FIA Eurocouncil Welcomes Ambitious Road Safety Strategy

Date

22 Jul 2010

Sections

Transport

The European Commission’s newly adopted Road Safety Strategy launches a new decade of action to reduce the number of road accidents, injuries and deaths over the next ten years. Seven key areas are pinpointed for targeted attention: safer vehicles; safer road infrastructure; use of vehicle to vehicle and vehicle to infrastructure technologies; training and education for road users, better enforcement; establishment of a road injuries target and a new focus on motor cyclists.

“We welcome the new EU target to reduce road deaths by 50%,” said Wil Botman, Director General of the FIA European Bureau. “With this strategy, the European Commission is sending a strong signal to the EU Member States and to all road safety stakeholders of its commitment to abating deaths and injuries on our roads. Potentially, more than 100,000 fatalities on Europe’s roads will have been averted by 2020. The EU strategy is in line with key FIA claims expressed in the development of this the strategy.”

Better targeting of road injury reduction by EU member States is also new in this strategy. Developing common definitions of “serious” and “minor” injuries will be the starting point leading to the definition of a common EU wide injuries reduction target.

We encourage Member States to translate EU objectives when setting their own national road traffic casualty reduction targets as past experience shows that significant improvements can be achieved.  Turning around the fatality rates for motorcyclists will be the challenge of the decade. Efforts thus far have failed to counter rising death and injury rates.

The FIA Eurocouncil members, national automobile clubs at national and EU level, are committed road safety stakeholders active in the forefront of all the priority areas outlined in this EU strategy. Developments in vehicle technology, infrastructure safety, education and training, are addressed not only with motorists in mind, but also vulnerable road users and motorcyclists. 

High level commitments towards road safety made by both the European Union and national governments over the past decade have paid off. European roads are safer. In nine years Europe has reduced its fatalities by more than a quarter and its injuries by around a tenth, despite a 25% increase in overall road traffic.

The leadership taken by the European Union comes at a key moment in global road safety action. The United Nations Decade of Road Safety adopted by the General Assembly last March aims at saving five million lives globally over the next decade. 

Ends

Notes for the Editors

The Eurocouncil of the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA), Europe’s leading motoring organisation, represents via its 71 affiliated members, national motoring and touring organisations 35 million motorists in 47 European countries. Europe’s motoring and touring organisations hold road safety as one of their highest priorities in order to make mobility more sustainable and reliable, while keeping it affordable for all.

In the anticipation of the European Union strategy in the area of road safety the FIA Eurocouncil issued the Copenhagen Declaration stating the beliefs and demands of the members of the FIA Eurocouncil on the current status quo of road safety in Europe.

While the FIA Eurocouncil will keep stressing the importance of the safe systems approach, where human behaviour, car technology and infrastructure are addressed, it sees a considerable potential to lie in particular in the improvement of the infrastructure. Infrastructural measures can prevent up to a third of Europe’s serious injuries or fatalities on the roads in the next ten years. A European-wide safe road infrastructure programme to make safe road design a national priority is just one of the demands that FIA clubs in Europe made. The FIA also insisted on the need to start traffic safety education from the youngest age. Moreover the gap between East and West needs to be closed.

For more information please contact Sinziana Gille, +32 2 282 08 16