European Road Safety Day (ERSD) is an initiative by the European Commission to promote best practice among EU member states on road safety issues. It has been held every year since 2007 (except 2009 and 2011). Each ERSD focuses on a specific road safety theme and is marked by a conference hosted by a different EU member. Previous years’ themes have included pedestrian safety: vulnerable road users in urban areas and active involvement of youth in road safety.
Each year, organisers arrange conference speakers to present on topics related to the chosen theme. Previous speakers have come from organisations such as the World Health Organisation, the European Cyclists’ Federation and the European Transport Safety Council as well as national governments and academic institutions. Conference-goers can also attend seminars, workshops and debates focusing on specific aspects of road safety.
The aim of the conference is to explore road safety issues affecting EU states, share best practices on responding to these and to help attendees to effectively address road safety challenges.
EU member states can promote ERSD internally, and national road safety bodies can run events and initiatives to coincide. For example, in Portugal the ANSR (the National Road Safety Authority) marked the 2012 European Road Safety Day by: distributing road safety leaflets aimed at younger drivers in popular nightspots; running a road safety school for children in Lisbon; and using a simulator to create a car crash scene and demonstrate to the public how the emergency services responds to road incidents.
While the conferences are largely aimed at policy makers, road safety experts and industry professionals, member states can organise initiatives that allow engagement with the wider community on road safety. The European Commission doesn’t provide specific guidance on how member states can get involved in ERSD but they do provide examples of how member states have contributed in the past.
The date and theme of European Road Safety Day is usually announced a few months in advance of the event.
- Visit the European Commission website for more information.
- Find out how you can organise a similar event on our governments and NGOs page.
- Read about other events through our Road Safety Week map.