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European Road safety

27 February 2007

Recently the Eueopean Commission made a number of road safety recommendations including:

  • an EU-wide zero alcohol limit should be introduced for new drivers as well as for bus drivers and professional commercial drivers involved in the transport of hazardous goods;
  • the Commission should conduct a study on harmonising road signs and rules in Europe to reduce unnecessary risks; at present, for example, differing priority rules at roundabouts can cause accidents;
  • the Commission should consider creating a common minimum standard for driving instructors with test and certification;
  • given the large number of accidents and deaths at road work zones, common guidelines should be devised for such areas;
  • Member States should make hands-free mobile telephone systems compulsory for car, bus and commercial drivers;
  • Member States should step up their efforts to increase the use of seat belts in all vehicles, especially buses;
  • the Commission should launch a European-wide information campaign advocating breaks in driving every two hours to combat tiredness in drivers;
  • the Commission should impose a general ban on overtaking for vehicles weighing more than 12 tonnes on one- and two-lane roads;
  • more attention should be devoted to promoting technologies such as seat belt reminders and advanced restraint systems; Electronic Stability Control; speed limitation systems; alcohol interlocks; predictive safety systems and the eCall system, which could reduce accident response times considerably;
  • legislation is needed on cross-border enforcement of penalties for driving offences (so that these are punished even if committed outside the offender's home country), daytime-running lights, the use of rear reflector strips to indicate the outlines of lorries and the use of installed and retro-fitted blind-spot mirrors;
  • the Commission and Member States should promote "awareness of the single European emergency call number 112".