Road safety in the EU: we must continue the fight! - EU monitor

EU monitor
Thursday, November 21, 2019
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Source: V. (Violeta) Bulc i, published on Friday, May 20 2016.

70 people a day are still dying on European roads and up to five times as many are seriously injured, causing misery and heartbreak for many families. This is unacceptable, and we must make road safety everyone’s priority to improve these dark statistics. Every life lost on the roads is one too many and I want to see zero fatalities on the EU roads. However, we still have a long way to go before we reach that. Education, raising awareness and innovation are key to getting close to this goal.

That is why I am very proud of the winners of the Excellence in Road Safety Awards 2016, which I presented today at a ceremony in Brussels. This prize recognises the commitments to road safety that have a significant impact on saving lives on Europe's roads. I am very impressed with the commitment and creativity that this year's winners have demonstrated. Grassroots initiatives like these are crucial in our efforts to reach our strategic goal to halve road fatalities by 2020. The Excellence in Road Safety Award is a unique opportunity to highlight best practices, to recognise the hard work being put into making our roads safer and to raise awareness about the issue.

European roads are still the safest in the world; however, progress is stagnating for the second year in a row. We cannot continue to do only what we have been doing until now, and expect different results. We must re-evaluate and refocus our efforts. We need new, fresh, innovative approaches and solutions. The Commission is continuously working on a European framework for improved road safety; however this is not enough - we need to engage all stakeholders in this process. Road safety is a shared competence between the EU, national levels and the road users. That is why the continuous exchange of best practices is crucial.

I believe that youth engagement and technological innovation are key to improving road safety. Education and awareness-raising are crucial in order to target children, youngsters and novice drivers. At this year's Excellence in Road Safety Awards we decided to reward two projects where road safety becomes an integrated part of the educational programme. I also strongly believe in the potential of innovation and new technologies. Connected cars, automated driving, automatic braking and e-call system are only some examples where digitalisation is showing real potential in the drive to save lives and reduce serious injuries.

When I presented the EU road safety statistics in March, I said that we have to do much more to improve the situation in this area. That is why I wrote a letter to all EU transport ministers outlining some key road safety statistics for 2015. This data clearly shows that we must rethink our policy and our approach to road safety. I invited the Ministers to demonstrate their political commitment and take decisive action in order to reach our common goal: safer roads for all EU citizens. Now is the time for action. We must make road safety everyone’s priority. This issue cannot be tackled with regulations alone; we need broad involvement of all stakeholders. I believe that we have the necessary will, power and knowledge - political as well as expert and technological - to improve the safety on our roads.

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Sadly, shocking news this week came from the aviation sector. The Egyptair flight MS804 en route from Paris to Cairo disappeared early on Thursday, with 66 passengers on board. On this day, all my thoughts are with the families and friends of the passengers. We are ready to assist wherever we can. The European Aviation Safety Agency is also on standby to provide any technical assistance needed to the investigators. Europe has the highest aviation safety and security standards worldwide, and the Commission is continuously working to maintain this position. Safety and security for passengers is a top priority of the new Aviation Strategy we adopted in December 2015.

Prometna varnost v EU: potrebno je nadaljevati boj!

Na evropskih cestah dnevno umre 70 ljudi, kar petkrat toliko pa se jih hudo poškoduje, kar številne družine pahne v žalost in stisko. Takšne številke so nesprejemljive. Moramo se potruditi, da bo varnost na cestah prioriteta vseh udeležencev v prometu. Vsako življenje, ki ga izgubimo na cestah, je eno preveč in želim si dočakati dan, ko evropske ceste ne bodo terjale nobene žrtve. Do tja je še dolga pot. Verjamem pa, da to lahko dosežemo z izobraževanjem, dvigom ozaveščenosti o problemu ter inovacijami pri vozilih in prometni infrastrukturi.

