Brussels, 25 June 2014
Road safety: New smartphone app provides information on EU road traffic rules
What is the speed limit on Spanish motorways? Do I need to wear a helmet when I cycle in Sweden? What safety equipment must I always have in the car when driving in Slovakia? From now on, holiday makers do not need to spend a lot of time searching for this information. They can have it at hand wherever they are with the European Commission's new smartphone app "Going Abroad".
The app is available for iPhone and iPad, Google Android and Microsoft Windows phones in 22 languages. Apart from all important road safety information for all EU countries, the app also contains a road safety quiz and a memory game to entertain passengers during long car journeys. Of course the app should never be checked while driving – drivers should let the passengers do the job or take breaks from driving to stay both rested and well-informed.
European Commission Vice-President Siim Kallas, in charge of transport, said: "The summer holiday period is the busiest time on Europe's roads. It is so easy to take your car abroad, but many people don't realise that rules and road signs differ across the EU. The 'Going Abroad' app provides convenient and user-friendly information to help minimise this risk."
The app covers information about all topics that carry the biggest risk for accidents, including speed and alcohol limits, traffic lights, and the use of mobile phones. It also informs users about obligations to wear seat belts in cars and safety helmets on bikes and motorbikes.
Its release just before the start of the summer holidays is timely because July and August are the deadliest road traffic months with on average some 50% more road deaths than in the "safest" month, February.
Road safety work in the EU has made great progress over recent years. Between 2001 and 2010, the number of fatalities on EU roads was reduced by a total of 43%. Between 2010 and 2013, it was reduced by a further 17%.
The strategic target is to halve road deaths between 2010 and 2020 and also to start focusing EU efforts on reducing serious road traffic injuries. The new road safety information app is one contribution among many other road safety initiatives at EU level.
Download the "Going Abroad" app
For latest figures on road fatalities per Member State see IP 14/341