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Towards safer road traffic in Eastern Mediterranean region

Every year over 41,000 people die and 1.6 million get injured in European road traffic. There are, however, considerable regional differences in the number of traffic deaths. In 2000, 159 Finns and 118 Britons per million motor vehicles were killed in traffic accidents whereas the corresponding figure for Turkey was 536 and for Greece 427. Despite this vast difference between the Southern and Northern Europe in traffic safety, the reasons behind different accident risk figures have remained mainly unexamined. The objective for the European transport policy is to halve the number of road fatalities by the year 2010. This objective can be achieved only if traffic safety interventions are targeted to regions with high road fatality rates, like Eastern Mediterranean region. This project is aimed at improving the knowledge and research skills of Eastern Mediterranean traffic researchers by training experienced researchers in Greece and Turkey and sending selected researchers to the leading road safety research institutes in EU. The actions will target following new or under-developed priority areas in traffic safety research in Eastern Mediterranean region: human factors, societal factors in traffic safety, driving abilities of elderly professional drivers, and social psychological models of traffic behaviour. New research and training in these theory-based research areas will produce practical applications for driver education and licensing, enforcement, driver selection and engineering solutions. This project is a multi-disciplinary project in which traffic safety experts from different fields and countries will be working together. Core group of researchers from Turkey will be sent to a specialized training period to partner institutes. After returning to host institute, these researchers will work as teachers and group leaders in a traffic safety programme, experimental traffic research laboratory and a driving ability clinic.