Project EDWARD: support from across Europe

Published Mon, 30/09/2019 - 06:14


On Thursday the 19th of September, the Highway Police organized a traffic control operation for the Edward Road trip in Ruisbroek near Brussels, which was visited by EU transport Commissioner Violeta Bulc and Road Safety Coordinator Matthew Baldwin.
On EDWARD day officers organised a traffic control operation on the highways in each province. These operations were oriented to the known killers : speeding, no seat belt, driving under the influence, and use of mobile phones.
Local police officers paid special attention to traffic safety and these known killers all day today.


Police in Bulgaria ran a National Road Safety Campaign together with main stakeholders and partners - governmental and non-governmental organizations. 
During the campaign officers completed a 24 hour speed control on the highways, and main roads to big cities and other populated areas across the whole country.


Enforcement activities focused on the most serious traffic offences which causes fatal and injury collisions: speeding, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, not wearing seat belts or helmets and other serious offences. Police forces across Croatia conducted enforcement operations all day. Each of the 20 Police Administrations have made their own plan to cover locations which are statistically recognised as places where more traffic collisions happen.  



Project EDWARD was included in the 3rd Limassol Motor Show & Motion. There have already been education programmes, and the target on EDWARD day was to inform and sensitize the drivers to the consequences of not obeying speed limits. During the campaign, speeding drivers were stopped by the Police, and invited to watch a short film, showing how even an additional speed of 5 kilometres an hour may be fatal.

Additionally, lectures were presented to road users with the co-operation of other Organizations, and police activities include TV broadcasts and announcements.   


There was a terrific launch event for the 2019 road trip in the capital, Prague, on Monday the 16th of September. Officers prepared a presentation of Project EDWARD and have been carrying out prevention actions all through September. Two officers were interviewed on national television on launch day, then went to the launch event where special statues had been erected of pedestrians who had been killed in Prague in 2018. All services from the city’s integrated emergency system took part – what a brilliant start to 


Denmark, Estonia and Finland are supporting Project EDWARD: 
In Denmark a police press release has been issued, as well as social media updates. 

In Finland also, there will be support through police communications channels. Students at the police university also produced a Project EDWARD video – in Finnish and English.

And Estonia has confirmed its participation.  


Gendarmerie Squadrons across France the country supported Project EDWARD. There was also an opportunity to receive a personal message of support last week from Interministerial Road Safety Delegate Emmanuel Barbe at Gendarmerie Headquarters. Also present were representatives of the FIA, Michelin and Volvo. 

France has made a fantastic contribution to our awareness-raising efforts on social media by engaging with rally star Sebastian Loeb – who has recorded a video message of support for Project EDWARD. 



Most of the16 federal states of Germany supported Project EDWARD in social media. There were several actions in September and at EDWARD DAY all over Germany. 
The road trip stopped in Mainz, in Rhineland-Palatinate state, and at the Nürburgring.
Germany has once again produced a fantastic EDWARD Video 2019 that’s on the EDWARD website. Whatever you do – please don’t miss it!



The focus in Hungary was on protecting pedestrians.  Officers had controls in towns and cities at pedestrian crossings. A campaign was running at schools about the main pedestrian traffic rules for them – including why they shouldn't use a mobile phone or headphones during road crossing.  
Some police already started a campaign against using mobile phone or headphones during roadcrossing… and other officers painted some warning signs at the pedestrian crossings. 
It was Road Safety Week in Hungary as well, and officers are encouraging road users to accept the elements of the Edward pledge. 


Ireland was of course our event host nation, and there was a cross border enforcement operation taking place with An Garda Siochana and the Police Service of Northern Ireland 
RTE’s CrimeCall TV programme featured Sergeant Dreek Cloughley explaining how road users everywhere could get behind Project EDWARD. 
As well as hosting the Symposium, Ireland wholeheartedly embraced EDWARD – with significant media support, lots of information at public events, and even radio advertisements encouraging everyone to make their EDWARD pledge. 
Inspector Peter Woods of An Garda Siochana joined the road trip across Europe,, and was also involved with the cross border trip in Ireland.
Additionally, all motorway signage has been highlighting EDWARD day and the entire Safety Camera Van fleet was deployed today at identified 'hotspots'.



