Road safety: take it seriously

Around 50 road accidents happen every year at CERN. Cyclists, drivers and pedestrians must pay attention to their behaviour at all times to ensure that this doesn’t become an even more serious problem. Even if the Laboratory’s sites are not exactly downtown Shanghai, all road users need to make a little effort. So let’s do it!


Life at CERN: let’s stick to accumulating scientific data rather than road accidents! (Cartoon by Cian O'Luanaigh)

Despite a dedicated Safety Code in force since 1990, “traffic-calming” measures put in place last year, several reminders in the Bulletin and frequent safety campaigns, the number of accidents, particularly those involving cyclists, has remained high since 2008.

Luckily, no-one has been seriously injured but it is more and more frequent to experience near misses or actual accidents, whether in a car or on a bike. Incivilities, excessive speeding (also for bikes!) and answering the phone while driving are all examples of dangerous behaviour. Obviously, preventive measures such as paying more attention, wearing protective equipment (in the case of cyclists) and making sure that we are visible to other road users can be very effective and can prevent more serious accidents.

Since 2005, any person involved in or witnessing an accident or a near miss is expected to complete an internal accident report form. These reports are then used by the HSE Unit to compile statistics and analyse the problems so that they can take measures to enhance safety. By reporting a near miss, you are helping to prevent a similar incident and therefore to reduce the accident toll.

Driving, cycling and walking to work must be safe routine activities for everyone. Let’s stick to accumulating scientific data rather than road accidents.

by Antonella Del Rosso