Project EDWARD 2018: the formal countdown begins today

Published Fri, 06/07/2018 - 13:30

  • European Day Without A Road Death takes place this year on Wednesday 19 September.
  • Police urge everyone to reflect on one simple question: What can I do for road safety today?
  • On average, 70 people still lose their lives on the roads of Europe every day

 

Ministers, policymakers and road safety professionals will join senior police officers in Dublin today (Friday 6 July) for the launch of the countdown to this year’s Project EDWARD – the European Day Without A Road Death. 

Organised by TISPOL, the European Traffic Police Network, Project EDWARD seeks to bring together everyone with an interest in reducing the number of people killed on our roads. 

The first Project EDWARD took place on 21 September 2016, and ran again on 21 September 2017. On both days, 43 road deaths were recorded across Europe, compared with a daily average of 70. 

Additionally, the #ProjectEDWARD hashtag enjoyed widespread support on social media, trending in most European countries and even on a global scale for a short time.

This year Project EDWARD will take place on Wednesday 19 September and has the support of 28 European countries, as well as European Transport Commissioner Violeta Bulc and an increasing number of partners from the public and private sectors.

TISPOL General Secretary Ruth Purdie commented: “A day without a road death is of course the vision we should strive for every day, not just on 19 September. But we have seen that Project EDWARD is a simple yet highly effective awareness-raiser, whether or not we achieve zero deaths on the day itself.

“Casualty reduction must remain a priority for all national governments. There were some excellent reductions in road deaths and serious injuries in the first decade of this century, but they have largely stalled in the past five years. It is therefore vital that we re-focus our attention on the efforts needed to bring about significant and long-lasting reductions.    

“We believe strongly in the value of setting targets, and we believe that the support from all industry sectors and from individuals can make a massive difference in reducing the number of people killed and seriously injured on our roads.   

“We need to make clear that a zero figure on 19 September is very unlikely. But if we aim for zero and end up with a daily tally far below the European average of 70 fatalities, then Project EDWARD will have succeeded, and will add further weight to the real value of casualty reduction targets.”

“So we urge drivers, riders, pedestrians, cyclists and other road users can pause for a moment on 19 September to reflect on one simple question:

What can I do for road safety today?

“We ask every road user to consider ways they can reduce risk and improve safety, to help us achieve that ultimate goal of no deaths on Europe’s roads.

“Please support Project EDWARD, sign the pledge and challenge all your friends to do the same. Together, we can deliver.”

Ireland’s Transport Minister Shane Ross TD offered his support for Project EDWARD at the Dublin launch today. “I would really encourage everyone to get behind this year’s European Day Without a Road Death (Project EDWARD), to be held on 19September 2018. Project EDWARD is an opportunity for road users across Europe to work together to aim for one day where there is no loss of life.

“Last year it brought the whole of Europe together in one concerted effort to reduce road deaths. This year let’s make it a record breaking road safety event in Europe and save more lives. You can pledge your support on projectedward.eu.”

Chief Superintendent Aidan Reid, Roads Policing said:- “We would ask every road user to support this year’s Project EDWARD. Simply go online to make The Project EDWARD road safety pledge. Every one of these pledges help to save lives, no matter how you use the roads.

“Although this is a mainly educational initiative, there will be an enforcement plan being put in place, assisted by the 87 recently appointed Roads Policing members. It will be advertised heavily in advance so please take this opportunity to reflect on how you act on the roads and avoid any penalties or incidents.

“Last year, there were zero fatalities in Ireland, and we wish for this to continue not only on Project EDWARD day, but every day.”

Also supporting TISPOL and Project EDWARD is Ireland’s Road Safety Authority, whose Chief Executive Moyagh Murdock said that road users across Ireland were happy to get behind the initiative. 

Speaking at today’s launch, she said: “Independent research by Behaviour & Attitudes for the RSA this year has shown that there is great public support and good will out there to campaigns like Project EDWARD. In fact of those who were aware of last year’s European Day Without a Road Death, almost three quarters said the initiative was effective in influencing people to drive safer. 

“Raising greater awareness of Project EDWARD and getting more people to sign up to the online pledgethis year are our main goals. Hopefully we will repeat last year’s success of having no deaths on Ireland’s roads on 19 September 2018!”