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Brussels, 1 February 2011

Vice-President Siim Kallas presents road safety awards

At the Excellence in Road Safety Awards ceremony held today in Brussels, Siim Kallas, Vice-President of the European Commission responsible for transport, presented awards to seven organisations which have undertaken specific commitments to reduce the number of road fatalities in their communities. The winners were selected from more than 500 signatories of the Road Safety Charter following an evaluation made by the Commission.

Siim Kallas praised the winners, saying "these commitments reflect how diverse the organisations which have signed up to the Road Safety Charter are in terms of the services they provide but also in how they propose to fight against road fatalities. It is very inspiring". He complimented the winners on the quality of their commitments and the innovative ideas they contained. He thanked all signatories to the Charter for their crucial contribution to road safety and said that by combining all those efforts, the European Union could achieve its overall objective to halve the number of road fatalities every decade.

The seven excellence awards were given to:

  • In the large businesses category, TESCO DOTCOM, the world’s largest web based grocery home delivery company in the UK, committed to reducing road accidents through a prevention and training programme addressed to company drivers.

  • In the small and medium-sized enterprises category, BUSTURAS, a transport service provider in Lithuania, committed to regularly check its bus drivers' knowledge of traffic rules and to carry out frequent roadworthiness tests on Busturas buses.

  • In the associations/federations category, the IRISH MEDICAL ORGANISATION, a representative body of medical doctors in Ireland, committed to promoting road safety strategies as well as the changes needed to improve public health and to decrease the number and severity of road fatalities in Ireland.

  • In the institutions category, MATERSKASKOLA – MS DENSOVA, a kindergarten in Slovakia, committed to teaching children, in partnership with their parents, how to behave safely on the road.

  • In the non-governmental organisations category, ANBO, an independent organisation for seniors in the Netherlands, committed to promoting safe mobility in educational and recreational activities for the elderly and to provide ‘senior friendly’ best practices in urban infrastructure .

  • In the local and regional authorities category, AYUNTAMIENTO DE VERÍN & CÂMERA MUNICIPAL DE CHAVES, two municipalities on the border between Spain and Portugal, committed to carry out together road safety education courses targeted at different risk groups and to launch a common road safety prevention campaign on both sides of the border.

During the ceremony 16 additional signatories joined the European Road Safety Charter, mostly major European businesses, such as Axa Group, TNT Post and Iberdrola. Their commitments under the Charter will have a significant impact on road safety.

The European Road Safety Charter was launched in 2004 and has currently more than 2,000 signatories who commit to carry out concrete and measurable actions promoting road safety in their area of responsibility. Any civil society group in Europe may propose commitments and, once they are found conforming to the Charter objectives, sign the Charter. Every day the European Commission receives proposals for new commitments – evidence that more and more civil society organisations, aware of their shared responsibility, wish to do something for road safety in their day-to-day activities. Their commitments relate to different aspects, in accordance with the Charter's integrated approach: user behaviour, vehicle performance and infrastructure quality.

All European organisations are urged to sign up to the Charter and help save lives.

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