Safer roads for children

"Bus transport to and from school is a highly
underinvestigated area in many EU-countries."

says Dr. Evangelos Bekiaris, technical manager for the European research project SAFEWAY2SCHOOL that started in September 2009 and will run through September 2012.

The aim is to make the school roads of Europe safer. It's much needed:

According to the latest statistics (EU 2002) 35,000 children are injured on European roads every year, 250 of these children are killed.

The most dangerous situations are in the morning, when children go to school, and in the afternoon, when they return home. The most common crash is when children cross the road behind the bus or in front of the bus in the afternoon.

In Austria 455 schoolchildren were injured in 2007 on their way to and from school, one died. In Greece 1,450 persons have been killed in school transport crashes since 1990. In one single crash in Greece in 2003, 20 children lost their lives. In 2005 in Italy as many as 9,924 children were injured on the roads, 97 died. Since 2004 five children in Sweden have been killed running out from a bus.

The big questions for the SAFEWAY2SCHOOL project are:

What can we do and what will we do to increase safety and security for children?

The approach is holistic;

To reach these goals we need support from authorities and from society in general.

Seven European countries are participating in this project that is funded by EU within the 7th Framework Research Program. The budget is 3.7 million Euros (September 2009).

Since the start in September 2009: