Welcome to 2017!

The start of a New Year is always exciting. It’s a time for building on past achievements and also for seeking new opportunities and challenges.

Over the next few months, EuroRAP and its members face a very big challenge indeed. By the end of 2017, Europe needs to be well on its way to meeting the SDG 3.6 target of halving European road deaths and serious injuries by 2020. Yet, over the last couple of years, road deaths in several European countries – in common with many countries worldwide – have actually risen.

It is not clear why the long decline in road deaths has gone into reverse. I do know, though, that EuroRAP and its members and partners have a vital role to play in ensuring that we get back on track as soon as possible.

EuroRAP and its members have been pivotal in persuading European governments and road authorities to invest in safer road infrastructure for all road users.  We must now redouble our efforts to ensure that policy makers are making safer roads one of their strategic health priorities.

The 3-star or better campaign has to be the linchpin in persuading decision makers of the benefits of safer road infrastructure. 3-star or better roads offer the transparent and financially quantifiable benefits that are so powerful in unlocking investment, especially in times of financial austerity.  EuroRAP and iRAP are currently developing a suite of 3-star or better advocacy materials to support you in your campaigning work.  If you haven’t already looked at our 3-star or better briefing paper, then I urge you to do so as soon as you can.

Working together, we have helped to prevent thousands of deaths and serious injuries over the years. In 2017, let’s make it our shared New Year resolution to work ceaselessly for a 3-star or better Europe.

I wish you a very happy and successful 2017. I greatly look forward to working with you and supporting you as we campaign for safer roads for everyone!

Ferry Smith (Chairman of EuroRAP)