Dekra is an International company who plays a very important role in road safety. Do you think it could be possible to find a synergy with European driving teachers or instructors? If yes, in which field?
- DEKRA is committed to Road Safety since its creation 90 years ago. We are willing to work together with other actors involved in the increase of safety, especially since we signed the EU Road Safety Charter more than 10 years ago.
In our view, education is a key element to improve the behavior of drivers on the road. This is also true for young pedestrians, who are in appearance not active as drivers, but impacted by bad behaviors. Education to road safety should start at the first stage. In this context, we already work together with several driving schools and it would be in any case useful to involve, at EU-level, several driving teachers and instructors in prevention campaigns, in order to sensibilise to a better behavior on the roads.
The last spring we met at the “Final Stakeholder CPC Conference” on periodical training. Do you think that this first experience produced any benefits to the road safety? Have you any changes to propose?
- It is necessary to see whether the European Commission will decide or not to proceed to a complete review of Directive 2003/59. But there seems to be a consensus, which we share as well, that some updates, in a way or another, are needed. Our current legislative framework was settled more than ten years ago.
You are right by pointing out that this directive is above all about road safety. Education is, as we said, a fundamental mean to achieve the ambitious reduction of accidents and road fatalities.
Through the two EU-funded projects ProfDRV and ICT-DRV, DEKRA has, together with other partners, identified several solutions for a future reform of the CPC. In our view, it is important to focus on the learning-outcome oriented approach rather than just on a simple amount of hours to be achieved. A common learning outcomes based standards taking into account EQF (European Qualifications Framework) levels is necessary at EU-level.
The implementation of Directive 2003/59 has been carried out in the Member States in such a way that it is very difficult to compare the qualification level from a Member State to another. The initial CPC is very heterogeneous and the periodic training is very limited. If the European Union wishes to increase the mobility of professional drivers then it is necessary to ensure that the outcome of qualification and training can be compared.
Now, we are waiting with impatience to see which decisions are going to be taken in the next months.
In your recent Congress on elderly drivers you have shown how the risks for these users elevates. This is a European task. In Italy we have the periodic medical check, but we think that the fit to drive is not enough to obtain a significant road accident reduction. More than 70% of our drivers received the driving license more than 20 years ago. A lot of rules or road signs have changed. Do you see a periodical education also for “category B” drivers?
- With an ageing population, it is necessary to ensure that the right to individual mobility is preserved, while at the same time nobody should represent a danger to him/herself and to the others.
Medical and psychological assessments are necessary in order to ensure that mobility remain accessible to everyone. Everything should be undertaken to avoid the loss of the driving license.
DEKRA advocates voluntary, preventive and periodic medical and psychological assessments of the fitness to drive for elderly people. In the case of diseases or delicts, a deeper and event-related assessment is in any case needed. This should also be linked to compensations (discount on the insurance) and to the development of training offers. Our proposal has of course to be understood as a lifelong learning and could be complemented with other measures.
One more question. Can you describe us your how it works you amazing platform to obtain the “vision 0”? How we can develop this magnificent research into a day by day tool?
- Vision Zero is not a utopia, but a reality. . We asked national authorities of the IRTAD Group (an international platform regrouping national authorities and transport ministries of OECD countries) last year to provide us with accident related fatalities cities by cities. We had a deeper look at this official statistics and came to the results that 462 European cities of more than 50.000 inhabitants have been able, between 2009 and 2012, to reach at least for one year the “Vision Zero”. For millions of Europeans, vision Zero has become a reality at a local level.
DEKRA has been able to create an interactive map (http://www.dekra-vision-zero.com/) where one can see the cities and their good results, with filters. You can simply choose cities of a certain size, or a certain year (see the results only for 2010), or a certain country.
Our aim is simply to show that at a local level, things can be done to improve road safety in a more concrete way. Of course at an EU-scale, it is difficult to imagine that for 500 million people, we will reach Vision Zero one day. But if every local authority is trying to achieve it, then all in all we can reach amazing results.
We want to encourage national authorities to continue collecting data for the years 2013 and 2014 as we able to update our vision zero database. Furthermore we and the road safety community are interested to know the reason why some cities are safer than others.
- General presentation of our work: DEKRA is represented in Brussels since 1992 with a liason office to the European Union, working on the developments of EU-legislation which can impact testing, inspection and certification related activities. Oliver Deiters, Head of Global External Affairs and Public Policy, and Stéphane du Boispéan, EU Policy Officer, are working on all issues of interest for DEKRA.