Fleet News

EC planning to tackle causes of accidents

THE European Commission (EC) has announced a major crackdown on the biggest causes of accidents across Europe - including speeding and drink-driving - which could save 14,000 lives a year.

The commission has recommended to European countries a list of 'best enforcement practices' that include the use of speed cameras, followed up by procedures able to cope with a large number of offences, random breath testing and several campaigns throughout the year on seat-belt use.

Tougher measures will be taken at a later stage if data submitted by countries show these measures have not been sufficiently effective.

In a move that would affect cross-border fleet drivers, the commission also plans to make it easier for drivers to be prosecuted for an offence committed in a country where the car is not registered.

The commission said it was currently difficult and, in some cases, impossible to enforce the law on drivers with vehicles registered in another country and would push for the information to be passed on to the authority entitled to deal with the driver.

The measures also include recommending to member states that they enforce road safety measures.

An EC statement said: 'If traffic rules were thoroughly checked and sanctioned, more than 14,000 lives could be saved and 680,000 injuries avoided on European roads each year. 'This would go a long way towards achieving the European Union's objective of halving the number of road deaths by 2010.'

Commission vice-president in charge of Transport and Energy, Loyola de Palacio, said: 'We know why 40,000 lives are lost on European roads each year.

'The main causes are speeding, drinking and driving and not using seatbelts. Legislation to crack down on this is already in place throughout Europe. However huge differences exist in the way these rules are being respected.'

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