ETSC report defines key priorities for road safety for European Council

ETSC report defines key priorities for road safety for European Council

The European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) has written a report for the Austrian Presidency of the European Council, to recommend key priorities for road safety.

In its memorandum, the ETSC called on the Austrian Presidency to take initiative in fulfilling the ambitions the European Commission outlined in its third mobility package, published earlier this year. The organisation also outlined a number of key priorities for road safety which could help to achieve EU targets over the next ten years.

The EU aims to halve road deaths by 2020 compared to 2010 levels, and in May, announced an additional target of halving road deaths again by 2030 compared to 2020 levels. However, progress towards this goal has been weak and the ETSC has warned that political will to achieve the target is lacking.

What needs to be done to reduce road deaths in Europe?

To achieve the EU’s targets, the ETSC recommends the Austrian Presidency to emphasise the strong return on investment of road safety improvements, and to show EU leadership to catalyse action at a national level.

The ETSC further suggests that EU Member States should be encouraged to apply for funding from the Connecting Europe Facility, which has made available funding of up to €200m to invest in transport infrastructure upgrades.

What action can the Austrian Presidency of the European Council take?

In terms of the Austrian Presidency’s key priorities for road safety, the ETSC recommends updating the minimum safety standards for vehicles sold on the EU market, which was proposed as part of the third mobility package. Austria should take the initiative to promote the safety benefits of these improvements in standards.

The ETSC also argues that, in preparation for future developments, European authorities need to establish a legislative framework for automated vehicles, particularly as both manufacturers and technology companies pursue automation and develop related technologies.

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