Road safety report at Shanghai-Stuttgart-Symposium
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DEKRA presents road safety report at Shanghai-Stuttgart-Symposium

Automotive and Engine Technology

Apr 2016

Stan Zurkiewicz, DEKRA CRO East Asia presented DEKRA Road Safety Report 2016 at the Shanghai-Stuttgart-Symposium on Automotive and Engine Technology.

Over the past 20 years, profound social, economic and cultural changes in China have converged to create a consumer automotive market that is unlike any other. While technological development and innovations have been observed during the course of its rapid development, road safety remains one of the challenging tasks in China for the industry to address. Recently, the Shanghai-Stuttgart-Symposium on Automotive and Engine Technology was held at Tongji University and Stan Zurkiewicz, DEKRA CRO East Asia was invited to deliver a keynote speech on road safety.

Unlike Presentations from other keynote speakers focused primarily on technology, particularly autonomous drive, as way of reducing road fatalities on Chinese roads. In Stan’s presentation, he stressed DEKRA’s view that while technology was indeed of key importance, it was only one of several major influencers on road safety. In addition to improved automotive technology and its implementation, there are some important elements that will need to be taken into account to address the road safety concerns in China:

  • Legislative measures and their enforcement
  • Improved emergency services
  • Improved infrastructure
  • Periodic Vehicle Inspections and technical condition of vehicles on the public roads
  • Public awareness and information campaigns

Using Europe and Germany as case studies, Stan presented empirical evidence compiled by DEKRA Accident Research center, European Commission and German Federal Road Transport Authority (KBA), which demonstrated how combination of the above measures contributed to the reduction of fatalities on European roads by an average of 53% during 2001 – 2014 period and 18% during 2010 – 2014 period. Although legislative framework, road conditions and behavior of traffic participants differ, sometimes dramatically, from one region of the world to another, however, the European and German experience was not without relevance to China which aims to reduce its own high rate of road fatalities. Stan emphasized the role Periodic Vehicle Inspections can play in improving road safety. Every year DEKRA performs 26,000,000 vehicle inspections and its own data demonstrates that in Europe approximately 20% of vehicles aged 3-5 years have defects related to Lights/Electrical/Electronic Systems as well as Suspension, Wheel/Tires, Chassis. This figure increases close to 30% for the vehicles aged 5-7 years. Unlike in most European countries where first Periodic Vehicle Inspection of passenger vehicles is performed after a vehicle is 3 years old, in China first mandatory inspection is not performed until a vehicle is 6 years old. Also, as participants in traffic increasingly rely on technology for accidents prevention and mitigation of their impact, the way vehicle inspections are conducted needs to evolve to reflect implementation of multiple passive and active safety systems in modern vehicles. In his presentation Stan also expressed extensively about “Vision Zero” - initiative which aims for 100% safe arrivals and zero fatalities on the road, in Stan’s view “vision zero” was not an utopian dream and that numerous cities around the world have already achieved this objective for several consecutive years. Stan reiterated DEKRA’s view that every city and every logistics company should set zero road fatalities as its objective. Based on data collected from tens of missions of vehicle inspections performed every year as well as work of its cutting-edge Accident Research Center, every year DEKRA compiles DEKRA Road Safety Report which, over the years, has become one of the most authoritative documents on Road Safety in Europe and arguably around the world. Recently DEKRA has been requested by the United Nations to share its road safety experience with an aim in delivering qualitative leap when it comes to reduction of road fatalities in developing countries.

To conclude his presentation, Stan Zurkiewicz highlighted DEKRA’s vision to be the global partner for a safe world. Safety on the road, at work and at home.