Tackling Road Safety in the EU

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17 October 2008

The recent CEPOL seminar 38/2008 Road Safety Awareness, took place in Nicosia, Cyprus on 7-10 October 2008. Organised by the Cyprus Police Academy, the seminar was supported by Portugal and Slovakia and built on the first CEPOL seminar of this kind held in France last year.

Figures associated with traffic accidents are staggering. More than 40,000 people lose their lives on roads in the European Union every year, while a further 1.7 million are seriously injured or become disabled.

Figures further show that traffic accidents are the main reason of deaths for people under the age of 45. The social, as well as economic, impact of these very high figures on Member States is enormous. The estimated annual cost is over 160 billion euro, an amount equal to 2% of the European Union’s Gross Domestic Product. Based on these figures, in 2001 the European Union set itself the goal of reducing the number of traffic accidents by 50% by the year 2010.

Forty-four participants from 19 countries took part in the seminar. Speakers from Cyprus, Portugal, Slovakia and the United Kingdom presented the following topics:

  • The EU and CEPOL - Georgia Pelagia (Head of Cyprus CEPOL Team);
  • The Traffic Situation in Cyprus - Demetris Demetriou (Cyprus Police Superintendent);
  • Transport & Road Safety-Situation in Cyprus - George Morphakis (Cyprus Ministry of Communication and Works);
  • Traffic Police Activities - Mr. Lubomir Durina (Slovakia);
  • Apple & Lemon Project –A special Police Operation - Lubomir Durina (Slovakia);
  • Results of Research of Young Drivers Involved in Road Traffic Accidents - Dr. Anthi Loutsiou (University of Cyprus);
  • Road Safety in the EU - Alexandrer Von Campenhausen (European Commission, DGTREN);
  • Activities and the Road Safety Performance Index (PIN) - Daniel Ugarte (European Transport Safety Council);
  • Casualty Reduction Across Merseyside - Andrew Shakeshaft (Merseyside Police Superintendent) and David Higginbotham (Merseyside Road Safety Partnership, UK);
  • TISPOL Activities Preview - Charis Evripidou (Cyprus Police Inspector).

During his closing speech, Michael Papageorgiou, Deputy Chief of the Cyprus Police, said: “Over the last four days, it has become apparent that all the Member States participating in this seminar face similar problems regarding road safety. The serious problem involving large numbers of young people in road traffic accidents is an example, and there is agreement that more effective measures need to be employed with regards to this age group. One possible measure that was suggested is to extend the period of training before young drivers qualify for a driving license”.

For further information, please contact the CEPOL Cyprus National Contact Point at email:

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