Warsaw 6 January 2014
You are twice as likely to die in a road traffic accident in Poland than elsewhere in the EU. You are three times more likely to a die in a road accident in Poland than you are in the United Kingdom. No wonder then at the frustration of the Polish population over accident statistics in Poland. At SOLIDEA Group we have developed an affordable InsertLED® to improve road conditions to make roads safer, to save 400 lives a year.
NRSP The Polish National Road Safety Program 2013-2020
The Polish NRSP [National Road Safety Program] already became effective, its mission is to reduce fatality on Polish roads to under half of 2010 road accidents and under 2000 deaths a year by 2020. NRSP needs to reduce road traffic accidents overall by 40% before 2020.
At SOLIDEA Group we think we can contribute to the reduction of 10% of fatalities by improving street lighting, we firmly believe we can achieve this, we can already demonstrate “Zero Community Cost” within four to five years at current energy and technology costs. InsertLED® saves energy and cost for local Gminas as well as for district and regional road authorities improved street lighting preserves the environment and the health and welfare of all of us.
The NRSP accident statistics in 2010 showed a distinct decrease from fatal accidents in 2009 this was a significant decrease from 2008 a great improvement in statistics, the benefits of these two years has been measured against significant road improvements.
Unfortunately Road accident fatalities seriously increased in 2011 and although road accident statistics improved for 2012, representatives of World Bank and OECD have disputed the Polish Authorities results accusing the statistics of being fudged. By all accounts 2013 was not a successful year either and news accounts of accidents during the holiday period at the end of 2013 was both shocking and painful.
On the basis of interim road accident reporting for 2013 Polish Authorities have become far more proactive and result driven especially in Policing roads. By the end of 2013 over 146,000 arrests were made for drunk driving offenses by far the highest in the EU. Plans to increase traffic camera even tenfold in the coming years is soon reality. The Polish judiciary is reviewing sentence for drink driving, finally the system is cracking down on road safety.
The effectiveness of NRSP and NRSP policies is critical in reducing the road accident statistics in Poland and the offensive to reduce road accidents was on top of the agenda for the opening of Polish Parliament in 2014. In Poland local authorities, business and individuals are firmly behind NRSP for safety on the roads and for the good reputation of Poland abroad.
Cost Of A Nation
Poland infrastructure lags far behind the rest of the European Union. Poland’s motorway structure is in its infancy even today few motorway connections exist between its major Cities, unfortunately many of the motorways which are operational are unfinished or defective. Polish roads and streets are poorly planned and executed they can only offer short term solutions to Poland’s infrastructure dilemma.
Defective workmanship and poor management in delivering and maintaining motorways will cost the Polish taxpayer dearly in the next decade. Poland’s motorways for example have no motorway stations simply because the planners omitted to provide sufficient energy infrastructure along the roads and to support such facilities.
It is only recently that Polish Motorways connected Warsaw with the German and European networks, the connections with Czech and Slovakia in the South are still under construction. There are no motorways East of Warsaw and major cities such as Lublin can only be reached via upgraded ancient roads. Good roads and infrastructure is lacking in Poland more than half of the countries population centres are still inaccessible via safe road transit.
Poland is completing its first phases of motorway construction and the majority of the nations road building activities are now focused on motorway construction. The reparation and improvement of local main roads was reduced, road improvement East of Warsaw is at a standstill. Where local main roads are to be used as highways their signage and traffic control lighting has been upgraded often questionably, so has the speed limit.
According to World Bank report issued in 2013 the cost of road traffic accidents in Poland is already in excess of 6.5 Billion USD a year. Studies published by OECD and World Bank during 2013 recommend that most of Poland roads systems do not conform to EU standards blaming poor quality roads and road infrastructure for the bulk of accidents.
Road Safety Initiatives
EU, OECD and World Bank reports all concluded that driving habits in Poland were exceptional, bad driving is a major contributor to fatal accidents on Polish roads. Polish drivers drive far too fast they are far more likely to drive under the influence of alcohol than any of its neighbors in the EU. Regular speeding offenders are oblivious to speeding fines as the cost is often not representative of the drivers ability to pay.
Many of the road users in Poland who are a danger to themselves and those around them are not necessarily driving old and unsafe vehicles, rather the opposite driving new and fast cars at high speed and without due care and attention. It has been urged that Poland follows suit with Finland and other countries who fines speeders and dangerous drivers according to their ability to pay and contrary to the mandatory 50 Euros charged for serious offences on Polish roads today.
Polish road signage is clearly inadequate and many Polish road users accuse the inefficiency of Polish speed limit signage as being inadequate when they are stopped for speeding offences.
Road traffic studies have been conclusive of the need for urgent new road construction, better road markings, removal of trees and ditches and installation of central crash barriers on maine roads, and the extension of pedestrian barriers alongside busy roads in major population centres.
None of the official reports in 2013 managed references to road lighting and the lack of it, they also failed to report the likelihood of Polish road authorities failure to maintain roadside lighting or even to turn lighting systems off [even in the worse weather conditions] to save money.
