The European Commission will announce a major package of road safety legislation next month including new vehicle safety standards, revised rules on infrastructure safety management, a strategy on automated driving as well as a new overarching road safety framework setting targets for the decade to 2030.

The announcements, expected on 16 May, are being published after lengthy delays and several years of slow to non-existent progress on reducing road deaths and serious injuries in the EU.

Figures published earlier this month showed that deaths on EU roads fell by just 2% last year, following a similar decrease in 2016 and a 1% increase in 2015.

According to ETSC analysis, the EU target of cutting deaths by half in the decade to 2020 is now very unlikely to be reached. The EU28 collectively reduced the number of road deaths by 20% over the period 2010-2017, far less than the 38% cut needed to stay on course to meet the 2020 target.

Commenting on the publication of the latest figures, Antonio Avenoso, Executive Director of the European Transport Safety Council said:

“For four years in a row, the European Commission has announced poor results on road safety.  And for four years in a row, there has been almost no new EU action on concrete policy measures to combat the scourge of road deaths and injury.  The time for action is long overdue.”

“ETSC is eagerly awaiting for the Commission to come forward with a package of long-awaited road safety legislation.  We are calling for safer vehicle standards such as mandatory fitment of Automated Emergency Braking (AEB) and Intelligent Speed Assistance (ISA); better infrastructure safety rules and a solid framework for the safe roll-out of automated driving . It’s also time to see a new long term plan for the next decade with a clear strategy for halving the number of people that die or are seriously injured on our roads every week.”

ETSC, together with 13 organisations representing car industry suppliers, consumer groups, police, motorists, cyclists and road safety and environmental campaigners called on the European Parliament in March to deliver a ‘strong and timely’ position on new vehicle safety standards which the groups say are “critical to reducing deaths and serious injuries on Europe’s roads.”