Ullmo, General Manager of P.A.U. Education opened the ceremony by mentioning that the European Road Safety Charter now has more than 2000 signatories and it is the largest European Road Safety Community. Mr. Ullmo stated that the key issue is to encourage the shared responsibility among all the actors involved and to continue with the target of halving the overall number of road deaths in the European Union by 2020. Mr. Ullmo invited the first key speaker of the ceremony Mr. Enrico Grillo Pasquarelli, Director of Inland Transport, DG MOVE, European Commission
Mr. Grillo Pasquarelli started his speech with a plead for greater efforts for raising awareness in order to continue to improve Road Safety. The Road Safety Orientations policy for 2010-2020 was launched in July 2010 and gives the main strategic guidelines to reach the objective of halving the number of fatalities on the European Road by 2020. This means to focus not only on transport, but also on education, public health, technology and infrastructure. Mr Grillo Pasquarelli continued on to say that this does not imply that the human factor is no longer essential; The essence remains, and that is to drive safely and responsibly and it is now more than ever a priority to introduce a sense of urgency on this issue in the public opinion.
He concluded by underlining that the European Road Safety Charter has a real impact on this objective, with more than 2000 signatories taking concrete and measurable commitments to improve Road Safety. This community, network of organizations that carry out specific activities to save lives on the Road, highly contributes to the objective of growing awareness of all the citizens across the European Union.
Following these speeches, Ms. Isabelle Kardacz, Head of Road Safety Unit, DG MOVE, European Commission, invited 15 large organizations to sign the European Road Safety Charter or renew their current commitment. The new signatories were: Axa Group, Axa Belgium, Axa Prévention, Coca Cola Hellenic, eFlow Barrier Free Tolling, Fomento de Construcciones y Contratas, Iberdrola, RWE Transgas, TNT Post. The signatories wishing to renew their commitments were: Akzo Nobel, Diageo Europe, European Automobile Manufactureres Association, Norbert Dentressangle Group, Lithuanian National Road Carriers' Association and TNT Express. The signing event indicated that the willingness to participate in improving road safety is increasing.
The Awards Ceremony concluded with the recognition of the organizations that stood out for the commitment to road safety in 2010. The following entities were awarded in their respective categories:
Large Multinational Enterprises: Tesco Dotcom,
Small Medium Enterprises: Busturas,
Federations and associations: The Irish Medical Organization,
Institutions: Materská škola Dénešova,
Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs): ANBO,
Regions and Cities: the joint commitment of the Municipality of Verin and the Municipality of Chaves.
The winners were congratulated and photographed with the European Commissioner for Transport.
The ceremony concluded with a cocktail party which was seen as an excellent opportunity for all types of stakeholders to get to know one another and exchange ideas about road safety. Overall, the event has enhanced knowledge sharing between the signatories and has enlarged the network of stakeholders in the objective of reducing road fatalities.