Fleet News

Roadsafe welcomes programme to halve Europe road deaths

RoadSafe welcomes an ambitious programme to halve the number of deaths on Europe’s roads by 2020.

The European Commission ‘Road Safety Programme’, issued this week, said more than 35,000 people were killed on the continent’s roads in 2009, and for each death, four people were permanently disabled and ten were seriously injured. It puts the cost of all road accidents in Europe at €130 billion a year.

Top of the seven point agenda is the use of active safety measures in vehicles. RoadSafe director, Adrian Walsh says, “The vehicle industry has made huge strides in improving vehicle safety. Advanced seatbelt and airbag technology, for example, have made an enormous difference, contributing to a 12% reduction in road deaths in the last year alone.

“We are delighted that the Commission has formerly recognised the latest developments, including electronic stability control and emergency braking systems. There is no doubt that lives will be saved.” 

The improved safety measures for vehicles include:

  • Mandatory electronic stability control (for cars, buses and trucks to reduce the risk of destabilising or rolling).
  • Mandatory lane departure warning systems (for trucks and buses).
  • Mandatory automatic emergency braking systems (for trucks and buses).
  • Mandatory seat belt reminders (cars and trucks).
  • Mandatory speed limiters for light commercial vehicles/vans (already in place for trucks).
  • The Commission will examine the possibility of extending the implementation of advanced Driver Assistance Systems, such as anti-collision warnings, by retrofitting them to commercial and or private vehicles.
 
Many of these systems are already available in the market, but there is still a lack of understanding of their effectiveness. RoadSafe believes that this is where dealers and those advising consumers can play an important role in making our roads safer, well ahead of the targets set by the Commission.
 
RoadSafe also appeals to the UK government to encourage the rapid introduction of smart vehicle and road technology, to accelerate the reduction in casualties.
 
As well as safer vehicles, the Commission’s programme focuses on the safety of infrastructure and the behaviour of road users. Its six other strategic developments are:
  1. Build a safer road infrastructure.
  2. Boost smart technology.
  3. Strengthen education and training for road users.
  4. Better enforcement.
  5. Establish a Road Injuries Target.
  6. Put a new focus on motorcyclists.

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