Reviewing Speed Limits
Independent Road Traffic Studies of Polish roads conclude speed limits are set far too high for Polish road conditions. New motorways in Poland are specified and built to the lowest acceptable European Standards [unfortunately a common trait of Polish construction] yet Poland has the highest speed limit in Europe [140km per hour]. Polish motorways are often operated incomplete. Completed motorways require signage, warning systems and proper street lighting to be fully operational not simply installed and unused. Until motorways are completed speed restrictions are required and should be responsibly implemented to preserve road user safety.
The majority of inter City Travel in Poland is conducted on a Main Road infrastructure which permits speed limits of 90km per hour. Speeding offenses are today set at 30km over the speed limit it means head on collisions on overcrowded roads regularly occur at speeds in excess of 240km per hour and more often in the dark.
Official road traffic reports for 2013 failed to point out that Polish Road Authorities operate Motorways without their designed street lighting systems even if they are operational. Street lighting is so designed on new roads to conform with road regulations handover of completed roads cannot be completed unless road construction is complete, lower speed limits should legally be imposed where road operators fail or refrain to maintain lighting.
“Speed limits are not imposed or Policed, in many authorities the local traffic Police lack basic manpower and resources to tackle transit problems, too much Police time is dedicated to road accidents too little time is dedicated to accident prevention. Local authorities often wilfully turn street lighting off to save energy or to make political statement. No wonder Poland has the highest accident rate in the European Union, and one of the worst records for accident statistics in the World.”
Inadequate Road Lighting
Failure to correctly light roads and road junctions is a major contributor to road accidents anywhere especially in Poland. The main image in this post illustrates a road junction approach which meets EU road standards this is an InsertLED® installation not a reflection of current Polish lighting standards.
Accidents statistics demonstrate that the over 65’s and under 17 year olds accounted for almost 25% of all fatalities on Polish roads in 2010. Many of these victims have been run down or unfortunately caused accidents crossing the road because of poor inadequate street lighting conditions [and almost certainly always speeding]. Almost 50% of all accident victims in 2010 involved pedestrians out walking or riding a bicycles not just car drivers.
Without doubt many of the casualties and fatalities in recent years could have been prevented if street lighting were even conformitive to the legal standards set by the European Union. Poland’s street lighting is inadequate, the majority of lighting systems installed are old fashioned High Pressure Sodium Lighting reminiscent of the 1970’s this lighting wastes energy, it creates lighting pollution and provides little security on the road. There are approximately 3.6 million HPS street and track lights in Poland which require immediate replacement.
There is no accountability for local and district authorities to provide adequate street lighting [except a Political one] in Poland and so far no local or regional authority has paid compensation to accident victims or their families for failure to provide adequate lighting at the scene of an accident.
“Even accident “Black Spots” identified in previous anti road accident offensives are inadequately lit in Poland. Failure to comply with law in the European Union results from a lack of accountability for local authorities to maintain public safety”
Main Road improvement particularly to the East of Warsaw have upgraded street crossing in rural areas with the poorest of Chinese manufactured PV panels, LED lighting and, accumulators, few of these installations work after only a couple of years service any wonder why the Polish public mistrust new technologies?
Developing InsertLED® for Polish Street Lighting
SOLIDEA Group EVE® team have been actively reviewing renewable street lighting technology for Poland since 2010. LED is expensive and Poland can barely afford to maintain and replace the existing low tech low cost lighting systems it already has. After two years of product and technology research EVE® team concluded that preserving existing High Pressure Sodium lighting is “false economy” in devising InsertLED® and systems of similar pedigree we have not only found an affordable solution that makes good economic sense without subsidies, but one with which to replace existing street lighting in Poland which obviates the need to replace other infrastructure such as posts and gantries.
Delivering A Solution For The Benefit Of The End User
When SOLIDEA Group EVE® team devised InsertLED® we took on board the need to look closely at all possible business models including “Open Source” [SOLIDEA Group ContainerPonics® is already an Open Source Project], and how we could best achieve turnover of lights to the benefit of the end user in the shortest possible time.
InsertLED® opted for OEM based organization and with the modification of a technology that already works and has an international reputation using Philips and SIEMENS technology. Being an OEM based business means InsertLED® is in charge of its own destiny it controls Quality, Cost and Time without being susceptible to potentially volatile local conditions.
As explained elsewhere in this post InsertLED® is modular comprising four component technologies, an aluminium casting on which the lamp is constructed the casting provides the structure and the heat sink needed to operate LED lighting. A printed circuit board fascia with LED implants the fascia and the individual LED are potentially hot swappable. A cooling fan [not dissimilar to those of a laptop computer] is attached to the back of the casting as well as a secondary cooling device it articulates circulation within any given luminaire preventing hot spots. Finally connectors and supports for the lamp installation are provided and are adapted to install within any given luminaire.
The innovation of InsertLED® is the low cost modular, replaceable fascia plate. It can be disconnected and replaced in seconds. This innovation means that the InsertLED® will always be the most advanced technology InsertLED can upgrade its manufacture the same day Philips or SIEMENS update theirs. Modular construction secures second life after redundancy, after first time around the InsertLED® can be refitted with the latest technology, as technology improves it means efficiency and cost are progressive as the LED industry strives to produce more light from less power and for lower cost.
