ETSC welcomes the adoption of a new EU target to reduce road deaths by 50% by 2020. The goal is ambitious but the measures announced by the European Commission call seriously into question the chances of reaching it.
ETSC 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. ETSC welcomes the renewed effort on enforcement and the proposal to set national implementation plans for enforcement. Other Member States will benefit in this way from the experience of fast progressing countries that have proved that effective enforcement leads to a rapid reduction in deaths and injuries.
Moreover ETSC is pleased to see the Commission’s renewed engagement on the Cross Border Enforcement Directive placed back on the Council agenda by the Belgian EU Presidency. Some of ETSC’s other longstanding recommendations have also been included such as conditionality of EU transport infrastructure funding meeting safety standards.
The road safety community, however, had hoped for a new EU 10-year strategy providing a detailed road map against which performance could be measured and delivery made accountable. Like the European Commission, ETSC recognises the important responsibilities of road users but believes that it is just as important for the traffic system to be adapted to their needs, errors and vulnerability. 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.