EU Road Safety Policy Framework 2021-2030 – Recommendations on next steps towards "Vision Zero"  
2021/2014(INI) - 06/10/2021  

The European Parliament adopted by 615 votes to 24, with 48 abstentions, a resolution on the EU road safety policy framework 2021-2030 - Recommendations on the next steps towards ‘Vision Zero’.

Every year around 22 700 people still lose their lives on EU roads and around 120 000 are seriously injured. More than 11 800 children and youngsters up to the age of 17 have been killed in road traffic collisions in the EU over the last 10 years. The EU's long-term strategic goal of moving towards ‘zero deaths’ and ‘zero serious injuries’ on the EU's roads by 2050 must therefore be reaffirmed.

EU road safety policy framework

Members welcomed the new EU road safety policy framework for the decade 2021-2030, the new targets set and the adoption of the ‘safe system’ approach based on a performance framework and timed targets for the reduction of casualties and serious injuries. They welcomed the introduction of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and invited all Member States to agree on a harmonised methodology for KPIs that will allow Member States to compare data. The Commission is invited to set outcome targets by 2023.

Members called on the Commission to increase EU investment in road safety in all relevant EU funding programmes and on Member States to create national road safety funds as mechanisms for collecting fines under their traffic codes and redistributing the money raised for road safety.

Safe infrastructure

Parliament urged Member States and the Commission to prioritise investments that deliver the greatest benefits in terms of road safety, devoting particular attention to the most accident-prone areas when maintaining or building new infrastructure.

Members welcomed the risk mapping and safety rating of motorways and primary roads introduced in the recently revised EU infrastructure safety rules.

They urged Member States to designate as many primary roads as possible and to set up, in accordance with the directive, a national voluntary reporting system, accessible online to all road users, to facilitate the collection of data of occurrences transmitted by road users and vehicles.

The Commission and Member States are urged to:

- expedite work on EU specifications for the performance of road signs and markings to prepare the ground for greater vehicle automation;

- devise quality requirements for walking and cycling infrastructure to address the insufficient level of safety for active road users and consider the needs of road users with reduced mobility or other disabilities in the planning and construction of new road infrastructure;

- include, in the next revision of the TEN-T Regulation, measures to improve road safety in urban nodes, suburban and rural areas, and to improve operational safety throughout the life cycle of critical infrastructure such as tunnels and bridges

- improve the safety and connectivity of cycling infrastructure and ensure that the walking and cycling infrastructure created by Member States in response to the COVID-19 pandemic remains in place and is extended.

Safe vehicles

Members welcomed the recent revision of the General Safety Regulation, which will make new advanced safety features in vehicles mandatory in the EU as from 2022, with the potential to save around 7 300 lives and avoid 38 900 serious injuries by 2030. They called on the Commission to adopt ambitious and timely secondary legislation, which should also require high-performing intelligent speed assistance systems to be fitted in all new vehicles.

The Commission is invited to:

- draw up standards for information requirements on the safety parameters of child restraints;

- include advanced safety systems in the next revision of the roadworthiness package to ensure that they are subject to periodic technical inspections;

- propose a new harmonised regulatory framework for automated vehicles to ensure that these vehicles operate under maximum safety conditions;

- consider introducing an obligation to equip drivers' mobile and electronic devices with a ‘safe driving mode’ to reduce distractions while driving.

Safe use of the road

Alcohol plays a role in 25% of all fatal road accidents. Members therefore proposed a zero-tolerance framework for drink-driving and to introduce a zero-tolerance recommendation for illicit psychoactive substances as well as standards for roadside checks for driving under the influence of drugs.

As speed is a determining factor in about 30% of fatal traffic accidents, the Commission should make a recommendation for the application of safe speed limits, such as maximum default speeds of 30km/h in residential areas and areas where there are high numbers of cyclists and pedestrians.

Given that 10 million major road traffic offences in the EU committed by non-residents are detected each year, Members stressed the need to further strengthen the efficiency of the existing framework for cross-border enforcement of road traffic offenses, in the upcoming revision of the Directive.

The Commission is also asked to ensure that professional van drivers undergo appropriate training and to address the issue of van drivers’ fatigue and speeding, particularly as a result of the large increase in the number of home deliveries since the COVID-19 pandemic.

Framework fit for the future

Members stated that the EU should pave the way for connected and automated vehicles to be rolled out in due time and should assess the possible risks of combining such vehicles with traditional vehicles in mixed traffic and vulnerable road users. They called on Member States to set up vehicle scrappage schemes under green conditions to incentivise the purchase and use of safer, clean and energy-efficient vehicles.

Lastly, Parliament called on the Commission to consider establishing a European road transport agency to support sustainable, safe and smart road transport or – if not feasible – to entrust an existing agency with this task.