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									                                                 Eesti                           EE
                                         Road Safety Country Profile

       COUNTRY FACTS

       Area:                            45 100 km2
       Inhabitants:                     1 366 959 (2003)
       Road Network:                    52 038 km (2000)
       Passenger Car Ratio:             294 per 1 000 inhabitants (2002)




       The Estonian National Traffic Safety Programme 2003-2015 sets a maximum of 100 fatalities in road
       accidents by 2015 as the primary target for the development in road safety. The main priorities of
       the programme are education, reduction in the incidence of intoxicated driving, reduction of
       speeding, increased use of passive safety measures, improvement of road infrastructure and
       improved safety for vulnerable road users.

       Table 1 shows a fluctuating development in the number of accidents, injuries and fatalities
       throughout the period from 1991 to 2004. The number of accidents and injuries are significantly
       higher in 2004 than in 1991, whereas the number of fatalities has undergone a positive
       development overall with a significant reduction.


       Table 1. Annual development in injury accidents, injuries and fatalities in Estonia, 1991-2004. Please note that
                only the number of fatalities is comparable to similar statistics for the other Member States due to
                differences in data collection procedures for the number of accidents and injuries


                   1991      1992     1993    1994     1995     1996     1997     1998     1999      2000    2001    2002    2003    2004

 Accidents *       1 923    1 167     1 317   1 584   1 644     1 318    1 491    1 612    1 472     1 504   1 888   2 164   1 931   2 240

 Injuries          2 131    1 289     1 502   1 832   1 897     1 547    1 837   1 989    1 690      1 843   2 443   2 868   2 539   2 851

 Fatalities **      490       287      321     364      332      213      280      284      232       204     199     223     164      170
  per million
  inhabitants       312       184      210     242      223      144      192      195      160       149     146      163    120      124


       * Accidents with injuries
       ** Death within 30 days of accident

       Source: CARE project data (see also: http://europa.eu.int/comm/transport/care/index_en.htm)




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      Figure 1. Annual developments (year 2001 = 100) in fatalities and accidents on national and EU-25 level.

     240
     190
     180
     170
     160
     150
     140
     130
                                                                                                    Fatalities (Estonia)
     120
     110                                                                                            Accidents (Estonia)
     100                                                                                            Fatalities (EU-25)
      90                                                                                            Accidents (EU-25)
      80
      70
      60
        1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004

      Source: CARE project data (see also: http://europa.eu.int/comm/transport/care/index_en.htm)




      Country organisation, responsibilities and resources
      Road safety activities are divided among different organisations in Estonia, there is no single
      organisation dedicated to road safety.

      The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications (MEC) has the main responsibility for road
      safety, including the implementation and improvement of road traffic legislation and traffic safety
      programmes.

      The Estonian Road Administration (ERA) participates in the analysis of the road safety situation,
      statistics, planning and assessment of road safety measures and risk factor analysis. The Road
      Administration employs qualified engineers, transport specialists, lawyers, planners, financial
      analysts etc. The understaffed road safety department consists of an engineer, an educational
      specialist and a physician. There is a lack of road safety experts with special training. The
      administration is the budgetary state organisation.

      The Estonian Motor Vehicle Registration Centre (MVRC) attends to all activities concerning driver
      licensing and motor vehicles.

      The ERA and MVRC are both state organisations under the administrative field of the MEC.

      The Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA) has the general responsibility for all enforcement activities for
      all road users and rescue services.

      The Ministry of Social Affairs deals with driver health condition regulation.

      The Ministry of Education and Sciences is responsible for traffic education development.

      The Estonian Traffic Insurance Fund manages all issues dealing with traffic insurance.




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      As there are no specific institutions dealing with transport safety studies and surveys in Estonia,
      the main practice is to use independent road safety consultants and experts from different
      organisations. Key organisations are universities (e.g. Tallinn Technical University and the
      University of Tartu) and private consultants.



