In 2019, the last known statistical year, the EU suffered 23,000 deaths in road accidents and 120,000 injuries. It is a startling statistic and close to that of 2018, which had witnessed little improvement for several years.
For the Renew Europe Group in the European Parliament, the issue of road safety in Europe requires urgent action. This is the focal point of the report on the European Union Political Framework for Road Safety 2021-2030, adopted last week by the European Parliament Transport Committee (TRAN). The report makes a series of recommendations for achieving a “Vision Zero” of fatalities and serious injuries by 2050, based on three pillars: safer vehicles, safer roads and improved emergency services.
ALDE Party Acting Co-President Ilhan Kyuchyuk MEP (MRF, BG), shadow rapporteur for Renew Europe on the TRAN Committee, said: “The statistics are startling and we should not forget that behind the numbers, there are people, lives lost, dreams shattered. This is an unacceptable and unnecessary human and social price to pay for mobility. The Renew Europe position is based on more intensive and cooperative efforts to develop strong European road safety policies with stakeholders, research and innovation support, in order to achieve better enforcement and crash response and ultimately aiming for sustainable and safe mobility in Europe.”
The Renew Europe Group insisted on improving enforcement of traffic rules, signs and signals and introducing self-enforcing roads, especially in dangerous zones with a prevalence of vulnerable road users. Renew Europe also called for the harmonisation of national approaches to road safety, including extending the “EU Road Safety Exchange” programme and introducing key performance indicators for road safety. It also insisted on awareness raising and information campaigns, as well as for securing effective victim follow-up support. Finally, Renew Europe is urging EU Member States to provide sufficient funding to upgrade emergency infrastructure including for air medical services, especially in remote, mountainous and island regions.