The business strategy for InsertLED® then is to support workshops as the business grows, these workshops are to be created around the original product distribution arrangement. InsertLED® develops distribution and spare parts inventory, back of house is a workshop to upgrade in future.
The sales organization at InsertLED® is supported with a small design team who produce installation technical documents [this is initially outsourced] every now and again we ask them to design solutions, it keeps them competitive and happy. Most important of all a small hands on service team is created locally one who are more familiar with local requirements and more likely to solve issues in situ than start shipping products halfway round the globe.
Long term InsertLED® approach means a sustainable dispersed business but short term it reduces and contains the risk of failure associated with shortcomings within any one geographical area. InsertLED® focus on street lighting, serving larger users such as utility business who need large numbers of lights measured in tens of thousands, an average client for example might need 5,000 units in phases or even more.
InsertLED® business model is chiefly as a utility developer; we understand the role of the developer at SOLIDEA Group and have had plenty of practice. InsertLED® is not a competitor with other contractors and as a supplier InsertLED® sees little resistance from competitor solutions as it incorporates many products from Philips and Osram [SIEMENS] as well as integrating them into InsertLED®.
InsertLED® does not produce competitor products to conservation lighting we rather work with conservators to securely incorporate their lighting preferences into a much wider scheme. Conservator lighting has very little impact on a City or Metropolitan District. InsertLED® works “Open Book” with utilities, authorities and road departments to meet solutions and every part of the supply chain can be tendered. InsertLED® works “Open Source” with other suppliers to meet the demand for local lighting in the most sustainable way.
As a developer InsertLED® assists local and district authorities to plan the restructuring of lighting utilities with the health and welfare of its indigenous being placed first. If used correctly the financial instruments available to local and district authorities today provide a turnaround of less than five years, upgrading the lighting utility [with room for expansion of new posts and lamps] and with the minimum risk. In the case of InsertLED® street lighting the expected warranty period should be at least twice the planned repayment period.
Five factors which lead EVE® team to develop InsertLED® for street lighting
1. Quality: InsertLED® products use Philips and SIEMENS components and their best technology, Philips diodes are world class products they are even manufactured locally. InsertLED® bares a ten year warranty giving peace of mind for the lighting technology. InsertLED® is cutting edge technology but it moves with technology because it is modular and will never be out of date.
2. Cost: Modular InsertLED® perform equally well as the most sophisticated products on the market, InsertLED® can be updated, other products have to be reinvented and replaced full life cycle InsertLED® outperforms any other system. InsertLED® capital cost outperform the best products on the market at less than half the price. Being modular InsertLED® are not just recyclable they are able to be rebuilt even upgraded, no other product on the market is even potentially reusable; this is a first in the LED industry. The cost of LED is critical, in Poland the availability of a ten year warranty and a fast payback rate at current energy costs and without subsidies already goes beyond EVE® teams prerequisites for peace of mind.
3. Time: Availability of InsertLED® is assured because it is modular parts can be delivered from a variety of sources, establishing future workshops reduces delivery time to the same day initially InsertLED® are manufactured in the United States but the modular construction means it is compatible with world leading OEM manufacturers like Jabil who already have significant manufacturing plants in Poland. InsertLED modular construction means that competitors will adopt this way of working, the days of throw away products are well behind us. Availability of products, product upgrades and product repair are all locally procured. It means there are no delays in delivery of performance or accountability and sustainability in future is assured.
4. Innovative: Same day upgrade in the factory in a local workshop sets InsertLED® aside from all competitors but using the same and existing luminaries reduces costs by half. Its not always possible to remove the cobra from lamp posts and invasive engineering works present significant risks to installers and utilities. Many lamp posts in Poland are vulnerable at the end of their life cycle, simply replacing the bulb with an InsertLED® makes a lot of sense.
5. Open Book: As a developer InsertLED® mix and match many different products to satisfy the needs of a lighting utility and its project. No one firm can competitively produce all types of lighting for any reasonable size project. InsertLED® is a developer and a project manager who work alongside utilities we combine our financial and technical knowledge with integrity to deliver first class insured solutions for successful utilities our business is competitive in Street Lighting we offer our experience to jointly procure other products.
During the end of 2013 SOLIDEA Group are closing the sales for the first 20,000 or so street lighting units in Poland with the follow up of more than 1 million street and track lights before the start of 2016.
InsertLED® technology already developed AC LED version and it is currently being certification tested and approved in the United States, AC version obviates the need for LED power converters, AC LED was the “Big Ticket” in achieving far lower costs, these cost savings are even more competitive for InsertLED®. In future there will be far wider take up of the InsertLED® system worldwide as they are now the top performer for LED in many countries.
Our New Year wishes at InsertLED® is to provide widely acceptable upgrade street lighting in Poland and for the benefit of everyone and the environment. Our target saving is at least 10% of NRSP quota to save more than 400 lives on Polish roads every year making them safer for everyone.
InsertLED® is part of SOLIDEA Group www.solideagroup.com
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