Ari Vatanen, member of the European Parliament presented a report on road safety in Europe, which points out that improvements in road safety come from a combination of safer drivers, safer cars and safer roads. According the European Commission’s Community Road Accident Database (CARE) 40,000 lives are lost and 1.7 million people are injured in road accidents every year across the EU. Direct and indirect costs are estimated at â‚¬ 160 billion. A third of road fatalities occur in urban areas (33.8% in 2002 for EU 15).
Compliance with existing rules would have a tremendous effect on fatalities, reducing them by 60% but enforcement is an exclusive competency of Member States.
At EU level, the report proposes to implement mutual recognition of financial penalties among Member States. It also calls for further progress in vehicle design, using technological developments as seat belt reminders, electronic stability controls and speed limitation systems.
Lastly, the document stresses the importance of safety improvements in the design, construction and operation of the road network.
The Parliament acknowledged the report largely adopted on 29th September a resolution targeting a reduction by 50% of road casualties by 2010.