Road safety groups meet EC President

Road safety and victim groups met European Commission (EC) president Jean-Claude Juncker earlier today (05/02) to discuss future European road safety targets.

Representatives of the European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) and the European Federation of Road Traffic Victims (FEVR) presented Mr. Juncker with a banner representing the ‘Let’s Go’ campaign, which calls for European targets to reduce serious road injuries. The campaign runs alongside an existing target to halve deaths on Europe’s roads by 2020.

The campaign comes after research indicated the number of people who suffered life changing injuries on Europe’s roads increased by 3% in 2014.

The Let’s Go campaign’s supporters include seven EU member state transport ministers, a bipartisan group of MEPs, and campaigners and experts from more than 70 organisations across Europe.

The EC was previously planning to introduce a serious injury reduction target and the concept had gained support from both the European Parliament and EU member states, but the plans were not carried out.

The ETSC’s executive director Antonio Avenoso said, ‘EU targets have been a very successful driver of reductions in road deaths with several countries cutting deaths by more than 60% since 2001. But in recent years, progress on reducing serious injuries has slowed to a halt, and even gone into reverse. Our message to President Juncker today is that a European road safety target is a simple, cheap, non-controversial and necessary step – there is no good reason to delay European action further.’

The FEVR’s president Jeannot Mersch added, ‘On behalf of the millions of seriously injured road traffic victims and their families across Europe, we are grateful to President Juncker for the opportunity to make the case to him directly for a European serious injury reduction target. Many of the injured feel that they are the ‘forgotten’ victims of road collisions. We sincerely hope that President Juncker will take this cause to heart and make it a priority for immediate action.’