Introducing Safer Roads by Design to the Balkans

Unsafe, crash-prone roads remain a serious concern throughout the Balkans, and the preventive measures are not always in place to identify engineering vulnerabilities and road user risk. Of the six West Balkan countries, only Serbia and Bosnia have implemented part of the provisions of the EU Infrastructure Safety Management Directive as it relates to safety audits and inspections, and even fewer have systematic procedures in place to train and certify road professionals to conduct risk assessment.

To raise awareness on the benefits of risk diagnosis and provide practical guidance, IRF conducted two certified training workshops in Belgrade, Serbia and Sofia, Bulgaria on 6 and 8 June 2016 respectively. The Belgrade workshop was hosted by the University of Belgrade’s Faculty of Transport and Traffic Engineering and formally opened by Mrs. Biljana Vuksanovic, director general of the public enterprise “Roads of Serbia” who highlighted the country’s continuing commitment to providing regional leadership on traffic safety issues. The Sofia event was hosted by the Bulgarian Branch Association Road Safety and characterized by a strong participation of, and constructive exchanges with, representatives from the Road Infrastructure Agency.

Both events were seen as an important step towards longer term programs to build regional capacity by providing training and certification options for road safety professionals.