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On October 21, 2010 in Bled, a two-day seminar on traffic safety was held where in addition to Slovenian police officers a number of European traffic experts also took part. Within the framework of the Lifesaver project and in cooperation with Slovenian police, the seminar was organized by the European Traffic Police Network (TISPOL).

The Lifesaver project was started in 2008 and will end in May 2011, and is led by TISPOL with the financing of the European Commission; its goal is to reduce the number of casualties in road accidents on the European roads. For this purpose and under the guidance of TISPOL, the European traffic police forces are operating on a strategic, tactical and operative level.

In two and a half years, many international conferences and different thematic seminars have been organized mainly in six TISPOL member countries: in Hungary, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain and Slovenia where TISPOL ensures contents for seminar preparation and covers the expenses of the entire project. The seminar in Slovenia is the third in a row and is dedicated mainly to police "operatives".

Along foreign traffic experts that participated in the seminar, there were also TISPOL's representatives: Bernd Heller from Germany, Rik Dhoest from Belgium, Joern Pakula Andresen from Denmark as well as Geraint Anwyl and Roger Brooks from Great Britain.


The participants were addressed by the director of the Uniformed Police Directorate at the General Police Directorate Danijel Žibret. He complimented the TISPOL endeavours within the Lifesaver project and thanked it for organizing the seminar that, according to his words, is a good opportunity for our police "elders" to directly see foreign practices and strategies in the area. He also said that international exchanges were very useful and 45 Slovenian police officers have already participated in them. Currently six officers are visiting the Dutch police while there are 4 Romanian police officers in Slovenia in these days.


Boštjan Smolej from the Traffic Police Sector at the General Police Directorate and as a representative of Slovenian police in TISPOL briefly described the situation in the area of traffic safety in Slovenia. He said that Slovenian police has made enormous progress in the past thirty years since the number of casualties in road accidents has decreased from 559 in 1980 to 171 in 2009. According to him, the recipe for success are all the following measures introduced in recent years: Changes to the legislation, higher penalties, penalty points system, obligatory use of lights on the vehicles during the day, seizure of vehicles, detaining drunk drivers, criminalization of aggressive driving, stricter inspections of speed and introduction of automatic measuring systems, media campaigns coordinated with other responsible institutions for traffic safety in the country, cooperation with nongovernmental organizations and strong political support on all levels.

The head of Traffic Police Sector Ivan Kapun MSc, added that it is complimentary that in order to improve road safety, other ministries, not only the Ministry of the Interior, have started listening which has much bigger effects on the public since road users are being "bombarded" from all sides with messages on prevention. We will strive to ensure safer Slovenian roads in the future by upgrading current measures for ensuring road safety.


During presentations, the participants discussed different subjects such as key questions and challenges in reducing road accidents, the most frequent factors that cause road accidents, the use of new technologies in ensuring road safety, the issue of driving under the influence of drugs, methods and equipment for solving problems like speeding, alcohol and drugs in traffic, violations in cargo traffic etc. From different examples of TISPOL prevention videos they were asserted how important is to use clear messages and calling on emotions in target groups of users since it is the feelings that have the most impact on our behaviour and its changing.

The guests presented in great detail the role and organization of TISPOL and Lifesaver project to the Slovenian police officers. Among other things, they pointed out the importance and high effectiveness of joint European actions when police forces all across Europe perform strict inspections over offenders in a coordinated actions in the same area at once, for example they all looking for speeding, drunk divers, non-use of seat belts, offences in bus and cargo traffic etc. All European countries experience similar problems in the area of road safety. For one week, thousands of police officers are doing the exact same thing on European roads, which results in more detected offences.

In one such joint control over cargo vehicles, that took place in March of this year, 164,202 trucks were pulled over in which 54,837 truck drivers were discovered for violating regulations. In speeding inspections at the end of April of this year, 567,166 offences were detected on European roads, and the police officers performed tests of psychological and mental state on 409,180 drivers from which 7,058 of them were driving under the influence of alcohol and 524 under the influence of drugs.

They also stressed that, in addition to "traditional" problems such as speeding, driving under the influence of alcohol, non-use of seat-belts, bus and cargo transport, European police forces are quite successful in their solving, moreover, in recent years, new phenomena in Europe are becoming more important and are not as fully recognizable as concerning. These are phenomena, such as road racing of young people on motorways under the influence of drugs and psychoactive substances, adrenaline driving, motorists and young drivers, driver fatigue and driving of older people. Looking for effective solutions for these problems will be a big challenge in the future, with which the European police forces will have to start dealing and for effective fight against them they will have to invent new innovative methods.


At the workshops that are part of the programme, the participants themselves were able to present good solutions and approaches in road traffic control. During one debate, they tried to define main problems in the area of cargo vehicles control in Slovenia and find solutions for them.