European Commission awards six most innovative and effective initiatives in 2008Brussels, 13 November 2008
The European Commission honoured six lifesaving commitments taken by various companies and organisations in different countries. FirstGroup plc (UK), the Greece A.E.K. Football Club, the MADRID ASSOCIATION OF ROADSIDE ASSISTANCE COMPANIES, the University of Ljubljana, the Qrendi Scout Group in Malta and the Braşov City Hall in Romania are awarded for their contribution to saving road accident victims on European roads.
At the Excellence Road Safety Awards ceremony on Wednesday 12 November, Mr. Antonio Tajani, Vice-President, Commissioner for Transport, European Commission, has recognized a total of six organisations in Europe for their innovative and effective initiatives contributing in different ways to the European Road Safety Charter's goal: saving 25,000 lives a year by 2010.
The six most innovative and effective initiatives carried out by the signatories of the European Road Safety Charter were awarded with the Excellence in Road Safety Awards. These organisations were recognized for their pro-active attitude and the contribution to improving road safety conditions. The award-winners in 6 different categories are:
• Large companies and multinational: FirstGroup plc is the largest surface transport operator in the United Kingdom, operating 23% of the local UK bus services and 24% of the UK rail services. They are committed to improving safety for all their employees and passengers. Their Injury Prevention Program is designed to change behaviors and engage staff.
• Small and medium sized enterprises: A.E.K. Football Club (Greece) has focused its commitment on an annual road safety education program, aimed at parents to increase their knowledge on prevention issues.
• Federations and associations: MADRID ASSOCIATION OF ROADSIDE ASSISTANCE COMPANIES (Spain) is an association of tow-truck drivers who carry out roadside assistance and rescue operations. It has addressed its commitment towards roads users, employees, entrepreneurs, officers and forces responsible for road vigilance and traffic.
• Institutions: Faculty of Civil and Geodetic Engineering, University of Ljubljana (Slovenia). Its commitment deals with prevention issues such as traffic calming; new design solutions in road design especially in the field of black spots; contemporary modern road design and contemporary modern road crossing design.
• Non-governmental organizations: Qrendi Scout Group (Malta) is a non-governmental organization for young people of ages between 5 to 18 years, belonging to forty scout groups spread throughout Malta. Their commitment educate road users and pedestrians about the proper use of our roads and highways, and the dangers and hazards that one can experience in improper use and non- observance of the Highway Code.
• Regions and cities: Braşov City Hall. Situated in the centre of Romania, Brasov is a tourist city, with a population of 283,901. It is part of the Transylvania area. Infrastructure safety is at the heart of its commitment, specifically focusing on pedestrian's security.
Mr. Antonio Tajani is delighted with the Excellence Award Winners: “These commitments reflect the plurality of signatory organisations and the diversity of the commitments that can come within the framework of the Charter. Improving road safety is a joint challenge of the European member states, national companies, local authorities and associations. I wish to congratulate the winners on the quality of their commitment and the innovative ideas that they are contributing. I also wish to thank all the signatories of the Charter for their decisive contribution to road safety: it is by combining all these efforts that the overall objective can be reached by the European Union.”
At the award ceremony, 15 European companies and organizations also signed the Charter and committed to undertake specific, measurable road accident prevention measures. The list of new signatories reflects the diversity of the stakeholders who have already signed the Charter:
• Asigurarea Romaneasca ASIROM – Vienna Insurance Group (Romania)
• Belgacom (Belgium)
• Brembo S.p.A: (Italy)
• British Telecommunications plc (UK)
• Cimpor Indústria de Cimentos, SA (Portugal)
• DHL Express (Ireland) Limited (Ireland)
• General Lab (Spain)
• ILPAP (Greece)
• Kamenitza AD (Bulgaria)
• Novartis Internacional (Switzerland)
• Red Bull International (Austria)
• Slovenská televízia – Slovak Television (Slovakia)
• Slovenske zeleznice (Slovenia)
• TAP Portugal (Portugal)
• The Electricity Supply Board (Ireland)
By December 2008, more than 1,200 companies of all sizes, local authorities and associations in 27 countries have signed the Charter and undertaken commitments, providing a concrete response to the road safety problems they encounter in their daily work and lives. Safety on European Roads has become an essential focal point and responsibility of many European companies with the Charter as the driving force.