      Transport policies
      The new Traffic Act came into force in 2001, introducing a number of important legislative
      measures:

      • the legal alcohol limit for drivers is 0.1 milligrams in blood (BAC), or 0.2-0.49 in breath tests
      • drink-driving when BAC is over 0.5 milligrams
      • cyclists aged 10 to 15 years and moped riders aged 14 to 15 years must obtain a licence
      • two level motor vehicle driver training system (preliminary level and basic level)
      • all driver candidates must pass training at driving schools
      • mandatory educational system for driving instructors
      • special rules for the driving test examinations
      • technical conditions for seasonal speed limits
      • technical conditions for motor vehicles harmonised with EU directives
      • new rules on road accident registration

      Measures introduced in the Road Act include:

      • road design standards
      • urban street design standards
      • introduction of the road maintenance level standards

      Measures based on the Transportation Act and Public Transport Act include:

      • working and resting time rules for professional drivers, both in international and domestic
        transportation
      • rules on training for professional drivers

      In addition, the National Road Safety Programme has been developed and accepted by Parliament,
      and a special commission on the investigation of severe road accidents has been established.

      A road safety audit system was introduced recently, to clarify accident causes and severity
      development (roadworthiness, holes, obstacles, ditches, trees at roadside, other road equipment
      without interference, etc.). In 2002, a project was initiated to locate traffic accidents by GPS and GIS
      tools and a range of interesting information has been gathered. This comprises both good practices
      and possible GPS blackouts during the pilot project and development projects. At present, the
      police use GPS receivers to locate all injury and fatal accidents. This information is analysed using
      GIS tools. Further development of this practice is desirable, this especially to establish platforms
      and networks between interested bodies such as the police, road administration, MEC, local
      municipalities etc.


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      In 1998, the Estonian Police was reorganised, resulting in the abolition of the Traffic Police. In July
      2003, a Traffic Supervision Department under the Ministry of Internal Affairs was established.



      Road safety action plans
      To improve the road safety situation in Estonia, a group of road safety experts have prepared the
      Estonian National Traffic Safety Programme 2003-2015. This was adopted by the Estonian
      Government in the beginning of 2003. The main goal of the programme is to achieve a level of less
      than 100 fatalities in road accidents in Estonia in 2015.

      The main priorities of the programme are:

      • road safety education
      • prevention of drink-driving
      • prevention of speeding
      • passive safety measures usage
      • improvement of road environment and infrastructure
      • safety of vulnerable road users


      Topics
      A range of measures have been identified to support a positive development in road safety
      performance. These measures are elaborated in the following sections.

      Road users
      Road user behaviour monitoring is carried out annually, including a poll of road users to assess
      their attitudes, observations at the roadside for red light infringement (drivers and pedestrians),
      usage of turn signals, daytime running lights, seatbelts (front and back seat, both in the rural and
      urban areas), yielding to pedestrians at zebra crossings, tailgating and mean speed measurement
      on rural roads. A special poll was made to estimate pedestrian reflector usage (TNS-EMOR). A two-
      year project carried out by Tartu University researchers on risk-taking behaviour and personality
      factors was recently finished. One of the ongoing projects aims to estimate the accuracy of road
      accident registration using GPS devices in the accident registration system.

      The most effective road traffic rules in terms of reducing the number of accidents, injuries and
      fatalities are:

      • compulsory usage of daytime running lights
      • safety belts and child safety restraints
      • helmets for motorbike riders and passengers
      • usage of reflectors or lighting devices for pedestrians and bicyclists on rural roads

      The use of winter tyres (studded or M+S type) has been compulsory from December to March since
      1997. Child restraint systems have been mandatory since 1996 and daytime running lights since
      1995. Raising speed limits during the summertime has been strictly regulated since 1998 with
      positive results for the development of road safety.

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      A training programme for heavy goods transport drivers complies with international legislation and
      regulations. Certification for dangerous goods transportation vehicle drivers is compulsory.
      Tachographs on heavy good vehicles are used for working and resting time registration. The
      inspection and enforcement of this legal act is provided by the Labour Inspectorate and the Police.

      The Estonian Motor Vehicle Registration Centre is implementing a new digital tachograph project in
      May 2005. In general, the Centre is guided by EU Directives regarding testing and issuing of permits
      to drivers of motor vehicles.

      Educational material for children exists for 1st and 2nd year pupils. In addition, there is a high level
      of activity in preschool nurseries and kindergartens to teach basic principles of road safety. All
      pedagogical staff must pass special training, and regular organisation of workshops supports the
      maintenance of the qualification of teachers, special reflective yellow colour vests are produced for
      children and distributed. Teachers guiding the students wear reflective vests and are equipped with
      a special device for traffic regulation. Lately, recommendations for traffic education on how to
      manage and protect groups of children walking on the streets have been updated and provided.

