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Fewer accidents on EU railways in 2010

Future of mobility

The European Railway Agency has published the EU railway safety data for 2010. Since data were first collected in the EU in 2006, the year 2010 can be seen as the safest on EU railways.

The data show that the positive trend continued in 2010 as there were 10% fewer fatalities compared to the previous year. 1,256 people were killed and a further 1,236 seriously injured on railways of 27 EU countries in 2010. Among the 1,256 fatalities reported, 60% (750) were other party victims: unauthorized persons on railway premises. Passenger and employee fatalities made up 5% of all persons killed on European railways, excluding suicides.

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Vote for your favourit road safety poster for Europe- votes open until midnight today!

Design a poster logo

The European Commission has organised a road safety poster competition looking for cleverly thought-out, eye-catching and original designs. The pre-selected posters inspire drivers in the 18 to 25 age bracket to take care on the roads. Until 18 November the 10 best posters are put to an online public vote (via the competition website) and anyone have the opportunity to vote (just once though!). Votes are open until Friday 18 November at midnight.

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TEN-T DAYS 2011

Future of mobility

If you are interested in participating at the TEN-T Days 2011 on 29/30 November in Antwerp and would like to register but have not got an official invitation yet, please contact us at ten-t-days2011@media-consulta.com stating your name, surname, organisation and country of origin. We will then contact you shortly.

The conference will allow Commission Vice-President Siim Kallas, Ministers, Members of the European Parliament and stakeholders to discuss and start preparing for the new TEN-T framework and instruments proposed by the Commission in October 2011 in the TEN-T Guidelines and the Connecting Europe Facility Regulations. They will discuss how the new planning framework and the increase of robust implementation tools will ensure that common efforts to focus on infrastructure will be of the highest EU ‘added value’. They will also examine how the new financial instruments can be mobilised more effectively as part of a consistent strategy that pulls together EU and national, public and private funding and financing.

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Background

Aviation security: Commission adopts new rules on the use of security scanners at European airports

security scanners

The European Commission has adopted a proposal for an European Union legal framework on security scanners. This legislation allows airports and Member States that wish to use security scanners for the screening of passengers to do so under strict operational and technical conditions.

Member States have been trialling or testing security scanners (For example in the UK, Finland, the Netherlands, Germany, France and Italy) since a terrorist attempted on 25 December 2009 to blow up a plane flying from Amsterdam to Detroit with plastic explosives he had hidden in his underwear. Until now the use of security scanners has been done under a patchwork of different national operational procedures and standards and in a limited way. As a common EU-wide framework, the new legislation legally allows Member States and airports to replace current security systems with security scanners. It also ensures the uniform application of security rules at all airports and provides strict and mandatory safeguards to ensure compliance with fundamental rights and the protection of health.

Member States and airports do not have an obligation to deploy security scanners, but if they decide to use them, they will have to comply with the operational conditions and performance standards set at European level.

Vice-President Siim Kallas, Commissioner responsible for transport, said: "Security scanners are not a panacea but they do offer a real possibility to reinforce passenger security. Security scanners are a valuable alternative to existing screening methods and are very efficient in detecting both metallic and non-metallic objects. It is still for each Member State or airport to decide whether or not to deploy security scanners, but these new rules ensure that where this new technology is used it will be covered by EU wide standards on detection capability as well as strict safeguards to protect health and fundamental rights. Experience to date shows that passengers and staff generally see security scanners as a convenient method of screening."

Security scanners are an effective method of screening passengers as they are capable of detecting both metallic and non-metallic items carried on a person. The scanner technology is developing rapidly and has the potential to significantly reduce the need for manual searches ("pat-downs") applied to passengers, crews and airport staff.

Under the new EU legislation the use of security scanners is only allowed in accordance with minimum conditions such as for example that: security scanners shall not store, retain, copy, print or retrieve images; any unauthorised access and use of the image is prohibited and shall be prevented; the human reviewer analysing the image shall be in a separate location and the image shall not be linked to the screened person and others. Passengers must be informed about conditions under which the security scanner control takes place. In addition, passengers are given the right to opt out from a control with scanners and be subject to an alternative method of screening.

By laying down specific operational conditions and by providing passengers with the possibility of opting out, the legislation safeguards fundamental rights and the principles recognised in particular by the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union.

In order not to risk jeopardising citizens' health and safety, only security scanners which do not use X-ray technology are added to the list of authorised methods for passenger screening at EU airports. All other technologies, such as that used for mobiles phones and others, can be used provided that they comply with EU security standards.

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