TISPOL Bulletin 15 November 2016
European review of Project EDWARD
The Project EDWARD initiative on 21 September was widely supported by the European Commission, with a wide range of events and initiatives taking place across Europe. Do take a look at their recently published newsletter which gives details of what Project EDWARD set out to achieve, and showcases some of those events that contributed to its overall impact.
Road safety: a personal choice
In its most recent Road Safety newsletter, The European Commission published an interview with TISPOL General Secretary Ruth Purdie. Here's the abridged version, or you can find the full edition in the Newsletter
As a former police officer, Ruth Purdie has personal experience of attending many road traffic collisions and having to deal with the aftermath. As General Secretary of TISPOL (European Traffic Police Network), she is clear about the issue of road safety and what needs to change for improvement.
“Road safety is not just a European issue, it is a global issue,” she says. “Some 70 people lose their lives on EU roads every day. Road traffic incidents are the most significant cause of death in males under 25.”
Road incidents are also huge life-changing events for the victims and their families and friends. Having to visit a family and break the news of the death of a son or daughter is one of the worst jobs for a police officer. “No parent expects to have to bury a child,” Ruth Purdie adds.
Although EDWARD was initially seen as a one-off event, the TISPOL General Secretary is now keen to continue the initiative. “EDWARD is all about raising awareness and this first event has really worked well and gathered significant momentum. It would be good to keep it going,” she says. “We will quickly evaluate the results and, if the case is good, I will recommend that we organise further events in 2017 and 2018.
“After all, EDWARD is all about preventing death and serious injuries on the road,” Purdie continues. “And responsible personal behaviour by all road users – drivers, cyclists, pedestrians and passengers – is key to making a change and ensuring that road deaths and injuries in Europe start to decrease again. Awareness-raising activities like EDWARD are essential to inform and motivate people to change and show more respect to other road users. If we save just one life today it has been worth it.”
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