Results from the transport research programme
This brochure was produced by the EXTRA consortium for DG Energy and Transport and represents the consortium’s views on research relating to road safety. These views have not been adopted or in any way approved by the Commission and should not be relied upon as a statement of the Commission's or DG Energy and Transport's views. The European Commission does not guarantee the accuracy of the data included in this brochure, nor does it accept responsibility for any use made thereof.
Additional information on the transport research programme is available on the Internet. The programme’s Knowledge Centre (http://europa.eu.int/comm/transport/extra/home.html) provides: • structured guides to the results and projects for particular topics; • summaries and final reports of individual projects; • access to project web sites and other contact details. References to some projects are included in this brochure, to help the reader access further information quickly through the Knowledge Centre.
Information on the wider transport activities of the European Union is also available on the Internet. It can be accessed through the Europa server (http://europa.eu.int/comm/dgs/energy_transport/index_en.html). Manuscript completed in August 2001. Luxembourg: Office for Official Publications of the European Communities, 2001 ISBN 92-894-1552-5 © European Communities, 2001 Cover pictures: Eureka Slide. All photographs shown on page 7 have been provided by Eureka Slide. Reproduction is authorised provided the source is acknowledged. Printed in Belgium.
THE NEED FOR RESEARCH
© Eureka Slide, Houet
In this brochure, discover how research is helping to develop a long-term policy strategy to reduce the unacceptably high social costs of road accidents across Europe. mproving safety in road transport is a policy imperative, given the scale of deaths and injuries caused every year 1. A global approach is required, involving legislative and other measures. and exchanging experiences on accident prevention between Member States. Through its transport research programme 2, the European Community is providing the foundation for effective measures and spreading good practice. This brochure highlights some important results and ongoing work. Its purpose is to raise awareness of current developments, and to encourage readers to obtain further details through a web-based Knowledge Centre (http://europa.eu.int/comm/transport/ extra/home.html).
The harmonisation and enforcement of regulations, penalties and controls is one priority.Another is to promote the introduction of new technologies for vehicles and infrastructure, including telematics systems. In addition, better procedures are needed for investigating the causes of accidents
A systematic approach
Road travel presents serious risks. Over 40,000 people are killed and 1.7 million people injured on the roads in the EU every year. The cost to society has been estimated at 160 billion Euro annually, which corresponds to 2% of the Union’s economic output. There have been large reductions in fatalities in the last decade but the gains are now diminishing. Moreover, enormous differences in accident rates still exist between Member States. In the expanding Single Market for road transport, further improvements will require a systematic approach at all levels of government. Safety has to be addressed in all aspects of the design, operation and interfacing of the transport system – affecting road users, vehicles and the corresponding infrastructure. In addition, technical solutions will need to be backed up by “soft” measures to influence user behaviour. In particular, the following problems need solutions: • excessive speed; • impairment by alcohol, drugs and fatigue; • high risks facing pedestrians, cyclists,
moped users, motorcyclists and inexperienced young drivers; • inadequate...