General Sergiy Budnik, Head of the Road Traffic Police and Chief of the Centre of Traffic Security and Automated Systems in the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine, spent four days in Germany in late February on an EASST sponsored visit as the guest of the road safety organisation Landesverkehrswacht in the state of Sachsen-Anhalt in central Germany. The visit was initiated by General Budnik as a result of attending the TISPOL International Road Safety Conference in September 2011 (sponsored by Road Safety Support and assisted by EASST).

The visit was coordinated by EASST Trustee Prof. Dr. Gunter Zimmermeyer Vice President of the Deutsche Verkehrswacht (DVW), a non-profit organisation operating on a national and state level to promote road safety awareness and practice. The DVW works closely with local communities and makes great use of volunteers in its activities. German police are key partners of the DVW, and General Budnik expressed an interest in learning more about their role in road safety coordination.

The programme in Germany was organized by Mr. Wulf Hoffmann of the Board of Landesverkehrswacht Sachsen-Anhalt in cooperation with the Ministry of Interior and Ministry of Transport of Sachsen-Anhalt. The Ukrainian delegation also included the Deputy Head of the National Traffic Police of Ukraine, Police Colonel Volodymyr Reznikov, and Colonel Sergiy Diatlov, Police Liaison Officer in Germany for the Ukrainian Ministry of Interior.

The visit underlined a common commitment to improving road safety. A key interest for the Ukrainian delegation was to obtain information about ensuring road safety and security at large events like the upcoming UEFA European Football Championships (EURO 2012, to be hosted by Ukraine in June/July).
The Ukrainian delegation at the DVW officesWelcomed to Sachsen-Anhalt by Mr Erich Tiede (Chairman of the Board of Landesverkehrswacht Sachsen-Anhalt), the delegation attended a series of presentations and meetings with representatives of DVW, EASST, the Ministry of Internal Affairs Sachsen-Anhalt, the Ministry of Transportation Sachsen-Anhalt, and Bosch. The visit provided an opportunity for the guests to hear directly from different actors on a national and state level about their work. Mrs Müller of the Deutsche Verkehrswacht introduced DVW as an organisation and explained its programmes and activities in Germany. The German approach to road safety depends on local partnership. The Verkehrswacht provides an umbrella for partnership working, and conducts education and creative community activities to raise road safety awareness. The police role includes preventive measures, control, monitoring and enforcement. Road safety is also underpinned by legislation to regulate safe practice – for example in driver licensing and road user behaviour.

Polizeirat Jörg Kuske of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Mr. Grothmann Ministry of Transportation of Sachsen-Anhalt both provided most interesting and comprehensive accounts of their activities on a state level. They described a wide variety of initiatives targeting specific groups and traffic situations, all with the aim of reducing road casualties.

On behalf of EASST, Gunter Zimmermeyer pointed to the need for an organisation like the DVW in countries like Ukraine to promote partnership in achieving success in road safety. General Budnyk is Head of the Supervisory Board of a newly established NGO in Ukraine, the Road Safety Support Foundation, under the Directorship of EASST partner Yegor Kalashnikov. One very positive outcome of the visit is the possibility of further future cooperation with the Verkehrswacht.

Later that day, the delegation were welcomed to the Bosch Communication Center of the city of Magdeburg by Mr. Matthias Trautner who provided an overview of Bosch activities with regard to safe and secure truck parking and e-Call – a meeting highly appreciated by the guests. The discussions and exchange of best practice continued during a guided tour of Magdeburg and at dinner in the old town hall restaurant “Rathauskeller”.

The following day focused on traffic control and traffic routing. The delegation visited the Traffic Management Control Centre and the Urban Public Transport Control Centre of the City of Halle. The delegation was later received by the State Secretary of the Ministry of the Interior where further cooperation between Saxony-Anhalt and Ukraine was discussed. With the State Secretary and the Head of the Traffic Police of Saxony-Anhalt, the delegation toured the Multi Agency Control Operation (MACO) on the motorway E 30 – a joint control operation between Belgium, Netherlands, Poland, and the German federal states of North Rhine-Westphalia, Lower Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt, Brandenburg, and Berlin. After a long and intensive exchange of experiences there was a visit to a motorway police station to view the police patrol vehicles and its enforcement devices for measuring speed, distance, alcohol and drugs.

The highly productive visit concluded with an evening at the home of Mr. Hoffmann where the guests continued their discussion on future cooperation.