An EU strategic target to reduce serious road injuries has been dropped from the European Commission’s review of the region’s road safety policy, which was published on 12 June.
In response, the European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) is calling on ministers to ask the Commission to come forward with the target “as promised”.
ETSC says the “watered-down language” in a working paper says the Commission will “work on serious injuries including monitoring of progress…” – but makes no mention of the strategic target promised in a press release in March 2015.
ETSC says the decision to drop the target came from a high level in the European Commission, but says no explanation has been given publically on why there has been a “sudden u-turn”.
Antonio Avenoso, executive director of the ETSC, said: “On the one hand the Commission is saying that the criteria for setting a strategic serious road injury target have been met, and yet this very target seems to have been dropped from the announcement of the biggest review of EU road safety policy in five years.
“It’s hard to comprehend what the roadblock is when the target has broad political support and is such a simple, cheap, non-controversial and necessary step.
“Targets for cutting road deaths set by the EU in 2001 and 2010 have made a major contribution to the dramatic reductions we have seen in recent years. But we have not seen the same level of progress on serious injuries – hence the widely accepted need for a separate target.”
In a letter sent earlier this week, a coalition of more than 50 experts and organisations, and 11 MEPs, asked President Jean-Claude Juncker, head of the European Commission, for his “assurance that the…target will be proposed in the coming weeks”.