YEARS – Young Europeans acting for road safety

YEARS (Young Europeans Acting for Road Safety) is a triennial project put forward by the European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) and the Transport Safety Advisers to Parliament (PACTS).

The project aims to make young drivers, as a group of road users, aware of the dangers involved in driving and address the associated risk with innovative actions.

The project will study the current situation of victims within the member states of the European Union and will present the latest data corresponding to deaths on the road involving young people, the main associated risks and how the situation can be addressed.

On 21 November last the first national YEARS event took place in the Palau de Pedralbes in Barcelona, with the aim of debating the dangers faced by young road users and what political recommendations should be made to the European Union.

Along these lines the Abertis Foundation is developing a road safety programme aimed mainly at the most vulnerable groups: school age, youths and elderly drivers.

Moreover, in association with several European universities, the project will mobilise university students to promote road safety projects, with the objective of improving safety for the most vulnerable road users within their community. Students can develop their ideas with road safety experts. The three best projects will be rewarded during a final YEARS conference in Brussels.

During the conference, specialists in road safety from the United Kingdom, Denmark, Germany, Belgium and Norway analysed statistics of accidents in the European Union and stressed that every year, in Europe, 3,800 young people die in traffic accidents and that this group, which amounts to 11% of all drivers, constitutes 17% of mortal casualties.

Young people between the ages of 15 and 25 are also more prone to accidents than the elderly, and crashes represent 37% of mortal accidents involving young users.

Experts have also shared ideas for good practice and effective measures to achieve safer and more sustainable mobility for the young:

  • Reduce the permitted levels of alcohol intake applicable to young drivers.
  • Foment more economical public transport for the young.
  • Improve road-related education and training, and aim to, as far as acquiring a driving licence is concerned, extend the process and make it more gradual.
  • Assess whether the teaching programmes applied in driving schools are effective and readdress the examining system used to award licences in some countries.
  • Improve the credentials of professionals working in training centres for drivers.
  • Allow young people to drive if accompanied from the age of seventeen.
  • Take risk-prevention measures related to young people’s driving habits and encourage campaigns with the participation of people who have witnessed accidents.
  • Assess the effectiveness and efficacy of awareness-raising campaigns targeting the young.


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