Road infrastructure management without red tape
Brussels, Belgium – A Commission proposal for a directive to upgrade road safety management standards EU-wide would breach the subsidiarity principle and create too much red tape if its guidelines were to be made binding, said the Transport Committee on Tuesday 2008-02-26. Whilst acknowledging that infrastructure improvements and better engineering could cut accidents involving injury by 7000 and save 600 lives a year, MEPs believe this is best achieved by allowing Member States to choose which guidelines they implement.
The Commission proposal for a directive aims to upgrade road safety management standards across the EU and defines guidelines and best practices for all stages of infrastructure management, including road safety impact assessments, road safety audits, network safety management and safety inspections.
The committee was voting on a second report on the Commission proposal by Helmuth Markov (GUE/NGL, DE). It had already rejected the Commission proposal in June 2007, arguing that non-binding measures would be more appropriate. The plenary then referred the first report back to the committee in July 2007, and on 2 October 2007, the Council of Transport Ministers also endorsed the idea of a directive with guidelines set out in non-binding annexes.
Let Member States decide
In his second report on the proposal, Mr Markov incorporated parts of the Council position and many first reading amendments. It was decided that the annexes in the directive would not be binding and that the Member States could decide which parts of these guidelines they would implement. The application of the directive should also be restricted to the Trans-European Networks (TENs) and not be expended to all motorways in the EU, said the committee.
The report was adopted with 25 votes in favour, 4 against and 13 abstentions.
Procedure: Co-decision, first reading —Plenary vote: April 2008, Strasbourg.
Committee on Transport and Tourism
In the Chair: : Paolo Costa (ALDE, IT)