The European Commission has announced a major new package of road safety measures that include a target to halve road deaths and, for the first time, serious injuries by 2030.
Within a strategy that aims to make Europe a world leader for fully automated and connected mobility systems, the Commission is proposing that new models of vehicles are equipped with advanced safety features such as advanced emergency braking, lane-keeping assist and pedestrian and cyclist detection systems for trucks.
In addition, it is helping Member States to systematically identify dangerous road sections and to better target investment. The Commission says these two measures could save up to 10,500 lives and avoid close to 60,000 injuries between 2020-2030, thereby contributing to the EU’s long-term goal of moving close to zero fatalities and serious injuries by 2050 (“Vision Zero”).
“Over the past year, this Commission has put forward initiatives addressing the challenges of today and paving the way for the mobility of tomorrow,” said EU Commissioner for Transport, Violeta Bulc. “Today’s measures constitute a final and important push so that Europeans can benefit from safe, clean and smart transport.”
While road fatalities have more than halved since 2001, 25,300 people lost their lives on EU roads in 2017 and another 135,000 were seriously injured.
In his State of the Union address of September 2017, European Union (EU) President Jean-Claude Juncker set out a goal for the EU to become a world leader in innovation, digitisation and decarbonisation. This third and final “Europe on the Move” builds on the previous versions released in May and November 2017.
Antonio Avenoso, Executive Director of the European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) said, “Taken together, today’s announcements could represent the biggest step forward in road safety in Europe since the introduction of the seat belt. Road traffic injury is still the number one killer of young people across the continent so these essential measures cannot come soon enough.
“Today’s announcements alone will not make the difference; it is absolutely crucial that EU Member States and the European Parliament give their backing to the plans and that they do not give in to pressure from car manufacturers, who are already attempting to weaken parts of the vehicle safety proposal.”