"Traffic Safety" Conference, organized by the “Danas Conference Center”, was held in the “Hyatt Regency Belgrade” Hotel on March 31st. Numerous participants took an active part in trying to answer the difficult question of finding an efficient traffic safety system which would decrease the number of lives lost in traffic accidents (950 people lost their lives in traffic accidents in Serbia last year) and the damage done, which is calculated in hundreds of millions of Euros. The Conference was also attended by the most renowned experts who are involved in enacting the new Law on Traffic Safety, as well as by the representatives of other segments of society, without whom mass and consistent implementation of any law in general would not be possible.
Director of the Sector for Strategy, Designing and Development of the PE “Roads of Serbia”, Mrs. Biljana Vuksanović, held a presentation named “Traffic Safety on State Roads“. Development Program on Traffic Safety which is being realized in the PE “Roads of Serbia” was also brought before the participants within this presentation. This Development Program comprises the program of dangerous locations, risky sections, black spot management, as well as the road assessment program. In the beginning of 2007, the PE “Roads of Serbia” prepared, in cooperation with the Ministry of Interior and the Ministry of Infrastructure, an Elaborate Study which identified dangerous locations and proposed measures for their remedy.
This analysis revealed that speed, i.e. human negligence and ignorance are the main causes of traffic accidents; not the condition of road and road furniture, which are stated as causes only in 1 % of the cases. Every third accident with a fatality occurs on state roads, whereas every second accident is related to local roads.
Mrs. Vuksanović put a special emphasis on the fact that percentage of funds that are set aside for roads from fuel retail price are around 10 % to 15 % in neighbouring countries, whereas the same percentage goes up to 50 % in Western European countries. The basic prerequisite for the realization of sustainable development of state roads is a stable and permanent financing source; however, the funds set aside for road network financing in Serbia are currently extremely low. Nevertheless, significant funds, mainly from IFI credits, have been invested into road network reconstruction over the past period. According to the program drawn up by the Government of the Republic of Serbia for the period from year 2008 to 2012, the construction of the remaining motorway sections on Corridor X is planned and expected, whereas the necessary funds are estimated to 1.5 billion EUR.
Professor Milan Vujanić, one of the crucial initiators and participants in the process of enacting the new law, indicated that each legal regulation could only be brought into being provided that there was support from the society in all its entirety, since there would be no traffic safety without a serious political support.
The conclusion of this Conference was that the best model would be the unity of an applicable law, meaningful and constant education and reeducation, together with a strong and systematic media campaign.
On April 09th, the Government of the Republic of Serbia adopted the bill of the Law on Traffic Safety and forwarded it on to the National Assembly for further procedure.