UN Global Road Safety Week : Eight organisations call on European Parliament to take action on speed

  • May 20, 2021

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.

Download the full letter

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.