In 2010, the EU set an ambitious goal of halving traffic deaths in 2020. As part of these ongoing efforts to increase road safety, on Thursday the European Commissioner for Transport Violeta Bulc published a report on road safety. The 2015 statistics indicate the EU has a long way to go in reaching its road safety goals. After improvements in 2012 and 2013, this year the EU showed no improvement over 2014 statistics. The 26,000 road fatalities in 2015 is 5,500 fewer than in 2010. In addition to the human cost, Commissioner Bulc placed the monetary cost of road fatalities and injuries at over €100 billion.
The European Commission’s strategy to improve road safety focuses on three main areas: enforcement of traffic laws, exchange of knowledge and information between EU members, and technologies such as connected cars and autonomous vehicles. Commissioner Bulc also called on member states to increase awareness and education of road safety.
The EU has long expressed its commitment to including connected and autonomous vehicles as a central component of its road safety plans. Commissioner Bulc said “Technology and innovation are increasingly shaping the future of road safety. In the medium to long term, connected and automated driving, for instance, has great potential in helping to avoid crashes, and we are working hard to put the right framework in place.”
As part of this effort, the report called out several specific technologies and initiatives, including:
As each of these plans develop, the European Commission is hoping to see significant improvement in road safety across the EU.