Project RADAR – Risk Assessment on Danube Area Roads – was part of the 4th International Stakeholder Conference called ‘The Danube Region Transport Days 2018’, which was held on December 4 and 5, 2018, in Ljubljana, Slovenia.
A well-attended stakeholder conference (120 participants from 17 countries) was organized by the Slovenian Ministry of Infrastructure in cooperation with EIRA-EuroRAP and UNECE.
The conference aimed to bring together transport community to exchange and share their experiences, results and ideas on all aspects of transport in the Danube macro-region. Moreover, the conference’s aim was to strengthen cooperation between transport stakeholders in the Danube macro-region to jointly address the challenges associated with implementation of existing transport policy activities.
As the main organizer of this year's conference, Franc Žepič, coordinator of the priority area 1b, says coordinating the work of the representatives of the fourteen countries is extremely demanding. However, the role of coordination of the priority area is an important opportunity for Slovenia to become a place of networking and coordinating interests in the region.
State Secretary of the Ministry, Nina Mauhler, stressed that the EU Strategy for the Danube Region is making an important contribution to raising the prosperity of the region. "Since the strategy was introduced in 2011, some of the already launched projects have gained momentum. ... It also gives the strategy the possibility of a different, broader view of the transport system. Governments in transport infrastructure tend to think firstly of their citizens. However, it should be borne in mind that inter-state projects are also important for increasing mobility."
During the 2-day conference, project RADAR was presented by Lead Partner, Olivera Djordjević, European Institute for Road Assessment – EuroRAP (EIRA – EuroRAP), Sanja Leš, University of Zagreb, Faculty of Transport and Traffic Sciences (FPZ), and Nina Petrič, Automobile and Motorcycle Association of Slovenia (AMZS).
The presentation of the RADAR project not only included its current activities and outputs, but it was also presented as a project that is built on a successful SEE SENSoR project. SENSoR developed the concepts of Risk Mapping, Star Rating of road safety and Safer Roads Investment Plans of selected countermeasures and their benefit cost ratios from a road survey of 19,000 km in SEE using Road Assessment Programme methodology. SENSoR demonstrated that it is possible to provide a “birds eye” view of network safety in the region.
RADAR includes practical application of that, and strengthens the approach by:
- greater transnational engagement between road authorities;
- improved knowledge at the operational level through training on documents and tools available in national languages, and presenting ready-to-procure safety improvement opportunities for road authorities, providing a platform for networking
- and finally, a strategy and country-specific Action Plans.
The successfulness of the Risk Mapping methodology and Star Rating of road safety was also confirmed by RADAR project Associated Strategic Partner, Mr. Radu Rogovei, Head of Department at the Ministry of Economy and Infrastructure of Moldova. He explained that before using the RAP methodology on the roads of Moldova, the roads were poor quality with poor markings and signs and very poor pavement and lack of run-off protection. Although most roads had safety fencing, they were poorly made. The roads were used by mixed traffic and thus very dangerous for all road users, especially for vulnerable road users. Not only there were no speed reduction measures, the pedestrians’ footways were poor quality with few or none pedestrian crossings. After applying Risk Mapping and Star Rating methodology, the roads are now three or more-star roads. Not only are they safer, they are more forgiving and less dangerous for vulnerable roads users, as well.
The conference ended just the way it started – in the hopes of using transnational cooperation to save more lives on roads in the Danube area. The Danube Region Transport Days 2018 were concluded under the impression that once everyone’s involved in looking for solutions to improve roads and safety on roads, the results follow.