Our second Policy Brief focuses on the fact that several public authorities, from local and regional governments to the European Union (EU), are committing to ambitious goals on Road Safety. While the EU is aiming at a 50% reduction in fatalities by the end of this decade, some cities have already reached zero. This ambition is driven by a new approach, Vision Zero.
More concretely, this Policy Brief is about how i-DREAMS can offer a very important practical solution that can help those authorities start leading by example, right now and enable corporate fleet owners to advance their corporate social responsibility with concrete actions.
I dream of Zero: Enabling public fleets to lead by example – right now.
In this Policy Brief the consortium addresses the real challenge of road safety and how changes to two of the key structural factors, being infrastructure (streets and roads) and the motorized vehicles that roll in it (cars, buses, trucks, etc.) can strongly and systematically influence (and thus change) behaviour of all individuals driving those vehicles on those roads.
This requires dealing with risk at the source. Motor vehicles, due to their higher speed, larger mass and stronger structure, are the main source of risk for all road users. That is a fact. Therefore, any effective road safety strategy must acknowledge this, and prioritise reducing risk at the source.
The principle that Road Safety policy and practice must address the “3 Es” (Engineering, Enforcement and Education) has been around for a while, and remains valid. It is fundamental, however, to understand that these “3 Es” are not alternatives. They must advance together to reinforce each other. Enforcement and Education alone can do very little if the roads and the vehicles keep enabling risky behaviour.
Changing traffic behaviour is a process, which requires both strategy and leadership. Changing the infrastructure is not enough for local and regional authorities to set the scene for the behaviours of others, they must also lead by example. A critical asset is often forgotten: public fleets.
Several cases show proactive retrofitting of public fleets with Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) is possible, and is worth it. i-DREAMS developed a solution based on solid scientific evidence, leading technology, and extensive field trials on cars, buses and trucks. A solution that will be easy to retrofit into existing fleets, to improve vehicles, drivers, and fleet management. Just what local and regional authorities need to lead by example with their fleets. i-DREAMS has translated its research into a market product. Software and hardware have been intensively and successfully field tested. Success in these field tests has led participating organizations (and others) to look for permanent cooperation, to retrofit their fleets right away. The technology is solid, its practical application now available. We’re ready. It’s up to you to dream of Zero, and lead by example.