Stronger programme needed to reach ambitious EU road safety targets, says ETSC
The ETSC said that it congratulates the European Commission for the new emphasis on serious injuries while stressing the urgency to come forward with a common definition and, in the meantime, measure progress in terms of existing definitions. It said that it welcomes the renewed effort on enforcement and the proposal to set national implementation plans for enforcement, which will benefit other Member States.
However, it added that the road safety community had hoped for a new EU 10-year strategy providing a detailed road map against which performance could be measured and delivery made accountable. It said that many of the legislative actions listed in the EC memo are dossiers that are already in the pipeline. Emerging concerns – such as drugs, mobile phone use, fatigue and distraction, to name but a few – warrant a strong EU response. Work-related road safety, another emerging field of action, is not mentioned at all.
Furthermore, the Commission recognises that speeding, drink driving and the non-use of seat belts are still the three main killers on the roads, it fails to prioritise the most effective measures to tackle them, for example extending existing legislation on mandating seat belt reminders to every seat and developing harmonised standards for Intelligent Speed Assistance systems towards eventual fitment in all vehicles.
'To achieve the 50% reduction target in 2020 the EU will inevitably have to go above and beyond current reduction trends. If the EU wants to reach its 2020 target and to maintain and build on its reputation as a world leader for road safety, this Programme needs to be reinforced and translated urgently into determined action,' said Antonio Avenoso, ETSC executive director.