"Kostas Kouvidis" Scholarship

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Federation Europeenne des Victimes de la Route / European Federation of Road Traffic Victims
“Working to protect the interests of road crash victims & to reduce road danger”

FEVR’s main aims are:

to offer support and help to road crash victims by providing free emotional, practical and juridical assistance
to contribute to road safety by highlighting road danger and the causes of crashes in order to influence institutions and authorities towards implementing and enforcing road safety measures far more effectively

The Federation is composed of national European associations of road traffic victims, including families of those killed and disabled, and has links to similar associations worldwide.  It has the status of a Non-Governmental Organisation recognised (roster) by the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations and participates in relevant UN working parties, representing the unique road victim perspective.FEVR is also a member of the Road Safety Collaboration Forum set up in 2004 by the World Health Organisation (WHO), following the launch of their ‘World report on road traffic injury prevention’ on 7th April 2004.

The Scale of the problem

Road death and injury represent a serious public health problem in most countries of the world. They are the leading cause of death and acquired disability of young people, particularly young men, under the age of 45 - the very people whose contributions are greatly needed by their countries.  The costs of road crashes – borne by affected families and the whole society – are enormous.According to the WHO publication ‘Preventing Road Traffic Injury: A Public Health Perspective for Europe’ (foreword), published to complement WHO’s ‘World report on road traffic injury prevention’:Road traffic injuries in the European Region are a major public health issue, claiming about 127 thousand lives per year.  This is equivalent to the entire population of Grenoble, France; Perugia, Italy; or Norilsk, Russian Federation.Next to this intolerably high number of lives lost, about 2.4 million people per year are injured in road traffic crashes.  As a result, our societies bear a huge cost that is estimated to be about 2% of gross domestic product in several countries. Road traffic injuries are the leading cause of death among young people in the Region and are predicted to increase in countries with low or medium income as they become more highly motorized…Road traffic injuries pose a global threat to health and the development of societies. The dedication of World Health Day 2004 to the theme of road safety is an opportunity to be reminded of this and to become aware of the burden of disease on our communities and of the existence of successful approaches and policies to tackle the problem. {It} also provides an opportunity for the health sector to rethink its role and responsibilities and to become a more active player and partner of other sectors involved, such as transport, finance, the judiciary and the environment.The global scale is equally significant for people in Europe.  Many are directly involved in crashes in far away countries, while there on business or holidays.From the 1st Chapter of the WHO ‘World report on road traffic injury prevention’: …Worldwide, the number of people killed in road traffic crashes each year is estimated at almost 1.2 million, while the number injured could be as high as 50 million – the combined population of five of the world’s largest cities.…What is worse, without increased efforts and new initiatives, the total number of road traffic deaths and injuries worldwide is forecast to rise by some 65% between 2000 and 2020, and in low-income and middle income countries deaths are expected to increase by as much as 80% - the majority of such deaths among ‘vulnerable road users’.Cumulative scale and effectThe above figures are annual figures, but of course the grief and loss of bereavement are long lasting, often permanent, as are the pain, suffering and loss of those seriously injured.Thus throughout Europe and throughout the world, there are millions upon millions of road crash victims: bereaved families and families with a seriously injured family member – people who suffer profoundly - emotionally, physically and financially, yet whose plight and trauma are largely ignored by governments and society.The fact that road crashes and those affected by them are treated so dismissively, in comparison with victims of other disasters, is a source of additional upset and grief for road crash victims.Help for road crash victims
Help from victims

Despite their desperate situation, the huge numbers of bereaved and injured road crash victims receive little or no help by individual governments – either in the aftermath of a crash or longer-term.  Organisations set up by people who are victims themselves, such as those under the umbrella of FEVR, often provide the only help available, for which most of them do not receive any financial support from their governments.
Many of the organisations operate a helpline, offering free emotional and practical support and information based on empathy, understanding and practical experience of thousands of cases.
Help after a crash abroad

Most FEVR member organisations have also signed a mutual assistance agreement – an agreement to offer help in their country to those nationals of other countries who were injured or whose loved ones were killed there.  The FEVR website also offers information on procedures in various European countries, translated into five languages, in order to offer ready assistance when a crash has happened abroad.
Working for a better deal for victims

FEVR wants to see the situation of road crash victims improved.  It champions their rights, represents their voice and campaigns for legislative improvements.  This is done at relevant United Nations working parties, at meetings, conferences and seminars of relevant Institutions and Bodies, through consultations, statements to the Human Rights Commission, contributions to articles and many other means. FEVR is promoting the creation of Centres of Assistance for Road Crash Victims, where they would find free emotional, practical and legal assistance.
Road danger reduction

FEVR believes that a more appropriate legal response would serve as a deterrent and thus contribute to the reduction of deaths and injuries in road crashes. But FEVR and its member organizations also highlight road danger and road safety issues from the victims’ perspective, and from the post crash stage, advocating for institutions and authorities to implement and enforce those road safety measures that have been found through research to be most effective.  FEVR wants to see lessons learnt from tragedies, so that they are not repeated. Write to us if you are interested in preventing road deaths and injuries and in supporting road crash victims.

PO Box 53318,
London NW10 3WT
United Kingdon
info: www.fevr.org e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.