Increasing safety on Europe's roads will top the Commission's agenda on 27 April 2007, as it organises the first-ever European Road Safety Day, in co-ordination with the United Nations' international road-safety week.
The aim is particularly to target young drivers – the main victims of road accidents – and raise their awareness of the risks of taking to the roads.
- A whole range of new measures
The day is one of a raft of measures that the Commission is investigating with a view to reaching its 2010 target, including equipping trucks with blind-spot mirrors, improving infrastructure (EurActiv 06/10/06), introducing a single driving licence (EurActiv 23/11/06) and boosting cross-border enforcement of sanctions in the hope of curbing speeding and drink-driving offences.
- 'Life-saving' daytime-running-light rules dropped
A proposal to make daytime running lights mandatory for motor vehicles, which the Commission had said could help save between 1,200 and 2,000 lives per year, has however been frozen, announced Jean-Paul Repussard of the Commission's Road Safety Unit, at a conference on road safety, organised by Toyota on 26 April.
He explained that a number of member states, as well as a vast majority of industry federations and road-user associations, were opposed to the measure, which they say would decrease the visibility of motorcyclists, distract drivers with excessive glare and cause an increase in fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.
- No common rules on drink-driving
After speeding, drink driving is the biggest killer on European roads, but a study by the European Road Safety Council (ETSC) has revealed that only one third of member states have managed to reduce the number of deaths caused by drunk drivers in any significant way. An EU-wide upper limit for blood alcohol levels for drivers was suggested by the Parliament's transport committee but the proposal seems unrealistic as alcohol policy lies mainly with national powers (EurActiv 19/01/07).