European Commission outlines new road safety policies for the next decade

  • June 19, 2019

The European Commission has published its Road Safety Policy Framework for the period 2021 – 2030.  The new framework was announced by the European Commissioner for Transport, Violeta Bulc, at the ETSC Road Safety Performance Index Conference, held today in Brussels.

The publication, which is a non-binding “staff working document”, is a follow-up to an action plan published in May 2018 as part of the package of new road safety legislation that included new vehicle and infrastructure safety standards.

One key area where the Commission has developed its plans is around the crucial issue of data collection.  The Commission had already announced last May that it planned to develop a range of key performance indicators (KPIs) for road safety, linked to outcome targets.  Following consultation with EU Member States, an initial list of the KPIs to be measured has now been published. They are:

Speed: Percentage of vehicles travelling within the speed limit

Safety belt: Percentage of vehicle occupants using the safety belt or child restraint system correctly

Protective equipment: Percentage of riders of powered two wheelers and bicycles wearing a protective helmet

Alcohol: Percentage of drivers driving within the legal limit for blood alcohol content (BAC)

Distraction: Percentage of drivers NOT using a handheld mobile device

Vehicle safety: Percentage of new passenger cars with a Euro NCAP safety rating equal or above a predefined threshold

Infrastructure: Percentage of distance driven over roads with a safety rating above an agreed threshold

Post-crash care: time elapsed in minutes and seconds between the emergency call following a collision resulting in personal injury and the arrival at the scene of the collision of the emergency services

Targets for the above performance indicators will be developed together with Member States.  Reporting on the new indicators and targets is expected from next year.

According to a 1993 directive, EU Member States are legally obliged to report to the European Commission on the number of road collisions that result in injury or death.  These new KPIs should give a more detailed sense of how Member States are performing in terms of reducing some of the most important risks.  However, the reporting on KPIs will be voluntary.

Ellen Townsend, Policy Director at ETSC commented:

“We welcome the Commission’s plan to start collecting information on how Member States are performing on reducing the main risks in road safety.  The Commission’s road safety framework for the next ten years is going in the right direction in many areas. We sincerely hope the new Commission and Parliament will quickly develop the plans and start to propose ambitious, legally-binding measures.”