UN Global Road Safety Week : Eight organisations call on European Parliament to take action on speed
Eight organisations are asking the European Parliament to take action on speeding as part of a new strategy on road safety for the next decade.
The call has come during the sixth annual UN Global Safety Week which is focused on 30 km/h zones, which can improve the safety, in particular, of vulnerable road users such as pedestrians and cyclists.
The European Parliament will vote on a new ten-year road safety programme on 16 June.
A total of 18,800 EU citizens died on Europe’s roads in 2020 and many more were seriously injured. Drivers going at the wrong speed play a key role in causing road crashes and increasing their severity.
The groups say that lower speeds in urban areas are a priority. The risk of an unprotected road user being killed or seriously injured in a collision with a motorised vehicle grows substantially when the speed of the vehicle increases. At speeds of below 30 km/h pedestrians and cyclists can mix with motor vehicles in relative safety.
EU-wide, around 70% of road fatalities in urban areas involve vulnerable road users which includes pedestrians, motorcyclist and cyclists.
The groups are calling for the adoption of a formal European Commission Recommendation on speed covering infrastructure, vehicle and enforcement as well as a high level of performance for Intelligent Speed Assistance (‘ISA’) systems – due to be fitted in all new vehicles in the EU starting next year. The groups are also calling for plans to be made for extending ISA technology to other vehicle types, and to look at implementation of non-overridable systems in the future.
Update 25/5/21: MEPs discussed the new EU ten-year road safety programme at a debate held on 25 May. Our twitter thread offers a brief summary of the main points raised by MEPs.