The hemicycle of the European Parliament building in Strasbourg, France

EU elections: ETSC highlights key road safety priorities for the EU

  • April 19, 2024

Ahead of European Parliamentary elections in June, and the formation of a new EU Commission later this year, ETSC has set out several actions it sees as crucial to progress on road safety in Europe over the next five years.

In a briefing published earlier this month, ETSC called for an overhaul of the institutional approach to road safety in the EU, with the appointment of a Road Safety Envoy, reporting directly to the Commission President, to more closely align the work carried out across various departments including mobility (DG MOVE), industry (DG GROW) and health (DG SANTE).  In addition, ETSC says an EU road safety agency with specific powers such as managing the roll-out of automated vehicles, and carrying out crash investigations along the lines of America’s NTSB and NHTSA is also long overdue.  While the other main transport modes in Europe (aviation, maritime and rail) have dedicated EU agencies responsible for safety, there is no such agency for road transport. 

On the topic of vehicle safety ETSC is urging the Commission to start work on a revision of the EU’s general safety regulation to account for rapidly advancing safety technologies and to push ahead with reforms to periodic technical inspections of vehicles to ensure these technologies are maintained over the vehicle lifetime. 

Among other priorities outlined in the report are measures to improve the safety of vulnerable road users such as cyclists, pedestrians, motorcyclists and e-scooter users as well as work on reducing crashes involving van drivers.  

Some revised EU laws, including changes to rules on driver licences, have not been finalised during the current mandate.  ETSC is calling for a rethink on several aspects of the proposed legislation, including a misguided decision to lower the minimum age for driving lorries and buses.