EU Pursues “Safe System” Approach for More Road Safety

Aug 2018

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Safe vehicles and a better infrastructure, legislative initiatives for mandatory installation of emergency braking systems in newly approved cars, driving without alcohol, as well as walking and driving without distractions, and much more: In its set of measures, presented under the title “Europe on the Move,” the EU Commission lists a range of activities for sustainable and safe mobility. The declared objective is to bring the number of road traffic deaths in the EU close to zero by 2050.

The EU framework for the policy in the area of road safety 2021 – 2030, the details of which are to be developed by 2019, according to information from the Commission, is based on the “Safe System” approach. For this purpose, clear objectives must be specified and progress on the prevention of deaths and serious injuries monitored with the aid of key performance indicators. “This requires coordinated measures in all sectors and for all road users within the framework of a strengthened management structure,” states the EU Commission.

Central aspects in the framework of the strategic action plan include safe roads and roadsides. In this area, the “Safe System” approach makes provisions for the function, planning, and design of roads and for coordinating speed limits so that human error is counterbalanced and possible accidents no longer cause death or serious injury. In addition, the EU Commission is proposing a revision of the regulation on the general safety of vehicles and the regulation for the protection of pedestrians to prescribe some important safety features in a binding manner. For example, intelligent speed assistants, autonomous emergency braking systems, also in relation to pedestrians and cyclists, or the improvement of the direct field of vision in trucks.

The set of measures also makes provisions for installing alcohol interlocks in motor vehicles to reduce the number of alcohol-related accidents in Europe. The EU Commission is also focusing on quick and effective emergency responses. In this context, the effects of the introduction of eCall (automatic emergency call in the event of accidents) is to be monitored closely.

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