Zelo sem ponosna na prejemnike nagrad za posebne dosežke v prometni varnosti ( Excellence in Road Safety Awards 2016), ki sem jih danes podelila na slovesnosti v Bruslju. Z njimi smo nagradili in izpostavili inovativne projekte posameznikov, izobraževalnih ustanov in organizacij iz vse Evrope, ki s svojim delom pomagajo reševati življenja. Navdušuje me predanost in kreativnost letošnjih zmagovalcev. Zastavili smo si cilj, da do leta 2020 prepolovimo število žrtev v prometu in če ga želimo izpolniti, so takšne iniciative ključnega pomena. Nagrade za posebne dosežke v prometni varnosti so odlična priložnost, da izpostavimo primere dobrih praks in pomagamo razširiti ozaveščenost o pomenu cestnoprometne varnosti.

Evropske ceste so še vedno najvarnejše na svetu, toda napredek pri preprečevanju žrtev nesreč stagnira že drugo leto zapored. Ne moremo nadaljevati z enakimi praksami in pričakovati drugačne rezultate. Spremeniti moramo pristop k varnosti v prometu. Potrebujemo nove in inovativne rešitve. Evropska komisija neprestano dela na okviru predpisov in ukrepov za izboljšanje varnosti v prometu, toda to za rešitev problema ni dovolj, potrebno je aktivirati vse deležnike. Za cestnoprometno varnost smo odgovorni vsi - EU, nacionalni organi in udeleženci v prometu. Zato je zelo pomembno, da med seboj neprestano delimo primere dobrih praks in možnih izboljšav.

Prepričana sem, da sta vključenost mladih in tehnološke inovacije ključ do večje varnosti v prometu. Zelo pomembno je primerno izobraževanje in dvig ozaveščenosti o problemu med otroci, mladino in novimi, še neizkušenimi vozniki. Tudi zato smo na letošnjih nagradah za posebne dosežke v prometni varnosti nagradili dva projekta, ki varnost v prometu predstavljata kot del izobraževalnega procesa v šolah. Prav tako močno verjamem v potencial inovacij in novih tehnologij. Povezani avtomobili, avtomatizirana vožnja, samodejno zaviranje in sistem e-call je le nekaj primerov, kjer digitalizacija in tehnologija zelo uspešno pomagata pri reševanju življenj in preprečujeta hujše poškodbe.

Ko sem marca predstavila podatke o cestnoprometni varnosti v EU, sem jasno povedala, da moramo na tem področju storiti še mnogo več. Zato sem vsem prometnim ministrom v EU poslala pismo, v katerem navajam nekaj ključnih poudarkov o cestni varnosti v Evropi. Podatki kažejo, da moramo spremeniti naš pristop do tega problema. Ministre sem pozvala, naj izkažejo svojo politično zavezanost in sprejmejo konkretne ukrepe za dosego skupnega cilja: varnejše ceste v EU. Če želi Evropa do leta 2020 prepoloviti število smrtnih žrtev v cestnem prometu, je treba storiti več. Problema ne moremo rešiti samo s predpisi, pač pa potrebujemo sodelovanje vseh udeležencev v prometu. Verjamem, da imamo potrebno voljo, znanje in moč, tako politično kot strokovno in tehnološko, da izboljšamo varnost na naših cestah.

Konec tedna pa sem se na žalost seznanila s pretresljivo novico iz letalskega prometa. V četrtek je na poti iz Pariza v Kairo nad Sredozemskim morjem izginilo potniško letalo Egyptair let MS804 s 66 potniki na krovu. Na ta črn dan sem v mislih skupaj s svojci in prijatelji žrtev. Kjer je to mogoče, smo pripravljeni pomagati. Evropska agencija za letalsko varnost je prav tako v pripravljenosti, da s tehničnim znanjem pomaga preiskovalcem nesreče. Evropa ima, kar se tiče letalskega prometa, najvišje varnostne standarde na svetu, in v Komisiji nenehno delamo na tem, da to pozicijo ohranimo in nadgradimo. Varnost potnikov v letalskem prometu je tudi prva prioriteta nove Letalske strategije, ki jo je Evropa sprejela decembra 2015.