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European research in action

On the research front

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We sometimes hear people say, 'My car is my passport to freedom,' and it cannot be denied that the car has given us a great deal. A car enables us all to get around; it is also a factor affecting growth, jobs and competitiveness for the whole economy. Nowadays most families in Europe have their own car. It is difficult to imagine reversing this trend.
But there is another side to the coin. In the European Union, road accidents kill more than 40000 people every year. The damage to the environment is significant, particularly from CO2 emissions, which contribute to the greenhouse effect. And the constant increase in traffic is beginning to overwhelm and suffocate our towns. Traffic jams are more and more frequent and even major roads are congested.
The warning signs are there and a change of policy is needed. This change will have to be radical - taking care of the environment, encouraging other modes of transport to promote intermodal transport, and developing infrastructure, safer vehicles and incentives to change drivers' behaviour.
There is no one solution. If we are to avoid our roads becoming dead ends, the war will have to be waged on all fronts in a consistent and coordinated manner. European research is playing a fundamental role in this - and working for us all in the process. Read on for some examples.
 
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