Lithuania’s road safety policies presented at the 25th World Road Congress

Date

2015 11 02

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Minister of Transport and Communications of the Republic of Lithuania Rimantas Sinkevičius presented Lithuania’s achievements and plans in the field of road safety at the 25th World Road Congress in Seoul. The congress brought together the Transport Ministers from more than 40 countries and several hundred delegates from various states.

“Traffic safety is one of the priority fields of action of our Ministry. Therefore, the Ministry attaches particular importance to the road engineering development and organizing educational activities,” highlighted the Minister of Transport and Communications of the Republic of Lithuania at the congress, “every life is priceless. Accordingly, we do our best to reach zero accidents and deaths on Lithuanian roads”.

A number of means of progressive traffic safety research methodology are put into practice in Lithuania. In the last decade, the black spot management methodology, traffic accident forecasting model, the use of innovative accident analysis and evaluation methods helped to reduce the fatalities on roads by half. The traffic safety infrastructure management procedure is also widely used in the country. In addition, Lithuania devotes about 5% of the total road budget on the road safety programs annually.

According to Minister Rimantas Sinkevičius, though the number of fatalities on the national roads remains high (with 90 people killed on the roads per 1 million population according to the national statistics), consistent actions on road safety contributed to the fact, that this year road safety measures achieved a decrease in road casualties by 15.7 percent as compared to the same period in 2014.

About 50 percent of Lithuanian road fatalities includes pedestrians and cyclists, therefore, it is very important to improve traffic infrastructure: equip traffic calming measures, such as speed humps, speed bumps, safety islands, rumble strips and others, and try to manage traffic in a proper way by installing speed cams, implementing 2+1 roads, installing guardrails, installing acceleration and deceleration lanes, implementing road user’s information system, variable message signs and other means.

Lithuania has prepared a project of a strict legislative act on installing pedestrian crossings encouraging road owners to use engineering safety measures and increase safety of pedestrians on the crossings. The country is starting to install a preventive measure of drink-driving - alcohol ignition interlock devices with a zero maximum blood alcohol concentration limit allowed for novice drivers with less than 2 years' driving experience, drivers of motorcycles and similar vehicles, professional drivers of the vehicles weighing more than 3.5 tonnes or with more than 9 seats.

World Road Congress is organized every 4 years. This year, innovations of vehicles, many of which are dedicated to the smart roads, are introduced at the exhibition.