Japanese wisdom inspires vision for road safety in Central Europe

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In Japanese culture there is a proverb: “Vision without action is a daydream. Action without vision is a nightmare.”  The statement resonated recently with thirteen partners from the road safety project, Save Our Lives (SOL), as they worked to create a common vision to address road safety in Central Europe.

During an interactive group session, Save Our Lives partners from eight countries discussed how the “vision” of an organization can inspire action and align individuals to cooperate around a common goal. The end result was SOL’s vision – A region free of road-crash death and injury, safe for all road users in every community – which was signed into action at a public ceremony in Warsaw, Poland, on 1 March.

“The statement clearly outlines SOL’s goal to decrease death and injury from road crashes, not only in the communities where we are working, but in the Central European Space as a whole,” stated Guido Piccolo from ALOT, a transportation company based in Brescia, Italy and a key SOL partner. “It will serve as a main reference point for SOL’s decision making as well as our actions on the ground.”

The vision will also serve as a valuable cornerstone for Save Our Lives; it will remain a guiding force for the SOL team to make consistent choices, and ultimately help define the success of the project.

“A vision is more than just a list of goals and outputs,” stated Agnes Kiss from the Institute of Transport Sciences (KTI) in Budapest and the Global Road Safety Partnership in Hungary. “It is important to us that with this new vision that we demonstrate the depth of the Save Our Lives project, and our unwavering commitment to improve the quality of life in local communities.”