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Question for written answer to the Commission

Question asked by: Aldo Patriciello (PPE)

Subject: Road accident in Monteforte Irpino and road safety in Europe

How does the Commission intend to coordinate the efforts by individual Member States to make our roads safer and to achieve the ambitious objectives set in the communication of 20 July 2010?

Answer given by Mr Kallas on behalf of the European Commission

The Commission deplores the accident of Monteforce Irpino which in a particularly sad manner reconfirms the continous effort needed through different measures to improve safety on European roads.

The Commission reminds that the EU has adopted two directives seeking to improve the safety of the trans‐European road infrastructure, one on minimum safety requirements for tunnels and another on road infrastructure safety management. Earlier this year the Commission services have started preparations to launch studies on the application and adequateness of these directives. This work should help, inter alia, to identify areas where more common EU action is required.

As regards the construction of road barriers, Regulation (EU) No 305/2011 laying down harmonised conditions for the marketing of construction products, repealing Directive 89/106/EEC, applies. Under Directive 98/106/EEC a harmonised standard EN 1317 on road restraint systems has been developed. Although the application of EN 1317 provides a presumption of conformity of a road restraint system placed on the EU market, EU legislation does not impose that national, regional or local authorities require the application of that standard in their procurement.

Finally, the Commission wishes to underline that the results of the accident inquiry are not yet available. The root causes of the accident are not known. In addition, more detailed technical information relating to the road restraint system involved, including its design, construction, testing, maintenance and eventual application of standard EN 1317, will be necessary to draw any substantiated conclusions.