VOICE (Vulnerable road user organisations in cooperation across Europe) is a Europe- wide campaign to protect vulnerable road users.
It has been launched by the European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) and nine other organizations, AGE - the European Older People’s Platform ; ANEC - the European consumer voice in standardization; HEAL- Health and Environment Alliance; European Child Safety Alliance; EDF - European Disability Forum; EPHA - European Public Health Alliance; European Federation for Transport and Environment; Voetgangersbeweging-Belgian Pedestrian Association.
The main purpose of VOICE is to raise awareness of the needs of vulnerable road users among EU policy makers so that they more readily accept responsibility for the implementation of the measures necessary for the protection of cyclists and pedestrians.
The VOICE project has four clearly defined objectives. Each of these objectives corresponds with a specific activity of the campaign.
1. To lobby EU policy makers to accept their responsibilities and for them to consider the needs of vulnerable road users
2. To highlight good and bad practice in road safety policy
3. To push for full implementation of existing measures on the national level
4. To improve (self-enforcing) road design in European Cities
ETSC will establish a European Network of NGOs in order to enhance the corporation between the founding organizations and strengthen their awareness raising approach.
On a regular basis, the VOICE Network identifies one individual (manager, politician, bureaucrat etc. ) in Europe the so called VOICE personality, who either had a negative impact on the safety of vulnerable road users or made a positive contribution to road safety. The first VOICE Personality has been awarded June 2005 to European Commission Vice President and Commissioner for Transport, Mr. Jacques Barrot. He committed himself to put ‘improving road safety’ to his top priorities during his term of office.
September 2006 the VOICE Award has been given to Rob Tinlin, Chief Executive of Southend-on-Sea Borough Council, for the good job he has done in promoting road safety in the city.
VOICE network publishes the so called country fact sheets which gives an overview how a specific country performs in protecting vulnerable road users; the fact sheets also include a tool kit of measures that are yet to be implemented, or could be implemented better in that country. In May 2006 the first VOICE award to administration went for Finland as they had the best record on traffic law enforcement while Poland performed the worst.
VOICE also produces studies which highlight a very specific infrastructure problem that places vulnerable road users at risk. The results of these studies will be presented to the local authorities and ETSC will ask for a commitment from local politicians to work towards the implementation of the proposed improvement.