Both achieving broad media coverage and enjoying high credibility in the scientific and political community, the VCD Städtecheck is a tool designed to inform policy makers and the media about local road safety trends in 80 cities with more than 100.000 inhabitants across Germany.
VCD Städtecheck is a road safety inventory designed by Verkehrsclub Deutschland, a Berlin-based advocacy group pushing for sustainable mobility and a pioneer of Vision Zero in Germany.
The report highlights local changes in road safety within the last five years, based on the official data released on the number of severely injured persons. Aiming at high acceptance in the communities, the result of VCD Städtecheck is not a conventional city ranking, but rather a cluster of cities with a positive, stable or negative trend in road safety.
The 2014 edition of VCD Städtecheck focused on pedestrian mobility, a particularly vulnerable group of road users normally under-represented in the media. VCD Städtecheck allows comparing one city with others, which is intriguing especially for local media. Thereby, the 2014 edition resulted in broad media coverage with more than 170 radio or TV-networks, newspapers and online-media reporting on pedestrian safety to over 11.5 million addressees. This makes VCD Städtecheck one of the most successful road safety campaigns in Germany.
In addition, VCD Städtecheck also emphasizes particularly successful best practice, which often have hardly been accessible to a broad public so far. One of the main findings in the 2014 edition was the need of systematic approaches in improving pedestrian safety, which are currently still lacking in many German cities.
So far, VCD Städtecheck has proven a helpful tool in achieving much needed media attention and putting walking and the safety of vulnerable road users on the political agenda. The next edition is set to being published in 2016, focusing on the road safety of the elderly.