EC plans to improve urban mobility will need strengthening if they are to have a measurable impact on road safety, according to the European Transport Safety Council (ETSC).
ETSC made its comments following the launch of the ‘Urban Mobility Package‘ on 17 December.
Through the Urban Mobility Package, the European Commission is reinforcing its support for urban transport by a range of measures including: show-casing best practice; providing targeted financial support; focussing research on delivering solutions for urban mobility challenges; and enhancing international cooperation.
ETSC says the increased popularity of walking and cycling in cities should be encouraged for the overall health benefits, but that more needs to be done to ensure the safety of these vulnerable road users. ETSC welcomes the inclusion of safer road design for vulnerable road users in the urban mobility package but says this aspiration must be followed up with specific measures such as EU guidance on traffic calming measures.
Antonio Avenoso, executive director of ETSC, said: "With 11,000 deaths on the road in urban areas across the EU each year, it is right that the European Commission says improving road safety in our cities should be a political priority.
“We welcome the renewed push to share good practice and further encouragement for local governments to make road safety a key component of their mobility plans. But we should not be under the illusion that these kinds of soft measures will be enough."
ETSC describes excessive speed as the ‘number one road safety problem’, saying that in countries where data is available, ‘up to 80% of drivers exceed speed limits in urban areas’.
ETSC is calling for intelligent speed assistance (ISA), which enables vehicles to receive and act on electronic speed limit data, to be mandatory for professional vehicles such as lorries, vans and buses. It is also calling for EU-wide safety standards for new vehicles.
For more information contact Dudley Curtis, ETSC communications manager, on +32 485 379945.