ERF: Safer road infrastructure saves lives
Brussels, Belgium – European road safety targets will not be met unless Member States rise up to the challenge of absorbing increasing traffic while offering safer driving conditions to road users, according to stakeholders and experts gathered at a European roundtable on 2 May 2006.
European road safety targets will not be met unless Member States rise up to the challenge of absorbing increasing traffic while offering safer driving conditions to road users. On 2 May 2006, 80 experts gathered in Brussels at the invitation of EAPA, Eurobitume & ERF to discuss how accidents are avoided when safety is integrated in all phases of planning, design and operation of road infrastructure.
The Roundtable discussions were triggered by a recent European Commission initiative to launch a public consultation on the benefits of a legislative framework covering a limited number of preventive and remedial road safety management procedures. Stefan Tostmann, European Commission Head of Unit for Road Safety, and Rudolf Kaschnitz, representing the Austrian Presidency of the Council highlighted that a broad consensus had emerged around four key measures to ensure road users are offered comparable safety standards throughout the European Union.
How can Europe’s road sector rise up to the safety challenge?
Panellists René Jacobs (Belgian Road Research Centre), Martin Belcher (TMS Consultancy), Kallistratos Dionelis (ASECAP), Henri Molleron (Colas) and Rik Nuyttens (3M Europe) shared their views on a wealth of measures to reduce the number and severity of road accidents. Preventive road scheme auditing, better work zone safety and high-performance road safety equipment are all examples of cost-effective measures where infrastructure operators must be prepared learn from one another.
EAPA President Dariusz Slotwinski, Eurobitume President Philippe Dewez and ERF Executive Committee Member Tim Green all noted that the sector was working together and welcomed the announced European Directive paving the way to a cross-European culture of safe road design and management, concluding that, in order to be effective, policy measures had to be accompanied by a strong commitment to long-term preventive road maintenance programmes.
Note: workshop proceedings and photos are available at http://www.erf.be/content/general/detail/2824