FERSI warmly congratulates Rune Elvik, who received the Special Honorary Award during the Transport Research Arena (TRA) conference 2022 in Lisbon. He received the award for his outstanding and well-recognized contribution to road safety research and innovation throughout his career. Well-deserved! Rune is researcher at FERSI member organisation TØI, the Norwegian Institute of Transport Economics.
On 6 and 7 October the FERSI conference took place in The Hague, the Netherlands. The challenging theme of the conference Implementing evidence-based road safety measures – Removing barriers and enhancing public support attracted an eclectic combination of researchers, policy makers and interest groups. With almost 90 delegates from over 20 countries, 35 presentations, 3 interesting keynotes and many formal and informal discussions and exchanges, the conference proved to be quite an inspiring event.
Substantial budget for Dutch road safety
In a keynote presentation, Geertje Hegeman, Head of the Road Safety Department of the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management, presented the new Strategic Plan for the Netherlands’ road safety between 2020-2030. After a decade of stagnation the new plan is based on the Safe Systems Approach and includes Key Performance Indicators and a substantial 500 million euro budget for improving (cycling) infrastructure and to stimulate innovation. Both the plan and the identified measures are evidence based and the first results are being evaluated now.
Voluntary use of bicycle helmets in Denmark
In the afternoon keynote presentation, Pernille Sølund Ehlers, Senior Advisor of the Danish Road Safety Council, showed how the Danes have managed to be so successful in promoting bicycle helmets with activities that explicitly targeted the barriers of cyclists to use helmets; voluntarily! In just about 15 years-time the helmet wearing rate grew from a few percent to around half of all Danes wearing one. Quite an achievement! For all participants – and especially for the Dutch – this experience inspires to try and achieve the same.
Pushing for safety in the EU General Safety Regulation
In the Friday morning keynote, Graziella Jost, Projects Director of the European Transport Safety Council, provided us with inside information on how they managed to push the EU and ultimately the UNECE, to accept the General Safety Regulation that includes e.g. ISA (Intelligent Speed Assistance). She also pleaded for stronger support in these processes. FERSI will take this up soon and discuss with ETSC how it can be of help.
Presentations on a wide variety of topics
In several parallel sessions and poster pitches a wide variety of topics were presented, from very specific measures for road users and infrastructure, to general road safety visions and policies, as well as the need for good data and the usefulness of new technologies in this respect. All contributors prepared an extended summary that are now available on the FERSI website.
Putting evidence-based knowledge into practice
During a panel discussion with five renowned road safety professionals, moderated by FERSI president Rob Eenink, the panellists reflected on overcoming barriers to putting evidence-based measures into practice. It became clear that both political and public support are crucial but often not easy to come by. Dedicated and timely actions are needed to get that support. Well-founded scientific arguments, close cooperation between policy makers and researchers, and making friends outside road safety if goals coincide, are just a few of the tips and tricks that came up. The panel consisted of Fred Wegman, former Managing Director of SWOV and professor emeritus at Delft University of Technology, Sandra Vieira Gomes, Senior Researcher at the Portuguese national engineering laboratories LNEC, Rune Elvik, Senior Researcher at the Norwegian Institute of Transport Economics, Laurent Carnis, Head of Road Safety at the French University Gustave Eiffel, and Graziella Jost of ETSC.
The second FERSI column by Dominique Mignot, Université Gustave Eiffel and vice-president of FERSI, calls for continued attention for road safety despite the many other challenges that the world is facing.
In 4 months, the TRA 2022 conference will reunite in Lisbon (14-17 November 2022) experts from around the world to network and discuss the newest innovations and the future of mobility and transport.
The conference offers several opportunities to get involved, communicate, engage with stakeholders and stay connected:
- Call for demonstrations: the demonstration area enables interactive showcases of state-of-the-art technology innovations for business partners, researchers, and industry stakeholders. Expressions of interest shall be submitted by 31 July 2022 (extended deadline).
- Call for exhibitors: the exhibition area offers various possibilities for exhibitors in terms of space, construction and design options. Early bird deadline for Exhibitors is 20 July 2022.
- Call for side events: the venue also offers the opportunity for all stakeholders to organise side events (meetings, gatherings, lunch, dinner).
Finally, the Registration is open, with early bird fee available until 31 July 2022. Special rates are offered to speakers, authors, reviewers, students & young researchers, exhibitors & demonstrators. A reduced fee is also available for watching the live stream of the opening & closing ceremonies, plenaries & strategic sessions (in view mode only).
Don’t wait to secure your spot at TRA 2022!
The detailed programme for the FERSI Conference is now available. The conference programme includes plenary sessions with keynotes by Geertje Hegeman, Head of the Road Safety Department at the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure & Water Management, Pernille Sølund Ehlers from the Danish Road safety Council and Graziella Jost from the European Transport Safety Council. It also offers poster pitches, parallel sessions with paper presentations on various road safety topics, a social gathering in Madurodam, a round table discussion and a wrap-up session with an award ceremony, finally ending with a goodbye lunch.
The international conference will be held on October 6 & 7 in the Hague and is open to researchers, policy makers and road safety professionals from road authorities and road safety observatories but also professionals otherwise involved in road traffic and road safety (enforcement, engineering, consultancy, education). The conference will allow for discussion on promising ways to facilitate the decision making and implementation process of proven (cost-)effective but politically sensitive road safety measures.
Check out the programme!
A few times per year FERSI will release a column on a road safety topic, written by one of the FERSI members. These columns will express the author’s personal vision or opinion on a topic of his/her choice. The first column comes from FERSI President and SWOV’s Deputy Director Rob Eenink, titled Bicycles are dangerous.
After a professional career of 50 years in road transport, Dr Jacek Malasek retired. Jacek represented the Polish Research Institute of Road and Bridges (IBDiM) in FERSI for almost 20 years. He was a highly valued member of our network, and his contributions will be missed. Many thanks to Jacek on behalf of all FERSI members, wishing him a great, well-deserved retirement.
The XXVIIth edition of the PIARC World Road Congress will take place in Prague from 2 to 6 October 2023. The call for papers is open until the 26 August 2022. For more information see the congress website.
In this update of its Safe Road Transport Research Roadmap published in 2019, ERTRAC proposes a set of high-priority road safety research needs with their suggested timing for inclusion in Horizon Europe. The updated roadmap is available at ertrac.org.
The next HUMANIST Summer School will be held in Vienna, Austria, from 14 to 16 September 2022. Its main topics are human factors, automated driving, and active mobility. Programme and registration are available now at humanist-vce.eu.