TISPOL STRIDER Road Safety Seminar Riga, Latvia 21st April 2015

The TISPOL STRIDER Road Safety Project took place in the small town of Jurmala near Riga, Latvia on Tuesday 21st April 2015.

The seminar was very well attended with 98 delegates consisting of TISPOL road policing officers from 28 member countries and Latvia.

The seminar was opened and chaired by the chairperson Zsofia Szasz of the Hungarian National Police.

The first speaker was Ints Kuzis the Head of the National Latvian Police. He welcomed all delegates to Latvia.

He explained Latvia had been an active member of TISPOL for last 5 years, during which time they had seen good successes in the reduction of road deaths. Unfortunately last year had shown an increase in this trend. He looked to the support of TISPOL members in terms of best practice to assist Latvia to get back on the right track and improve the current situation.

Mr. Anrijis Martis, Minister Transport explained that Latvia had good road safety record of consistent reductions in the last years. Recently the situation has worsened. He assured the seminar that the Latvian Government is working to bring about the improvement of long term education, improved road infrastructure and support effective enforcement on the road to redress the current negative position in collisions and road deaths.

Ms Evika Silna Under Secretarty from the Ministry of Interior stated the there had been an 18% increase in road deaths last year in Latvia. This must change and there was alot of work to do. The priorities are to protect vulnerable road users, enforcement of seatbelt wearing and child restraints, speeding and drunk driving.There are plans to increase the penalties for these road traffic offences.

Artiss Velss the Deputy Head of the National Latvian Police explained that Latvia was following the TISPOL road policing model of combining road safety and policing of criminals and other police tasks on the road.

Data of road fatalities in Latvia shows that the increase of road deaths is mainly with passengers in cars and also vulnerable road users. Programmes were in place to deal with this. He presented one campaign 'be visible', urging pedestrians to wear reflective material vests when on or near the road during darkness..

Ellen Townsend from the European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) presented an overview of the current road safety situation in Europe with key facts and figures. She also discussed the European Commission Mid Term Review of the Road Safety Orientations and Transport White Paper.

Other speakers followed as per the attached programme and powerpoint files below.