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Apply until:

Sep 5, 2024

Funding up to:

€7 000 000

Startup; SME

If you are:

Industry:

International Education

Short description:

A European initiative to significantly enhance road safety and culture.

ExpectedOutcome:
Research results are expected to contribute to all the following outcomes:

Growing a positive traffic safety culture across the EU that supports the Vision Zero goal and the Safe System Approach, and which is in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the 2020 Stockholm Declaration, UN General Assembly Resolution and Global Plan of Action for the second decade on road safety
Remedial action against detrimental, non-temporary impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on certain road safety risk factors such as a shift from collective to individual means of transport. Facilitation of a shift to increase efficiency in road safety related public spending across Europe together with a shift towards more energy efficient mobility choices.
Development and evaluation of strategies to transform the traffic safety culture of road users and stakeholders based on a valid model that identifies the key components defining traffic safety culture, including, for example, social norms, attitudes, perceived control, values, and system assumptions (including its energy efficiency and consumption)
Concepts and guidelines to make the concept of traffic safety culture an integral part of road safety work of actors across the socio-economic systems of European societies
Better understanding of the link between road safety outcomes and safety culture; pilot implementation of road safety education at secondary school level and also for decision makers and practitioners in EU Member States/Associated countries.


Scope:
A Safe System entails the understanding and managing of all elements of the transport system, including the behaviour and interplay of its actors. Comparative analysis shows persistent differences in road safety performances between EU Member States/Associated countries. These differences may be attributable to differences in culture, which are hard to explain with classical risk models. Efforts should therefore be made to complement road safety initiatives by a safety culture perspective, i.e., the values, beliefs, priorities and viewpoints shared among groups of road users and stakeholders that influence their decisions to behave or act in ways that affect safety, while also considering energy consumption. This concept is already well established in organisational research.

Assessing road safety cultures in different national, regional or local systems, groups and organisations is believed to help understanding and explaining different patterns of risk perception and risk taking across communities and countries – and can likewise inform tailored interventions for these (sub-)cultures, which all come with their specific norms, values, beliefs and behaviours (including gender-related behavioural patterns). These interventions should address all relevant actors in the system for road transport of people and goods, and consider future developments, such as potential impacts by increasing automation levels or by the introduction of new means of road transport such as e-scooters and hoverboards.

Within this context, actions should contribute to establishing a framework for cultural transformation in road safety across the EU and thereby address all the following aspects:

Better understanding of the link between road safety outcomes and safety culture, i.e. of sociocultural factors like values, beliefs, attitudes, and norms and their effects on actual behaviour of road users (including subjective perception of safety as well as implications of value of time and institutionalised travel costs) – and the ways how these factors can be sustainably transformed.
Consideration in particular - but not exclusively - of traffic behaviour with high safety impacts, such as inadequate speed choice, distraction by communication or control devices, driving or riding under the influence of alcohol or drugs, non-use of protective devices, and risks triggered by professional drivers’ requirements to multitask and report while driving.
Assessment of safety cultures and respective activities from other transport modes such as aviation and rail and their potential for road safety.
Assessment of the interplay between shifting to more energy efficient mobility solutions and traffic safety.
Consideration of safety impacts of new technologies (including better understanding and use of Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS)) and emerging transport means and services.
Consideration of the safety impact of the increasing penetration of urban micro-mobility systems in mixed traffic scenarios and evaluation of potential safety improvements for the protection of micro-mobility users.
Stocktaking of good practices from countries and companies worldwide already successfully applying cultural approaches to (road) safety work, including countries outside of the EU such as the US and Australia.
Targeting all levels of the socio-economic systems of societies in the EU, i.e. from European to national, regional and local communities, including entities such as schools and workplaces. Also, NGOs, victims’ organisations etc. can play an important role in that regard.
Clear guidance & hands-on advice on the design and evaluation of interventions to define, measure, transform and institutionalise traffic safety culture across all areas affecting road safety – for decision-makers and practitioners, with a good geographic coverage across EU institutions, EU Member States/Associated countries. At the level of individual road users, including VRUs, such interventions may entail targeted educational and communication efforts to challenge wrong beliefs or to clarify misperceived social norms, and the use of incentives and nudging to encourage compliant behaviour. At the level of enterprises and authorities, initiatives may include the take-up of safety culture principles in sustainability reporting and encompass various activities from staff training and supervision to procurement and operations – at best permeating work culture and norms of an organisation. Advice at the level of EU Member States/Associated countries and the EU is sought on how to support such transformation such as with legislation, enforcement, and data.
At least three different pilot tests of selected interventions at various levels in different EU Member States/Associated countries.

Actions should be based on the results of previous research projects in this domain, such as the TraSaCu project, and make advances by completing and updating their theoretical foundations, teaming up with EU stakeholders and bringing their findings to life by establishing a framework for true cultural transformation in road safety both among stakeholders and road users. Making use of data that is already being collected in EU Member States/Associated countries about traffic safety culture such as the ESRA initiative (which already involves 60 countries, including over 20 European ones) and Baseline[1] project is strongly encouraged.

Special attention should be given to EU countries with lower safety performance[2]. Integration of relevant expertise from social sciences and humanities (SSH) and international cooperation with partners from the US and/or Australia is encouraged.

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