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Road Safety Conference in Halkida, Greece

A United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) conference on Improving Global Road Safety: Setting Regional and National Road Traffic Casualty Reduction Targets was organized in Halkida, Greece, on 25-26 June 2009.

The Conference was hosted by the Evia Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Hellenic Chambers Transport Association, with the support of the Hellenic Ministry of Transport and Communications.

Road traffic safety has become a major global social, economic, development and health concern. Only in Europe as much as 127.000 people die every year and 2.4 millions more are injured or disabled causing, in addition to human suffer, overwhelming costs amounting to 1.5 to 2.5 % of Europe’s GDP.

Despite some progress in recent years, South Eastern European countries are still suffering from high numbers of causalities on the road.

The large majority of road traffic crashes are caused by factors that are known and can be prevented. These include excess speeding; driving under the influence of alcohol; non-use of seat belts, child restraints and helmets; non respect for vulnerable road users, such as pedestrians and cyclists; and unsafe road infrastructure.

Around 150 representatives from the public and private sectors as well as civil society from South-Eastern European countries* and numerous road safety institutions and research centres, such as the FIA Foundation, the Global Road Safety Partnership and the European Commission, came together to present issues, views and strategies to improve the situation.

A special panel, formed by the players of the Greek national basketball team, the Hellenic Basketball Federation and FIBA Europe, promoted “Fair Play” and “Team work” as a way of ensuring safe roads across Greece and elsewhere. Stressing the importance of adhering to rules that promote fairness and safety – whether it is on the basketball court or on the road – the basketball champions signed a declaration for road safety and committed to support this cause.

The representatives of the Hellenic Chambers of Commerce and Industry participating in the conference also adopted a Declaration, in which they resolve to support UNECE work and use their network in Greece to support promotional campaigns, raise awareness and advocate for safer roads.

Lessons learned and recommendations

  • Many road safety initiatives and practices can be implemented at low cost and within a short time frame. These actions should be shared with relevant ministries (transport, health, education, communication)
  • Good national statistics are essential to quantifying and assessing the problem as well as measuring the impact of action taken
  • Road traffic casualty reduction targets should be set to optimize costs and results
  • Political will and commitment are essential to secure resources
  • International cooperation and knowledge-sharing should be strengthened taking into account the needs of low- and middle-income countries
  • Governments are encouraged to actively participate in the decision-making process in the UNECE Working Party on Road Traffic Safety (WP.1) to help develop road safety conventions and share best practices
  • Results of this and other conferences in UNDA Target Project series should be included in the final report to be communicated to the Global Ministerial Conference on Road Safety in Moscow, November 2009.

* Delegations from the Ministries of Transport, Public Works, Interior, Health and Education from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Turkey, as well as France, Italy, and the Netherlands.

Programme   English PDF Greek PDF
Team Work and Fair Play on Basketball Courts and on Our Roads - Statement by the Greek National Basketball Champions   English PDF Greek PDF
Declaration by the Hellenic Chambers of Commerce and Industry   English PDF

Greek PDF

Final report      
Conclusions and Recommendations   English PDF

Greek PDF

Press Releases      
29 June 2009: Greek basketball champions call for safer roads (ECE/TRANS/09/P06)
19 June 2009: UNECE warns that South-Eastern Europe risks missing its road safety target (ECE/TRANS/09/P05)
Basketball Declaration Poster    
Image     Image     Image
Opening Speeches    
Director, Transport Division, United Nations Economic Commission for Europe
  English PDF
President, Chania Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Vice-President
Hellenic Chambers Transport Association
  English PDF
  Greek PDF
Item 1 - The global road traffic safety context    
Deputy Director General, FIA Foundation, Coordinator of the Make Roads Safe Campaign
  English PDF
Chief, Transport Facilitation and Economics Section, Transport Division, UNECE
  English PDF
Orthodox Center of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, Chambesy, Switzerland
Item 2 - Road traffic safety in Europe      
Mrs. Virginia TANASE
Transport Facilitation and Economics Section, Transport Division, UNECE
  English PDF
Mr. Mario VILAR
Field Officer at the Representation of the European Commission in Greece
  English PDF
South East Europe Transport Observatory (SEETO)
  English PDF
Item 3 - Road traffic safety in Greece      
Mrs. Evagelia TSAGA
Director General, Ministry of Transport and Communications, Greece
  Greek PDF
Mr. Konstantinos KOUMANTANOS
General, Chief Commander, Traffic Police of the Central Greece Region
  Greek PDF
Mr. Yannis GOLLIAS
Professor, National Technical University of Athens
Mr. Ioannis HANDANOS
President, Hellenic Institute of Transport Engineers
Mr. Antonis KASTIS
Road Traffic Safety Observatory, Technical Chamber of Greece
  English PDF
Road Safety Institute Panos Mylonas, Athens
  English PDF
Item 4 - Road traffic safety in South-Eastern Europe      
Mr. Anton DUSHEV
Ministry of the Interior, Bulgaria
  English PDF
Ministry of the Interior, Croatia
  English PDF
Undersecretary of State, Ministry of Health, Romania
  English PDF
Mr. Huseyin SIMSEK
Superintendent, Ministry of the Interior, DG Turkish National Police, Ankara, Turkey
  English PDF
Ms. Juna KOTE
Chief of Foreign Relations Sector, Directorate of Foreign Relations and Public Information, Ministry of Public Works, Transport and Telecommunication,  Albania
  English PDF
Assistant Minister, Ministry of Communication and Transport, Bosnia and Herzegovina
  English PDF
Advisor, Ministry of Maritime Affairs, Transportation and Telecommunications, Montenegro
  English PDF
Mr. Dragoslav KUKIC
Police Officer in Traffic Police Department, Ministry of the Interior, Serbia
  English PDF 
Head of the Division for Road Infrastructure, Ministry of Transport and Communications, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia
  English PDF
Item 5 - Road traffic safety in South-Eastern Europe      
Mrs. Luciana IORIO
Italy, Chair UNECE Working Party on Road Traffic Safety (WP.1)
  English (part 1) PDF
  English (part 2) PDF
Mrs. Nelly ALAND
Mrs. Sophie FOUVEZ
Regional Adviser, Transport Division, United Nations Economic Commission for Europe
  English PDF
Mrs.  Kate McMAHON
Coordinator, United Nations Project on Setting Road Traffic Casualty Reduction Targets
  English PDF
Ms. Kathleen ELSIG
Regional Manager Europe and Central Asia, Global Road Safety Partnership (GRSP)
  English PDF
Road Assessment Project (iRAP)
Mrs.  Brigitte CHAUDHRY
President, European Federation of Road Traffic Victims (FEVR)
  English PDF
President, Hellenic Association of Safe Transport