•16-22 September for the entire week, on the occasion of the European mobility week, information activities in schools were organized to illustrate Project EDWARD. 
•During 26 September there were controls for speed, seat belt, baby seat, use of helmet, use of phone.
•Particular attention was focused on vulnerable users    (motorcyclists, cyclists and pedestrians)

•820 check points with 767 patrols
•6351  vehicles controlled: 6351   
•Speed Control 968 offences detected by officers and 1427 automatic detections 
•273 mobile phone offences, 273 seatbelt offences and 687 helmet offences


In Latvia, road traffic monitoring and patrol units, as well as precinct inspectors, were involved in road traffic control to increase police presence on roads.  Officers were focusing on protecting the most vulnerable road users, and explaining to drivers the risks which arise in situations where road traffic regulations are neglected.  
Information on the planned police activity was reported by local media throughout the day to raise public awareness of the campaign.



The Lithuanian Traffic Police Service supported Project EDWARD with the main idea that road safety concerns all traffic users, and that awareness is one of the main issues to get perfect results in the field of traffic safety.   
The Police have organised a series of activities. Private and public entities as well as civil society have been mobilized to contribute by sharing the safe traffic message – this is done by signing the pledge on TISPOL's website.
Road safety activities were carried out during European Mobility Week. 
The focus was on enforcement. 



In Luxembourg, there was an increased presence of police officers on the main road networks - specifically in locations where there have been lots of collisions or particularly serious incidents. Also, in the weeks and days before EDWARD, the social media team have been regularly sharing Twitter posts… and are also active on Facebook.



On TISPOL’s recommendation, the Malta Automobile Club launched the countdown to Project EDWARD on the first of September, publishing a different short message and an image every day on a particular issue on its page on Facebook.   In the first week, the Club covered speed, parking, drugs, tyres, phones and texting, and tailgating. In the second week the Club covered servicing, children, seatbelts, pedestrians, wipers, weather conditions, and food. In the third week, the Club covered motorcyclists, grooming, lights, insurance, social media and distractions, speeding, and cyclists. In EDWARD week the Club covered brakes, drinking, blue light and emergencies, anger and frustration, vulnerability, and fatigue, which the Club missed in the first week.    



Over in the Netherlands, all the 11 police units  conducted coordinated controls today – their focus was on driver distractions. One innovative way officers detect distracted drivers is by travelling on a coach. Last week alone, officers travelling in the coach detected 740 mobile phone violations and reported the offenders to colleagues following in unmarked patrol cars.



In Norway, we gave the Norwegian police a challenge of taking the EDWARD banner as far north as they could – and we thought they had done us proud by revealing it at the North Cape, the highest point of mainland Europe. But was that far enough? Oh no – because the banner went from there to Svalbard, and the world’s northernmost roads, just 1200km from the North Pole.



Across in Poland, all 17 regional headquarters participated in Project EDWARD. Officers identified the most appropriate activities and organised their own enforcement, and as in previous years the focus was on the main causes of collisions. 



All over Romania there were Project EDWARD activities taking place. Each county had the opportunity to organise its own activities, campaigns and enforcement.



In Slovenia, the Police, the Road safety Agency and the Inspectorate of Infrastructure had two events. On the Highway A5 (near the Hungarian border), they prepared a Multi Agency Control checkpoint, hosting colleagues from Hungary, Croatia, the Czech Republic and Germany. There was also an education event at the Safe Driving Center in Murska Sobota. High school students participated. And the speakers were Ivan Kapun, chief of Traffic Police, and Vesna Marinko, acting director of the Road safety Agency.



Officers across Spain have been very active in support for EDWARD - Mainly using social media from Guardia Civil and also from the Directorate General of Traffic. Officers also made a Road Trip in a badged up EDWARD car, going from Madrid to Toledo, Avila and Segovia. In Toledo they joined the huge cycle race - la Vuelta Ciclista a Espana.
Most branches of the Guardia Civil were involved – the Helicopter Unit, Sea Rescue Teams, Nature Protection Unit, Explosive Detector Teams... and mounted officers too. 


Forces across all the United Kingdom have joined EDWARD with great enthusiasm. In Dyfed-Powys there was speed control in Llyswen, the village where EDWARD was created – and a great event at the school where children linked in to European Transport Commissioner Violeta Bulc and Deputy Director General Matthew Baldwin.
Road trip activity took place in Thames Valley, Metropolitan, West Midlands, Greater Manchester, West Yorkshire – with many other forces supporting with enforcement and engagement activity. 
Police Scotland organised a packed day on Monday – with ministerial support – and we were able to work alongside Michelin at as road check near Edinburgh. 
On EDWARD day there was extensive community speedwatch and other enforcement activity taking place.