IPA Newsletter May 2021 - Word of introduction

07 May 2021

Dear friends and colleagues,

I hope my message finds you and your loved ones well and safe. Although the vaccination programme in many countries is well under way, it seems that there is still plenty of way to go until everything goes back to normal.

I would like to use this month’s Newsletter to inform you about the work carried out by the European Roads Policing Network (ROADPOL), (previously known as TISPOL), and encourage those of you working in this field to join the network (https://www.roadpol.eu/). Within the remit of their professional engagements, the IPA, and especially the CPC, cooperate with various international agencies, organisations and networks, such as ROADPOL.

ROADPOL is a network of European Traffic Police Services and its primary aims include: i) bringing together and facilitating the collaboration between members of traffic services from within and outside Europe; ii) enhancing road safety and reducing the number of deaths and serious injuries; and iii) facilitating the more effective enforcement of traffic laws. Moreover, another important function of ROADPOL is the organisation of various traffic-related campaigns through which it aims to educate members of the public about different aspects of road safety. For instance, each week there is a different campaign across Europe, the aim of which is to inform members of the public about the various traffic-related offences, such as failure to wear a seatbelt. Furthermore, ROADPOL encourages and facilitates research regarding the more effective implementation of road traffic policies. To this end, ROADPOL not only allows its members to share best practices, but it also provides them with educational courses relating to road traffic safety and policing.

The Network has adopted and implemented Roads Policing on the roads of Europe. This is a modern, international method of policing which, as at least the European experience has proved, effectively contributes to the prevention of road collisions and to tackling crime more broadly.

In recent years (from 2012), it is systematically applied as best practice by ROADPOL Network member countries. The Network collects data from its member countries regarding the activities of the members of the Traffic Police in the field of Road Policing and the results of the Police campaigns and serious traffic violations.

The President of the Organisation is Police Chief Superintendent Volker Orben, who is an expert on traffic issues in the Rhineland-Palatinate (Germany) Ministry of Interior and for Sports. The General Secretary is Heinz Albert Stumpen, who served in the Federal State of North Rhine-Westphalia, where he was promoted to Deputy Director of the Traffic Police, Münster (Germany), and a lecturer in Traffic Science and Traffic Psychology at the German Police University.

ROADPOL is currently implementing its 3 YEAR STRATEGY 2020-2022, based on four pillars: Safer Roads, Safer Vehicles, Safer Users and Safe Speeds.

Safer Roads

The Safe System approach to road engineering involves matching road function, design, layout and speed limits to accommodate human error in a way, that crashes do not lead to death and serious injury;

  • European police forces keep a record of causes of accidents when recording them and they are therefore in a good position to give advice to members of the public about how to prevent these from happening in the first place;
  • Work together across Europe to achieve a safer road network for all road users;
  • Engage with key stakeholders;
  • Exchange of experience and results; and
  • Engage with road safety authorities regarding safe road design.

Safer Vehicles

  • Through effective and intelligent-led enforcement, and by engaging with and educating citizens about making safer vehicle choices;
  • Through the Technology Working Group that identifies technology that can support the delivery of safer roads;
  • Active in the field of Tacho Web Technology through the Tacho Web Group;
  • Post incident response and investigation; and
  • Support Safety at work initiatives.

Safer Roads Users

The safety behaviour of road users (speed, wearing seatbelts and helmets, driving without alcohol and other drugs, driving, riding and walking without distraction) and its enforcement are also key in the prevention of fatal/very serious accidents. The effective enforcement of the law is the main objective of the European (traffic) police.

Safe Speeds

  • Enforcement of speeding offences on rural and urban roads;
  • Operational Calendar;
  • Speed Marathons; and
  • Enforcement of the fatal four, speed is No. 1.

ROADPOL Safety Days

ROADPOL Safety Days is the flagship campaign of the Network carried out every year between t16-22 September, intentionally coinciding with the European Commission's Mobility Week, with both campaigns complementing each other towards the united goal of sustainable and safe mobility. The vision of the campaign is to promote ROADPOL's values of road traffic enforcement and cross-border police collaboration as key approaches to enhance road safety in Europe. The mission of the ROADPOL Safety Days is to reduce the number of road fatalities in Europe, which is now on average 70 per day. The key objective of this particular week is to reduce this number to ZERO for at least one single day.

This is pursued through numerous road traffic enforcement activities across Europe, as well as police services’ direct engagement with the public and advocacy to road users. Public and private institutions, national and international, as well as road safety NGOs and educational institutions are all encouraged to support the campaign by organising events to promote its messages to the wider public. A key activity is the promotion of the “ROADPOL Safety Days Pledge” by which road users pledge to be considerate to others on the road and follow the traffic rules regardless of whether they are drivers, motorcyclists, cyclists, on a scooter or pedestrians in order to achieve the ZERO.

As a council member (between 2009 and 2014) and a member of the executive board (between 2019 and 2020) of ROADPOL, I have first-hand knowledge and experience of the excellent work carried out by the Network and the benefits that this can have for its members and their countries. I would therefore like to use this opportunity to encourage colleagues working and/or interested in road safety to join ROADPOL.

Kind regards,

Demetris Demetriou, Chairperson of the Professional Commission