Every year, more than 22,000 people are killed on Europe’s roads, and well over 120,000 are seriously injured. The EU countries have thus failed to achieve their goal of reducing the number of road deaths between 2010 and 2020 by an average of 50 percent. Instead of halving the number of fatalities, a decrease of only 36 percent was achieved during the period.
The EU parliamentarians are therefore now calling for more drastic measures in order to achieve the goal of reducing the number of fatalities and serious injuries on Europe’s roads to “almost zero” by 2050. They address two issues that are associated with more than half of all fatal accidents: excessive speed and drink-driving.
Smartphone lock while driving
The “robust measures” that the EU Parliament passed with a large majority last week include a zero alcohol limit and a speed limit of 30 km / h in residential areas and places “with high levels of bicycle and pedestrian traffic”. But the EU decision is also devoted to the subject of distraction, which is also a frequent cause of accidents: For example, MEPs demand a regulation according to which mobile and electronic devices, mostly smartphones, must be equipped with a “safe mode”. This “flight mode” for the car is intended to significantly reduce distraction while driving, for example when writing text messages.
In their decision, the MEPs call on the member states and the EU Commission to give priority to «investments with the greatest benefit for road safety». Particular attention should be paid to areas and regions with particularly high numbers of accidents. To this end, the member states should set up national funds in which money from road traffic, for example for busses collected, flows directly back into road safety. The Commission is also calling for a European road transport agency “to support sustainable, safe and intelligent road traffic.”
Protection for pedestrians and cyclists
“If we improve the infrastructure for cyclists and pedestrians, for example, we are helping to reduce our CO2-Footprint, healthy active mobility and we make mobility safer, “said Helena Dalli, EU Commissioner responsible for gender equality, in the Strasbourg parliament, according to the specialist magazine” Auto, Motor und Sport “. “Pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists now account for 70 percent of road deaths in our cities,” added Dalli.
However, there is one problem with the implementation of the EU decision: it is not binding for the EU member states. Further regulations or laws to increase road safety must be ratified by EU bodies and then in the EU countries themselves.