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Road safety: we must do more
Commission Européenne - IP/06/202 22/02/2006
Brussels, 22 February 2006
The European Commission has today published figures showing the efforts made in the European Union since 2001 on road safety. Considerable progress has been made, especially in some Member States. In 2005, there were 8000 fewer road deaths than in 2001. But not enough progress has been made and more effort will be needed, at national and European level, to achieve the objective of halving the number of road deaths by 2010.
“The progress we have seen must be an incentive for everyone to do more still”, said Jacques Barrot, the European Commission Vice-President responsible for transport.
Since 2001 and with the European Road Safety Action Programme adopted in 2003, the European Union has helped to put road safety at the top of the agenda of the Member States' political concerns. Several Member States which had not yet done so have now adopted national road safety plans, often taking over the common target of halving the number of road accident victims.
The principal figures in the mid-term review are the following:
Considerable work has been done at European level on different aspects of road safety, such as the recent adoption of legislation on driving and rest times for professional drivers (IP/06/110), measures on vehicle safety, and education and awareness campaigns. Moving forward on the proposal on driving licences to combat driving licence fraud and to improve the skills and hence the safety of motorcyclists is now a matter of urgency. In absolute terms, the number of motorcyclists killed rose between 2000 and 2003, while the total number of road deaths fell. The proposal on driving licences (IP/03/1435) provides for gradual access to driving licences for the most powerful motorcycles and introduces a driving licence for mopeds. On this issue, Vice-President Jacques Barrot said: “I hope the Council will deal with the driving licence issue soon. We must do more to protect motorcyclists”.
The Commission currently has plans to launch new initiatives once the revised
Transport White Paper has been adopted, this being expected at the end of April.
The informal Council of Transport Ministers will discuss road safety in Bregenz
(Austria) on 2 and 3 March.