EP Transport Committee: EU-wide approach traffic law
Brussels – Cross-border enforcement of road traffic law remains very unsatisfactory, says the Transport Committee. It therefore argues that the time is ripe for a Community-wide approach to enable authorities to follow up offences and penalties imposed in another Member State. The committee also feels that enforcing compliance with existing road traffic rules would dramatically improve road safety as most accidents are the results of a failure to comply with traffic rules.
On 14 June 2005 the committee adopted an own-initiative report by Ari VATANEN (EPP-ED, FR) on a Commission proposal on a European road safety programme, which bears the title “Halving the number of road accident victims in the EU by 2010: a shared responsibility”. The vote was 30 in favour, 5 against and 5 abstentions.
MEPs adopted a range of amendments aiming at improving and strengthening the proposal, in particular with regard to young road users and their education, vulnerable road users and the introduction of cost-effective intelligent safety systems. Members also strongly urged the Commission to introduce a harmonised definition of Community road signs and motorist information.
The committee expressed concern about the safety of vulnerable road users, including young people, noting that the risk of death in motorcycle or moped travel was 17 times higher than in car travel and that walking or cycling was up to nine times riskier. Finally, it regretted that the Third Road Safety Action Programme did not particularly highlight the road safety problems in densely populated areas, where most accidents happen.
Mr Vatanen quoted economist John Maynard Keynes, who once said “In the long run we are all dead” but he added that this would not necessarily have to be on EU roads if the Commission and Member States would adopt the conclusions in his report.