11th Young Researchers Seminar

The 11th Young Researchers Seminar took place from 15 to 17 May 2023 in Lisbon, Portugal, hosted and organised by LNEC, the Portuguese National Laboratory for Civil Engineering.

It was a great and inspiring event. Around 35 enthusiastic young researchers from a variety of European universities and research institutes participated and presented their work. Around 15 senior researchers acted as tutor and mentored two or three of these young researchers, helping them to improve their writing and presentation skills. Topics were diverse and included road, rail and maritime, and multimodal transport issues. Next to the technical sessions, the seminar offered plenty of opportunities for networking in an informal and constructive atmosphere. Three keynote speakers covered topics of particular interest to young researchers: Thierry Goger, Secretary General FEHRL, elaborated on the different aspects of proposal and project management; Karst Geurs, Professor of Transport Planning at the University of Twente and Editor-in-Chief of ETRR, explained the many steps of getting a research article published; and last but not least, José Manuel Viegas, Professor of Transport at the University of Lisbon and former secretary General of ITF, gave a personal perspective on research in a rapidly changing society.

The seminar was financially supported by the members of the European Transport Research Alliance (ETRA): ECTRI, FEHRL, FERSI, Humanist and EURNEX.

ICSC2023 – Call for abstracts

The 11th edition of the International Cycling Safety Conference (ICSC) will be hosted by SWOV in The Hague from 15 to 17 November 2023. ICSC is a forum for researchers and experts in the field of cycling safety, whose scientific and practical activities are aimed at making cycling safer. This conference will allow for ample exchange of knowledge and experiences, thus contributing to improving cycling safety. The societal relevance of this topic is ever increasing, as cycling safety is seen as a promising solution to various sustainability and health issues whereas the number of road deaths and seriously injured cyclists doesn’t seem to be improving.

Call for abstracts open until May 5th

The call for abstracts is now open until the 5th of May 2023 (extended deadline!). For more information: icsc-2023.net.

Final Event MEDIATOR project, 13 April 2023, the Hague

The Horizon 2020 project MEDIATOR cordially invites you to its Final Event on Thursday the 13th of April 2023 in The Hague, the Netherlands. The event is free of charge. For more information about the programme and for the registration (before 31 March!), check the final event page at the MEDIATOR website. 

MEDIATOR worked on developing a mediating system for drivers in semi-automated and highly automated vehicles, enhancing safe, real-time switching between the human driver and the automated system. The final event includes presentations of the project’s main accomplishments, various live demonstrations, interactive discussions with scientific, industrial and policy stakeholders and a keynote speech by Richard Schram, Technical Director Euro NCAP.

Essential European road safety research lacking

In a position paper, FERSI expresses its concern that European road safety research is no longer delivering what it ought to, impeding the improvements needed to achieve the European ambitious road safety targets. The paper details how the structure of road safety research funding in Europe impacts the potential progress that can be made in European road safety ánd provides some suggestions for solutions.

Download the position paper »

PIARC World Road Congress, 2-6 October 2023, Prague

Every four years, the World Road Association PIARC organises a World Road Congress (WRC) with the aim to share techniques and experiences worldwide in the field of road infrastructures and road transport. The XXVIIth WRC will be held in Prague (Czech Republic) from 2 to 6 October 2023. Registration is open now with early bird fees valid until 5 April. For more information see wrc2023prague.org.

Season’s greetings

Every year has its ups and downs. Unfortunately, 2022 was a year with many downs: COVID was still among us with restricting measures in many countries, a war started, as did an energy crisis, hugely rising inflation, as well as increasing numbers of absent people due to physical ánd mental health issues. However, there were also several notable ups. For FERSI and other researchers an important highlight in 2022 was the increased opportunity to meet again in person after almost two years of mainly two-dimensional screen contacts. One of these opportunities was the FERSI Conference early October in The Hague, the Netherlands: a meet-up of researchers and practitioners, lots of interesting new research results and insights, great discussions, and last but not least a social gathering strengthening existing contacts and creating new ones. 

Let’s hope 2023 will bring us health, happiness and success, for our families and friends, in the world and in our pursuit to more road safety. 

TRA Special Honorary Award for Rune Elvik

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.

An inspiring FERSI conference

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.