The European Union should urgently introduce a new target and measures to cut serious road injuries, according to public health and medical experts from across Europe. (ETSC)
The health professionals expressed their views in a letter sent on 25 October to Jean Claude Juncker, president of the European Commission.
The public health stakeholders, led by the European Public Health Alliance, say the figure of 135,000 seriously injured people on Europe’s roads in 2014 reflects the ‘enormous toll’ that road collisions take on individuals, families and health services.
They say the majority of these collisions are preventable, and the severity of many could be reduced by measures such as better pedestrian protection design on new vehicles ,and ensuring seat belt use by all passengers through the use of seat-belt reminder warning systems on all seats.
The European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) says EC proposals for a serious injury target and new vehicle safety standards have been ‘dogged by continuous delays and are now long overdue’.
The ETSC also says more needs to be done to encourage manufacturers to install full Intelligent Speed Assistance (ISA) which ‘actively helps prevent the driver from speeding’.
ETSC says the latest results from Euro NCAP show few new models offer the more advanced version of the technology – which has the ‘potential to prevent significantly more deaths than the warning-only function’.
Antonio Avenoso, executive director of ETSC said: “ISA has much more life-saving potential when the car limits the speed automatically. It’s important that the European Commission makes an overridable form of ISA mandatory on all new cars when vehicle safety rules are revised over the next year.”