5 Jul 2018

The 1st Road Safety Forum by Sanef-Abertis brings together experts in road safety in Paris

The 1st Road Safety Forum by Sanef-Abertis brings together experts in road safety in Paris

  • The 1st Road Safety Forum in Paris, organised by Abertis' French subsidiary Sanef, brought together experts from government and the private sector to share their expertise in road safety.
  • The event provided an opportunity to showcase the Abertis Group's latest road safety campaigns including the recent global agreement between Abertis and UNICEF and the #onposepourlapause competition on Instagram.
  • The results of the 7th Driving Observatory on Sanef's network in France were also announced. The main findings included a slight fall in average speed and a rise in the number of drivers using a mobile phone behind the wheel.

The Abertis Group has added France to the network of host countries for its Road Safety Forums. Sanef, the group's subsidiary in the country, today held the first edition of its Road Safety Forum, a platform for the exchange of views on road safety, in Paris. This edition involved representatives of the Abertis Group, public road safety authorities and other companies with which Abertis works in this field such as the carmaker Renault.

The forum, which was opened by Emmanuel Barbe, Inter-ministerial Delegate for Road Safety for France, focused on various aspects of the need for safe driving with a particular emphasis on children, drivers and operatives on toll roads.

Safe driving

With the aim of promoting safe driving, Sanef presented the latest edition of its #onposepourlapause photography competition on Instagram, which recognises the best photos taken in rest areas to encourage the taking of breaks on long journeys.

Sanef also presented the results of its Driving Observatory, which for the last seven years has analysed the behaviour of French drivers in relation to six key variables whilst driving. control of speed, use of indicators, preferential use of the right-hand lane, safety distance, use of seatbelts and mobile phone use behind the wheel. The results of the 2018 edition show a slight fall in the number of drivers speeding, though the figures continue to give cause for concern. In 2018, 38% of drivers exceeded the speed limit compared with 41% in 2017; and 3% drove faster than 150 km/hour (4% in 2017).

Incorrect use of indicators have also increased (to 35% compared with 26%), as did mobile phone use, with 15% of drivers of heavy goods vehicles using their phones (5% of drivers of light vehicles).

During the event there was a particular focus on drowsiness behind the wheel, the main potential cause of a fatal accident on toll roads and the factor behind more than 25% of fatal accidents in France in 2017. Christophe Boutin, Executive Director of the French toll road concessionaire association ASFA, the carmaker Renault, the start-up Toucango and the smart connected eyewear manufacturer Ellcie Healthy presented a range of proposals to tackle this problem.

Safety of toll road operatives

With regard to toll road operative safety, Sanef's managing director, Arnaud Quémard, has introduced a video of a toll road employee highlighting the dangers faced by operatives during their working day with the aim of raising awareness among drivers of the need to pay particular attention when in areas where roadworks and other activities are underway. 

In 2017 there were 187 accidents involving operatives on French toll roads. 50% of these accidents occurred when the employee was erecting barriers or placing cones and one in three when emergency assistance was being provided to customers.

Child road safety

With regard to child road safety, a notable milestone is Abertis' global partnership agreement with UNICEF, signed last October in London, to tackle the main cause of death in children of school age: road accidents.

This framework programme is the first global road safety agreement between a corporation and the international organisation and will initially entail investment of US$3Mn between 2017 and 2019 in Jamaica and the Philippines, though it could be extended to other countries where the road accident rate is a public health issue.

This agreement is part of Abertis' Road Safety programme, the aim of which is to ensure 100% safe toll roads in keeping with the Group's target of zero deaths from traffic accidents.

Abertis Forum Network

The 1st Sanef-Abertis Road Safety Forum follows the safety forums held this year in Spain (Planeta Vial on 9 April), Argentina (on 12 April) and Chile (on 13 April). In September Arteris will be staging its Foro de Segurança Arteris, an established event which will be staged for the fifth time this year.

For Abertis, the world leader in the toll road sector, road safety is of paramount importance. The Group can draw on over 60 years of experience in road management and maintenance as it strives to reduce the number of victims on its network. Between 2015 and 2017, the number of fatalities on Abertis' network fell by 22% and the number of accidents by 9%.

In addition, the Group carries out education and awareness-raising campaigns in all the countries in which it operates via the Abertis Foundation.

In the academic arena, Abertis funds road safety research in six leading universities around the world through its network of academic chairs set up to promote education, research and knowledge transfer between academia and the company. 

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