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EC draws up measures to halve road deaths by 2020 in Europe

The European Commission adopted challenging plans on Tuesday to reduce the number of road deaths on Europe's roads by half in the next 10 years. Initiatives proposed in a set of European Road Safety Policy Orientations 2011-2020 range from setting higher standards for vehicle safety, to improving the training of road users, and increasing the enforcement of road rules. The commission will work closely with member states to implement this program, the EC press release says.

“One hundred people die everyday on Europe's roads,” European Commission Vice-President Siim Kallas responsible for transport said. “We have made good progress since 2001 and we have succeeded in saving nearly 80,000 lives. But the number of fatalities and injuries on our roads is still unacceptable. We are looking at what kind of cars motorists drive, where they drive and how they drive and we want to cut road deaths in half by 2020.”

The initiatives outlined by the commission include improving safety measures or trucks and cars; building safer roads; developing intelligent vehicles and improving training. The EC also wants to focus on motorcyclists and urges better law enforcement regarding road safety.

The number of fatal road accidents has fallen back 34% between 2001 and 2009 in Hungary and has also shown a declining tendency in most of the EU member states. However, the EC expects an average decline exceeding 40% in the member states by 2010 – it was 39% in the 2001-2009 period.