“Safety and mobility” expert meeting organized by the Croatian Automobile Club on the occasion of the European Mobility Week

On the occasion of the European Mobility Week, the Croatian Automobile Club hosted the “Safety and Mobility“ expert meeting, which was held on Tuesday, 19 September 2023.

The gathering was opened by Sinan Alispahić, Assistant Secretary General of the Croatian Automobile Club, emphasizing that safety and mobility are the highest priorities. He drew special attention to vulnerable road users, especially pedestrians and noted that the Republic of Croatia is at the top of safety when it comes to young drivers, while he warned that people over 65 are the most vulnerable group of road users.

Darko Grac from the Ministry of the Interior informed about the state of road safety in the Republic of Croatia in the first eight months of 2023. Despite the recorded increase in traffic, the number of fatalities decreased in comparison to 2022. He warned that the number of fatalities is the highest during the summer months.

Juraj Vertlberg from the Faculty of Transport and Traffic Sciences presented an analysis of the safety of selected county road sections in the Republic of Croatia according to the Star Rating methodology of EuroRAP. He also emphasized the three main factors of traffic safety: drivers, vehicles and roads.

Danijela Barić from the Faculty of Transport and Traffic Sciences gave a lecture on the topic “Education to Safety and Mobility: examples of good practice“. The Faculty of Transport and Traffic Sciences, in addition to the traditional methods of teaching with leaflets and brochures, turned to new methods in the form of educational and preventive programmes, travelling exhibitions and virtual reality applications. “Actions, not words. Let's implement what we know.“, concludes prof. Barić.

The representative of the Croatian Roads Ltd., Slaviša Babić, educated about the dangerous road sections.

Independent Expert Associate for Road Traffic Safety of the Road Traffic Safety Office of the Croatian Automobile Club, Ekrem Bećirović, held a presentation entitled “Safety analysis of vulnerable road users“ with special reference to pedestrians in the Republic of Croatia. He stressed the fact that pedestrians, cyclists, moped drivers and passengers, as well as motorcyclists are considered vulnerable road users. Furthermore, he also warns of the fact that speed is the most common cause of pedestrian fatalities.

Head of the Road Traffic Safety Office of the Croatian Automobile Club, Krešimir Viduka, drew attention to the activities of the Road Traffic Safety Office over the past ten years. The Croatian Automobile Club, a member of EuroRAP since 2005, in cooperation with the Faculty of Transport and Traffic Sciences, under the auspices of the National Road Traffic Safety Programme, assessed the safety of road sections in the Republic of Croatia. In the tenders conducted by the Federation internationale de l'automobile in the context of the Road Safety Grant Programme, award-winning projects of the Croatian Automobile Club were frequent. Investigations into the behaviour of drivers and passengers, which were organized during the realization of the projects, showed interesting results. For example, two-thirds of men and even three-quarters of women use a seat belt while driving. The Road Traffic Safety Office initiated the announcement of bilingual messages on responsible behaviour in traffic, 10 golden rules, on variable message signs on the Croatian motorways. The educational and preventive programme "KLIK - safety belt, the habit of responsible behaviour in traffic" deserves special praise. Since 2017, when it has been implemented in the Republic of Croatia, it has been presented to generations of high school graduates. About 350,000 students took part in interactive lectures, and afterwards, on crash and rollover simulators, they were convinced of the necessity of a seat belt while driving. Since 2016 tenders for the production of films on the topic of „10 golden rules in traffic“ have been published. Young people up to the age of 24 participate in the competition and so far almost 400 films have been submitted. The fact that these films are shown in the programme "Traffic info" on Croatian Radio and Television is a special motivation for young people. After the outstanding results achieved in the education of young people, the "Golden Years" project was created for the elderly.