      For education of adults, a training programme has been introduced. This comprises training of
      specialists of local authorities and city planners, training of traffic education teachers and
      certification of their qualification, traffic safety campaigns and training for journalists. Special TV
      programmes focusing on road safety problems are broadcast on three television channels once a
      week for 40 weeks annually.

      Furthermore, there is a training programme to improve defensive and economical driving skills
      (EcoDriving). Other training programmes focus on practising slippery track driving and risk
      avoidance skills. These themes are now also included in compulsory driver education and
      complement the post-novice drivers’ training period.

      Vehicles
      As Estonia is not a car producing country, the possibility of significant influence on the
      development of vehicle safety is naturally limited. The Ministry of Economic Affairs and
      Communication, the Road Administration and the Estonian Motor Vehicle Registration Centre are
      responsible for the development of national legislation and harmonisation with EU directives.

      Road infrastructure improvement
      The Road Administration has the responsibility for identification of black spots on rural roads. This
      is supported by assistance by the Police Department and regional prefectures, local
      administrations, municipalities and the Technical University of Tallinn.

      Reconstruction of dangerous crossings, intersections and sections of roads is planned in annual
      road reconstruction plans, where measures such as the redesign and construction of pavements,
      pedestrian and light transport roads, and mounting of safety barriers where the unsafe sections of
      roads are foreseen.

      Valid standards exist for road signs, traffic lights and road marking, as well as conditions for their
      usage. The same goes for standards for urban streets and rural road engineering design and road
      maintenance. These standards are continuously developed in parallel to improvement of legal acts
      and regulations for road construction, reconstruction, road management and road markings. The
      initiative on the standard development comes from the Ministry of Economic Affairs and



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      Communications, whereas the implementing organisation is the Road Administration along with
      specialists, consultants and researchers, mainly from Tallinn Technical University. The validation
      and endorsement organisation is the Estonian Certification Centre.

      Other topics
      To build up expertise on the causes of serious traffic accidents (defined as one person killed or
      more than 5 persons seriously injured at a time), a commission of experts has been established.
      Members of the commission include a road engineer, a vehicle engineer, a Traffic Police officer, a
      psychologist and a physician.

      The Finnish Ministry of Transport and Communications organised a training programme for
      Estonian city planners in 2002-2003. In 2003, there was an exchange of road safety specialists with
      the Norwegian Road Administration, and the Estonian specialists on road safety participated in a
      training programme in Sweden (Lund University). A study visit by road safety and maintenance
      specialists was made to Germany in 2004. In Lithuania (Vilnius 2004), training of Estonian road
      planners was organised by Dutch road planning specialists.

      A wide range of communication channels are used for sharing information among the actors
      engaged in improving road safety: briefings, direct mailing, e-mails etc. The Road Administration
      organises quarterly “round table” discussions for different ministries, state departments, local
      government decision makers, NGOs and private sector actors.

      The Road Administration has performed research and observations on pedestrian traffic behaviour.
      Proposals have been made to upgrade legal acts, and outlines for engineering designs have been
      proposed for local administrations (municipalities). The measures for vulnerable users contain
      construction of pedestrian pavements and bicycle paths in urban areas on the main roads (annual
      programme) and amelioration of traffic management around schools considering road safety
      requirements.




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      Information

      Contacts
      • Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications (MEC), Mr. Andres Harjo,
      • Estonian Road Administration (ERA), Mr. Toomas Ernits,
      • Estonian Road Administration (ERA), Ms. Sirje Lilleorg,


      References
      • Estonian National Road Traffic Safety Programme 2003-2015 (1281 OE)


      Websites
      • The Estonian Parliament (Riigikogu): www.riigikogu.ee
      • The Estonian Government (Vabariigi Valitsus): www.riik.ee/valitsus/
      • Estonian laws and regulations: http://seadus.ibs.ee/
      • Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications
        (Majandus- ja Kommunikatsiooniministeerium): www.mkm.ee
      • The Estonian Ministry of Environment (Keskkonnaministeerium): www.envir.ee
      • The Estonian Ministry of Internal Affairs (Siseministeerium): www.sisemin.gov.ee
      • The Police (Eesti Politesi): www.pol.ee
      • The Estonian National Road Administration (ERA): www.mnt.ee
      • The Estonian Rescue Administration: www.rescue.ee
      • Statistical Office of Estonia (Statistikaamet): www.stat.ee
      • The Estonian Motor Vehicle Registration Centre (Eesti Riiklik Autoregistrikeskus): www.ark.ee
      • Traffic web portal: www.liiklus.ee




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