Vice-President Siim Kallas gave the keynote speech at the Drink Driving Seminar organised by the European Transport Safety Council (ETCS). The Commissioner reiterated the importance of working together with stakeholders and Member States to reduce road fatalities, at a time when the rate of decline in road deaths in Europe has slowed down markedly. He particularly condemned drink driving practices which remain a major killer on EU roads.
Ladies and gentlemen
Each year, European roads are the scene of an unacceptable number of fatalities.
Last month we received the latest annual figures for 2011.
They give me particular cause for concern because the rate of decline in road deaths in Europe has slowed down markedly.
This is a worrying change in the trend, given our previous successes in getting the numbers down.
But a trend that has not yet changed is that drink driving remains a major killer on our roads today.
EU Transport Commissioner Siim Kallas, today set out the Commission's priorities for passenger ship safety. The keynote speech was delivered at a major passenger ship safety conference in Brussels, hosted by the Commission, to launch a consultation with stakeholders on the priority actions to come.
Vice-President Kallas said: "Tragic accidents, from the Titanic, to the Estonia or the Costa Concordia, put ship safety in the spotlight. There are always lessons to learn from such disasters. But we are not just waiting for the next accident to happen. It would be foolhardy merely to respond after the event. The EU has the toughest ship safety rules in the world and this is the result of a process of continuous improvements, proactive and preventative measures to raise maritime safety standards."
More than 20 national signalling and speed control systems now operate in Europe. Unfortunately, they are not mutually compatible. These technical inefficiencies are a major barrier to the rapidly growing market in rail freight, where the greatest potential comes from cross-border traffic. They are also holding back the development of the wider European transport network.
The European Commission has adopted today the 19th update of the European list of air carriers which are for safety reasons subject to an operating ban or operational restrictions within the European Union. Conviasa, an air carrier certified in Venezuela, was added to the list due to safety concerns. Following constructive consultations, Libyan authorities decided to adopt strong measures applicable to all air carriers licensed in Libya, which exclude them from flying into the EU until at least November 2012.