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European Commission - Press release

Road transport: Commission asks Finland to act on road infrastructure safety

Brussels, 24 November 2011 - The European Commission has today asked Finland to finalise their procedures for managing the safety of the trans-European road network in accordance with their obligations under European Union law. These procedures include road safety impact assessments, road safety audits and safety rankings of the network. The request takes the form of a reasoned opinion under EU infringement procedures. If Finland fails to inform the Commission within two months of measures taken to finalise compliance with EU law, the Commission could refer the case to the EU Court of Justice.

The EU rules

Directive 2008/96/EC requires that road safety impact assessments are carried out to show how different planning alternatives of an infrastructure project could affect road safety. This is why they should play an important role when routes are being selected. In addition road safety audits are needed under the directive to identify unsafe features of a road infrastructure project. Finally, the directive also sets out rules and procedures on safety management for once the road has been completed. These measures aim to increase and maintain the safety of road infrastructures on the trans-European road network.

The reason for today's action

Finland has not fully transposed the directive into national law, although it was required to do so by 19 December 2010.

The practical effect of non-implementation

Drivers and passengers using these roads could be put at risk if the appropriate procedures for safety impact assessments and audits have not been set up.

More information on infringement procedures:

MEMO/11/824

Contacts :

Helen Kearns (+32 2 298 76 38)

Dale Kidd (+32 2 295 74 61)


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