European Road Safety Charter
RESPECT our way of Embracing Life
The European Road Safety Charter is a European participatory platform made up of enterprises, associations, research institutions and public authorities. These actors undertake to carry out concrete actions and share their good practices in order to resolve the road safety problems that they encounter in their day-to-day environments. The objective of the Charter is to help reduce road fatalities. The Charter has more than 1.450 signatories.
As of February 11, 2009 the University of Nicosia has joined the largest road safety community in Europe in order to voice its concern, but at the same time act upon resolving the road safety problems on the island.
In order to do this the University of Nicosia has already planned a series of actions and has kicked off with the following:
European Night without Accidents [ENWA]
ENWA is an awareness campaign organised each year in nightclubs all over Europe on the 3rd Saturday of October. In each nightclub, a team of youngsters welcomes the drivers at the entrance and encourages them to take up a responsible attitude behind the wheel. The action takes place in two phases. First, the volunteers encourage each group to choose a “designated driver”, who agrees to make a promise: he commits himself to remain sober when he enters behind the wheel of his vehicle. The volunteers ask them to wear a bracelet to be recognizable.
When the “designated drivers” leave the nightclub, they have the opportunity to undergo a breath analysis to check if they have honoured their commitment. If this is the case, the “designated drivers” are rewarded with small presents offered by our partners and sponsors. If this is not the case, we encourage the person to leave his/her car on the side or to hand the keys to a friend who did not drink any alcohol.
In a limited number of nightclubs the volunteers will also ask the drivers to undergo a drug test to show their friends that they are clean drivers.
The goal is not to be repressive or to spread a negative message; on the contrary the volunteers always try to go into the discussion with the group in order to find the most reasonable solution to arrive home safely.
The most important aim of the ENWA is to draw young people’s attention to the importance of the responsible driving and to let fall down the number of the accidents in which young people are involved. The method is to insist on the necessity of modifying the driver’s behavior, it is the only way to obtain permanent results. In a long term, a positive approach of the problem gets better results.The expected impact is that every youngster picks a designated driver before going out in a party.
Citizens Free University, Road Safety Awareness – Director of the Traffic Department (Operation and Administration) of the Cyprus Police Headquarters Demetris Demetriou and Mr. Marios Mavrikios Coordinated by Mr. Anthos I. Shekeris
Thursday 11 March 2010, UNESCO Amphitheatre, University of Nicosia
Tamasos Cultural Association and the Citizens Free University, UNic, Road Safety Awareness – Mr. Marios Mavrikios and Mr. Anthos I. Shekeris
17 December 2009, Agia Paraskevi Meeting Room, Ergates
Road Safety – ‘Road Safety Awareness Campaign’ – an event co-organized by the University of Nicosia, the Ministry of Education & Culture, the Cyprus Police and the “George M. Mavrikios” Foundation for Road Consciousness held on Thursday, 26 November 2009 (10:00-12:00). The event was designed as an open forum whereby over 100 high school students, following a brief presentation of the results of ENWA and a brief from the “Giorgos Mavrikios” Road Safety Awareness Institute, were invited to give in their ideas with regards to road safety and campaigns. Following this, two workshops were held whereby students had the opportunity to:
- drive a vehicle ‘under the influence of alcohol’ using a simulator and
- participate in a forum on the effects of alcohol on the human body.
Road traffic injuries are one of the leading causes for Disability Adjusted Life-Years. Alcohol and drug consumption are leading risk factors. Communicable diseases like HIV/AIDS are also becoming a threat to the health of young adults.
HEROES aims to bring together youth volunteer organizations in preventive health care and health promotion, particularly HIV/AIDS prevention, alcohol and drug prevention, road safety organizations, universities and other institutes working with young adult students and peer educators, to exchange working methods and share good practices on awareness raising for adolescents and young adults and addressing risk and protective factors with an impact on lifestyles and behaviours.
The partners in the project, half of whom work in preventive health care or health promotion and the other half in road safety promotion, will create integrated best practice campaign materials, linking approaches from preventive health care and health promotion to those of road safety and integrating approaches across several health determinants. A virtual network of volunteers, students and peer educators will be developed, will be informed about campaigns organized in other countries and in other domains, and will be trained to apply top quality activities cross-sectorally.
The use of the campaign materials developed in the project will give the activities of the volunteers, students and peer educators a high visibility and add to their cost effectiveness, as the volunteers will work for free. Attention will also be paid to wider socio-economic considerations and to the reduction of health inequalities. Synergies with other activities co-funded by the European Commission (DG TREN, Youth programs etc) and other institutions conveying risk and protective factors with an impact on lifestyles and behaviours will be taken into account.