More specifically, the seminars programme will be implemented in two stages, addressed to students of all primary school levels, as well as sophomore high schoolers (attending the 2nd year of Lyceum) located in the communities alongside the routing of the pipeline. During the first stage, which commenced on 12 May and is expected to be concluded by 9 June, more than 50 schools have already partaken; over 400 seminars have been delivered with the participation of 7,500 primary school students. As for stage II, scheduled for the next academic year, dozens of primary schools are anticipated to take part, as well as more than 100 high schools in Northern Greece.
The selection of target-ages was based on the need to educate small children on core safety rules for using the road network as pedestrians, cyclists or passengers; and to remind adolescents, i.e. future drivers, the pertinent rules and regulations. The two-hour seminars are conducted by IMET Transportation Engineers and expert Educators, with the use of specialised –and age-appropriate for the participating groups– educational material. According to the IMET/EKETA Research Director, Dr Georgia Ayfantopoulou "Collaboration with TAP offers the opportunity to extensively disseminate the Institute’s expertise with a direct result to society, via the implementation of targeted educational practice to schools located in a wide area of the country, with specialised educational material developed by the Institute for the purposes of this particular project".
In the context of implementing said Road Safety Seminars, IMET in collaboration with TAP also informed local authorities about the programme’s content and targets. Representatives of the regional and municipal authorities of areas where seminars have already been conducted, not only expressed interest in the initiative, but also participated in the proceedings and shared their impressions and constructive comments with the Company.
The Deputy Head for Education, Culture and Tourism in the Prefecture of Western Macedonia, Mr Theophilos Zymbidis, noted: "The Trans Adriatic Natural Gas Pipeline (TAP) has sponsored the Road Safety programme, implemented by the EKETA Institute of Transport in the city of Kastoria, thus demonstrating its social sensitivities. This specialised programme has raised awareness on road safety amongst students and teachers, informing them on both traffic education and road safety. The event was successful, as educators and their students expressed their absolute pleasure for attending the proceedings and their wish for the future implementation of further relevant activities".
On his part, the Mayor of Alexandroupoli, Mr Evangelos Lambakis, stated: "I attended and participated in one of TAP’s corporate social responsibility activities, in which a team of experts on road safety educated the primary school children of Alexandroupoli, thus protecting them from possible accidents that may have occurred to them had they not received the pertinent knowledge. This effort of the TAP consortium demonstrates its status as a serious company, aware of its obligations and rights; even more, however, it demonstrates TAP’s respect for local communities and willingness to collaborate with them".
Respectively, the Mayor of Pella, Mr Grigoris Stamkos, said –inter alia– commenting on the Road Safety programme: "Educational initiatives, such as the road safety seminars organised recently in the schools of the Pella Municipality, initiated and sponsored by the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP AG) and implemented by the Institute of Transport, contribute to educating children on optimal everyday commuting, while also providing them with the necessary knowledge to protect themselves from accidents".
Finally, TAP Country Manager for Greece, Mr Rikard Scoufias, reiterated the company’s commitment to implementing corporate social responsibility actions with a significant footprint on local societies, thus stressing the importance the company attaches to the safety of all interested parties. "Safety constitutes TAP’s absolute priority, as does the development of respect-based relations with local communities. In that sense, our choice to support road safety seminars is anything but random. We are aware that the commencement of construction activities for the pipeline may intensify large vehicles traffic in several areas of Northern Greece, and for that reason we decided to contribute to IMET’s effort to improve local youths’ knowledge on road safety issues. We are very pleased for the broad participation of primary schools at the seminars and hope that next year, the high schools of Northern Greece will demonstrate corresponding eagerness for the programme, as it constitutes an opportunity to access valuable knowledge on children’s health and safety".
More information on the seminars is available at www.edu.imet.gr
About the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP)
TAP will transport natural gas from the giant Shah Deniz II field in Azerbaijan to Europe. The 878 km long pipeline will connect with the Trans Anatolian Pipeline (TANAP) at the Turkish-Greek border at Kipoi, cross Greece and Albania and the Adriatic Sea, before coming ashore in Southern Italy.
TAP’s routing can facilitate gas supply to several South Eastern European countries, including Bulgaria, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Croatia and others. TAP’s landfall in Italy provides multiple opportunities for further transport of Caspian natural gas to some of the largest European markets such as Germany, France, the UK, Switzerland and Austria.
TAP will promote economic development and job creation along the pipeline route; it will also be a major source of foreign direct investment. With first gas sales to Georgia and Turkey targeted for late 2018, first deliveries to Europe will follow approximately one year later in early 2020.
TAP’s shareholding is comprised of BP (20%), SOCAR (20%), Snam (20%), Fluxys (19%), Enagás (16%) and Axpo (5%).
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About the IMET/EKETA
The Hellenic Institute of Transport (IMET) of the Centre for Research & Technology Hellas (EKETA) has been conducting research of the highest level on road safety issues ever since its establishment in 2000, focusing on education, users’ change of behaviour, as well as technology that may improve road safety levels for both vehicle and road.
EKETA/IMET is an entity supervised by the Ministry of Education, a member of FERSI (Forum of European Road Safety Research Institutes), and has implemented a series of educational and informative activities for both adults and children. In addition, in the context of the Ministry of Infrastructure, Transport and Networks national project "e-drive Academy", it has developed a great number of e-books (33) and multimedia software (ca. 100) for all students’ age-groups and categories of adults.