On February 21, 2023, the fifth “Road Traffic Safety” conference was held in Zagreb’s Hilton Garden Inn Hotel, organized by Jutarnji List. The conference was supported by prominent companies such as Bina Istra, Croatia osiguranje, HEP, etc., and was attended by high government officials, representatives of industry, business, scientific and professional communities.
In accordance with the subtitle of this year’s conference “Schengen, the introduction of the euro and strategic transport projects in Croatia”, the topics that dominated the meeting were certainly the impact of entry into Schengen on changing the rules and behavior of road users, as well as strategic infrastructure projects in road transport.
The conference was opened by Goran Ogurlić, editor-in-chief of Jutarnji list, and Antonio Avenoso, executive director of the European Transport Safety Council (ETSC), spoke via video link, highlighting several pieces of information:
- 19,823 people died on EU roads in 2021. That’s more than fifty people per day, and we consider it an unacceptably high number that we must reduce.
- Norway has the largest annual decline in the number of road traffic deaths (over 50 percent). Romania has the smallest decline of 12 percent, and Israel of only five percent. Mortality in traffic is the highest in Romania and Bulgaria, and the lowest in Norway. Croatia has 72 traffic deaths per million inhabitants.
- Speed remains the most important factor and cause of traffic accidents with fatalities.
- Strong and timely legislation is necessary, while systems such as intelligent speed measurement systems have not yet proven to be so effective. We will have to revise vehicle safety systems by 2030. We also need a better response to new passenger vehicles such as electric scooters that have flooded many countries and are an important factor in traffic.
Tomislav Mihotić, State Secretary in the Ministry of Transport, Infrastructure and the Sea, and Davor Božinović, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior, also addressed the audience.
Josip Mataija, head of the Traffic Police Service of the Directorate of Police, gave a presentation on the state of road traffic safety, and M.Sc. sc. Josip Lopižić, president of the Croatian Psychological Society, presentation on “How the entry of Croatia into Schengen affects the habits and behavior of drivers in road traffic”. Then the representatives of Croatia osiguranje presented on the topic “New LAQO innovation – Monitoring of CO2 emissions”. AKD presented “Solutions for efficient management of traffic systems: digital transition and data culture through advanced and safe technologies”. dr. sc. Goran Pejić, president of the Croatian Vehicle Center Management Board, then spoke about “The connection between the condition of the vehicle fleet and traffic accidents”, followed by the presentation of HŽ Infrastruktura “The train is always faster”.
At the panel discussion on the topic “Strategic traffic road projects of Croatia”, our professor, Dr. Dario Silić in the role of president of the Bina Istra Management Board, together with associate professor Ph.D. Marko Šoštarić (Dean of the Faculty of Traffic Sciences in Zagreb), Josip Škorić (Chairman of the Croatian Roads Administration) and Ph.D. Boris Huzjan (Chairman of the Croatian Highways Administration). dr. sc. In his part, Dario Silić highlighted the modalities that Bina Istra implements as part of the Istrian ipsilon project, which increase the comprehensive safety of road traffic, such as radar, horizontal and vertical signaling, investment in tolls for driving schools, investment in the evacuation area in case of incident situations, etc.