(Date: 28 July 2010)

On 20 June, the European Commission adopted challenging plans to reduce the number of road deaths on Europe’s roads by half in the next 10 years.

Initiatives proposed in a set of European Road Safety Policy Orientations 2011-2020 range from setting higher standards for vehicle safety, to improving the training of road users, and increasing the enforcement of road rules.

The Commission will work closely with Member States to implement this programme.

European Commission Vice-President Siim Kallas responsible for Transport, said: “A hundred people die every day on Europe’s roads. We have made good progress since 2001 and we have succeeded in saving nearly 80,000 lives. But the number of fatalities and injuries on our roads is still unacceptable. We are looking at what kind of cars motorists drive, where they drive and how they drive and we want to cut road deaths in half by 2020.”

Amongst the various measures proposed, two strategic objectives are of high relevance for the ITS Community:

Firstly, “improving safety measures for vehicles and trucks” has been pointed out as one of the seven strategic objectives. The Commission confirms that, between 2011 and 2020 a range of new “active safety” measures will come into force for safety equipment including:

  • Mandatory electronic stability control (for cars, buses and trucks to reduce the risk of destabilising or rolling)
  • Mandatory lane departure warning systems (for trucks and buses)
  • Mandatory automatic emergency braking systems (for trucks and buses),
  • Mandatory seat belt reminders (cars and trucks)
  • Mandatory speed limiters for light commercial vehicles/vans (already in place for trucks)

The possibility for extending Advanced Driver Assistance Systems, such as anti- collision warnings by retrofitting them to commercial and or private vehicles will also be assessed.

For electric vehicles, the Commission will bring forward a package of concrete measures setting technical standards for safety.

The Commission is also looking to reduce injury risk for vulnerable groups such as pedestrians, cyclists. Further technical actions in this area will be examined.

Secondly, “boosting smart technology” has also been highlighted as strategic objectives. In this context, The Commission will propose new technical specifications, under the ITS directive so that data and information can be easily exchanged between vehicles and between vehicles and infrastructure. The Commission will also accelerate the deployment of e-Call as well as look at its possible extension to motorcyclists, heavy duty trucks and buses.

Previously, in a correspondence with Commissioner for Transport Sim Kallas, ERTICO – ITS Europe had stressed the importance and the role that intelligent transport systems and services can play to reduce road fatalities in Europe. ERTICO – ITS Europe welcomes this new road safety action programme which has taken into account a number of important ITS developments.

The ERTICO partnership will continue the dialogue to keep ITS for road safety high on the political agenda and to make important contributions to cost-effective and co-ordinated deployment of ITS involving all stakeholders and leading to interoperable and seamless services in Europe.

For more information on the new road safety plan, click here: