Project EDWARD - a ‘fantastic awareness-raiser’ for road safety
Ruth Purdie, TISPOL General Secretary reports that Project EDWARD was a ‘fantastic awareness-raiser’ for road safety.
- Pledge count topped 103,000 on TISPOL website
- Twitter reach of 19 million
We are taking the opportunity to thank everyone who participated in the first Project EDWARD (European Day Without A Road Death), which took place in 30 countries on Wednesday 21 September.
Yes, we set out to make one day without death on Europe’s roads. That was always going to be a very challenging task, and I know that there were some fatalities. But as a way of raising awareness and striking a chord far beyond the road safety sector, Project EDWARD was a runaway success and I am excited about how we take the concept forward.
A runaway success on social media
We are proud of this initiative, which was coordinated by a very small team with a tiny budget. I believe it shows the value of effective engagement with social media, where #ProjectEDWARD was a runaway success, trending on Twitter in many countries and – for a short time – in the top 50 trending topics globally. There were 7,923 Twitter posts, with a unique reach of 19,298,225.
Project EDWARD was so successful that it featured by Twitter in its ‘Moments’ section, which presents the most important topics happening at a particular time. We were also delighted to note that more than 103,000 people signed the road safety pledge on the TISPOL website.
The value of targets
Project EDWARD was a great example to endorse the value of targets in road safety. Targets give meaning and direction to road safety work. We have something to aim for, and we can consolidate and combine our efforts much more effectively when we have something to work towards. I know this is the view of most road safety practitioners, and I hope our efforts last Wednesday will help our Government recognise the value of targets, and once again make them part of an overall casualty reduction strategy.
We also firmly believe that if each road user can make small changes to reduce risk, then together we can make some big improvements – and reduce the number of people who die or are seriouly injured on Europe’s roads.
May I thank Violeta Bulc, European Transport Commissioner and all our colleagues at the European Commission for their efforts in spreading the messages of Project EDWARD.
Project EDWARD made excellent use of its 10 very short awareness-raising videos, paid for by the GEM Motoring Assist Road Safety Charity and translated into 12 languages. We are grateful for GEM’s support.
We will be joining the European Commission in making a formal announcement of results for Project EDWARD towards the end of October.
Ruth Purdie, TISPOL General Secretary