Annual reception with inaugural granting of the DEKRA Vision Zero Award to Kerpen
In 2016, as in every year, the latest DEKRA Road Safety Report was presented at the Baden-Württemberg state representation in Brussels. This year's report focuses on passenger transportation – in particular cars, which still account for by far the biggest proportion of individual mobility. The expert organization highlights the areas harboring the greatest potential for a sustained reduction in the number of road accident victims in the EU and describes the challenges this involves for people, technology and infrastructure. "The negative trend reversal in traffic fatalities and serious injuries that can be seen from the report is extremely worrying and the need for action is obvious”, said Michael Cramer (Alliance 90/The Greens), chair of the European Parliament’s transport committee, in view of the fact that last year the number of road deaths in the EU rose again for the first time since 2001. In the 28 EU member states, around 26,000 people were killed on the roads in 2015 – an increase of 1.2% on the previous year. "There is no doubt that further automation can have a positive influence on these figures in the future”, said Cramer. We also must not be led to believe that technology could avert all dangers. Other measures, including a safe infrastructure and road safety education at an early age are still vital elements.
"All stakeholders are called upon to make every effort to reverse this trend and build on the successes of previous years“, reminded Stefan Kölbl, Chairman of the Management Board of DEKRA e. V. and DEKRA SE. Clemens Klinke, member of the Management Board of DEKRA SE and responsible for the Automotive business unit, believes that responsible behavior, a proper assessment of one's own capabilities and a high level of acceptance of rules among all road users are absolutely essential. "Even the very best vehicle technology and road infrastructure cannot change that," the DEKRA Management Board member said in Brussels, expressing his concern.
In addition, the DEKRA Vision Zero Award was granted in Brussels for the first time – to the city of Kerpen. With this award the leading international expert organization recognizes Kerpen's achievement of not a single traffic fatality inside the town being reported for six consecutive years. “With our new DEKRA Vision Zero Award, we want to make it clear that the aim of zero traffic fatalities does not have to be a utopian vision," said DEKRA CEO Stefan Kölbl when he presented the award. The Mayor of Kerpen Dieter Spürck sees the award as recognition of the good work carried out by municipal traffic planners to constantly improve road safety. "Close cooperation with the police, and information from residents, also contribute to improving the situation, allowing dangerous spots to be identified and specifically targeted."
DEKRA has specially developed an interactive world map on the topic of “Vision Zero.” The map shows at www.dekra-vision-zero.com the towns and cities with over 50,000 inhabitants in the USA, Japan and many European countries, which have achieved the objective of zero traffic fatalities in at least one year since 2009.