This article is presented to you in collaboration with the European Parliament.
Robust road safety measures, such as a 30 km / h speed limit and zero tolerance for drink driving, are the way to achieve zero fatalities on EU roads by 2050, say the deputies.
The EU road safety resolution, adopted Wednesday by 615 votes to 24 with 48 abstentions, notes that around 22,700 people die on EU roads each year, with around 120,000 seriously injured. Progress in reducing death rates has stalled in recent years and the EU has missed its self-imposed target of halving the number of road fatalities between 2010 and 2020 (the number of road fatalities has fallen 36%).
According to recent figures, the safest roads remain in Sweden (18 deaths per million inhabitants) while Romania (85 / million) recorded the highest fatality rate in 2020. The EU average was 42 deaths per million. million inhabitants.
Safe speed limit
Speed is a key factor in about 30% of fatal road crashes, note MEPs. The Commission should recommend ways to enforce safe speed limits, they ask, such as a maximum speed of 30 km per hour in residential areas and areas with large numbers of cyclists and pedestrians. To further promote safe use of the road, they are also insisting on a zero tolerance limit for drinking and driving, pointing out that alcohol is involved in around 25% of all road fatalities.
MEPs call on the Commission to consider integrating a ‘safe driving mode’ into drivers’ mobile and electronic devices in order to limit distracted driving. There should be tax incentives and attractive auto insurance schemes for the purchase and use of vehicles that meet the highest safety standards, MEPs add.
Better infrastructure and more coordination
MEPs want more investment in infrastructure that would improve road safety, focusing on areas with the highest number of accidents. They call on Member States to create national road safety funds which would channel the sums from road traffic fines into road safety projects.
To properly implement the next steps in EU road safety policy, MEPs call on the Commission to create a European Road Transport Agency to support sustainable, safe and smart road transport.
EP rapporteur Elena Kountoura (The Left, EL) said: “For too long Europeans have had to live with an unacceptable number of deaths on our roads. It is realistic to aim to halve the number of road fatalities by 2030, if the EU and Member States commit to improving road safety, accompanied by strong political will and funding. sufficient. We already know what kills on the road, which is why we are calling on the Commission and governments to apply specific rescue measures to support these efforts, such as lower speed limits, in particular by creating a limit by 30 km / h default for cities, an accelerated modal shift to other forms of transport, and a new European Road Transport Agency.