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Conclusions 1ª International Road Safety Day

Island of La Palma, 13 and 14 May 2003

New approaches in establishing Integrated Road Safety Plans

Madrid, July 2003.-

1. The accident traffic has become one of the most serious problems of health of modern societies and, although efforts and resources devoted to improving road safety have increased significantly over recent years in all the Western countries, there is still a long way to go in this field.

According to the European Parliament, they die each year on the roads of the Union 42.000 people, and 1,7 million are injured in varying degrees. An indentation whose socio-economic cost exceeds € 160.000 million, almost 2% of gross domestic product Community.

In Spain and last year 4.026 killed in road accidents, serious injuries and 1.958 1.918 minor were counted in a total of 3.434 casualties.

2. These figures contain an almost unquantifiable human, social and economic drama, a drama that requires urgent and effective measures. In this sense, collaboration between the various administrations that have some responsibility for road material (both as regards the infrastructure itself and in terms of road traffic and vehicles) is emerging as an essential formula for achieving positive results in safety vial.

3. Furthermore, the development of methodologies and technical procedures applicable to both infrastructure and the vehicle, and the generalization of new telematics technologies in the field of road transport are lines of work that contribute to high levels of security. The Directorate General of Traffic and other administrations are making significant efforts in this regard.

4. Another tool that has been showing highly effective in the fight against road accidents are comprehensive plans for road safety, which begin to be developed in the seventies under the auspices of the OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development).

5. However, in recent years it can be seen, along with a certain slowness in the development and implementation of these plans, a lack of conceptual consistency in content derived from the different methodologies that each country uses for its preparation. The careful analysis of all current plans or completed, it can be concluded that those who yield higher levels of success are those that have been quantified objectives and management strategies have been introduced.

6. But differences in both theoretical and practical aspects are not found only in programs from different countries. In the Spanish case, some autonomous communities have made in their comprehensive plans road safety methodologies to overcome, from the technical point of view, even those who handled the OECD itself, some important objectives such as the cases of the Basque Country (reduce the number of deaths in 20 2006% up) and Catalonia (one 15% decline in three years), and many with excellent results, such as Valencia.

In this sense, the Higher Council for Traffic Safety and Road Traffic, an organization that has been working on improving safety since 1976 can and should evolve in the future to become the highest organ of coordination in the definition of methodologies for the preparation of such plans.

7. Road safety audits are presented as a good management mechanism. In what concerns the construction of new roads, this procedure can be implemented at a fairly reasonable cost (about 10% of the total cost of the work), with relative ease in the short term, and therefore different policies are geared of the European Commission's accident.

As for the roads already in service, the introduction of this management system would be slower, although it is perfectly feasible.

8. Moreover, during the conference it has shown that the regulatory aspects that affect traffic are essential for road safety, but not enough.

9. It is necessary to combine many other factors, and in this sense, the Media can play a determining social awareness of the issue paper. A good example is the new Spanish TV programs monothematic, with an audience of six million viewers daily.

10. The island of La Palma has joined this current accident reduction through actions on all fronts. Thus, in addition to increased investment in infrastructure-a very important initiative but insufficient by itself if it is not accompanied by actions on other aspects, the Zero Mortality Plan of the Island of La Palma includes the user as an active element process safety improvement, socializing, thus, the problem of traffic accidents.

At this point it should be remembered that the roads of La Palma have levels similar to those of the Netherlands, UK and Sweden security.

11. Security plans as it develops in La Palma can address the problem holistically, involving society as a whole, in the public and private sectors.

12. The direct and active user involvement in comprehensive plans road safety is critical to their success, a premise that has taken into consideration a number of Spanish authorities in whose territories are launched such initiatives.

13. Currently, the world is experiencing the road quick and decisive transformations, and we must seize this historic opportunity to give a radical of the general conditions of accessibility, mobility and safety rotation.

14. The whole society and all its institutions, public and private, are facing at this moment an extraordinary challenge to reduce road accidents. I hope that in the near future we will witness the success of this company.

Aniceto Zaragoza Ramirez
Director General of the Spanish Road Association
rapporteur General

Asociación Española de la Carretera
Goya, 23 - 4º Right.
28001 - MADRID (Spain)
Tel .: (34) 91 5779972
E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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