April 1, 2010
The global agreement to cut road deaths around the world over the next 10 years will be met across Europe only with clear-sighted vision, astute leadership and by acknowledging that modest spending on roads is an investment with an enormous rate of return, according to EuroRAP, the European Road Assessment Programme.
Governments around the world have signed a UN resolution for a Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020, aiming to save five million lives over the next decade. The milestone declaration follows the first-ever Global Ministerial Summit on Road Safety held in Moscow last November, where governments from around the world endorsed the establishment of a global governmental framework for road safety.
EuroRAP welcomed the declaration and called on governments across Europe to actively work towards reducing national road fatalities as they develop their road safety strategies for the coming decade. “We have the knowledge and the means to save 500,000 road deaths and serious injuries across the EU over the next 10 years,” says John Dawson, chairman of EuroRAP.
“We know that 28% of the EU road network rates as unacceptably high risk; that 65% of fatal and serious crashes occur on single carriageways; and that the risk of a fatal or serious injury collisions on high-risk road sections is 40 times higher than on the safest roads
“A programme of safety engineering on high-risk roads across Europe will reduce the annual €160bn (2% of European GDP) cost of road crashes by €50bn,” says Dawson.
“We now need to move from just treating ‘blackspots’ where some [people] have already died to systematically removing the known high risks that will lead to hundreds of thousands being killed or seriously injured in the decade ahead.”
(European Road Assessment Programme)Author : Letters to the EurActiv editor