Every EU citizen has the right to live and work in safety.
So, when you are walking, cycling, biking or driving a car or a truck, you should do so with a minimum risk to be hurt or killed. Likewise, other road users should not be damaged by your own participation in traffic.
Today, car manufacturers build ever safer cars and trucks, road engineering produces safer roads, and we are becoming increasingly conscious that we must act responsibly in traffic, to protect our own and other people’s lives. Road safety has deservedly become a true society issue in Europe and on a global scale, and the European Commission contributes actively to this venture.
This Website gives you an overview and further information on the Commission’s road safety work. Activities cover behaviour, vehicle and infrastructure issues, the three components which make up the traffic system. Work should concentrate on all these sectors in a balanced way, by involving all concerned parties. We speak of an "integrated approach".
In its 2001 Transport White Paper, the Commission proposed the ambitious goal to save yearly 25.000 lives on European roads by the target date of 2010. This target has meanwhile been endorsed by the European Parliament and all Member States. In 2003, the European Road Safety Action Programme was tabled, containing many concrete measures proposed to achieve this goal. And in February 2006, the Commission has issued a mid-term review on our common endeavours to halve road fatalities. Summing up, Europe has achieved a lot in the last five years, but we need to do more together to achieve our objective.
In Europe, the agreed method to more road safety is the principle of "shared responsibility". Beyond all institutional rhetoric, each and everyone has a role to play to make Europe’s road safer. In this respect, the European Road Safety Charter is central, inviting all members of society, be they for instance a local school, a rural association or a large multinational company, to make their own measurable contribution to improving road safety.
Finally, road safety initiatives are - or should be - underpinned by solid statistical data on accident causes and other relevant issues. The collection and analysis of data, today in the European CARE accident data base, tomorrow in the European Road Safety Observatory is essential to devise effective and proportionate measures to improve road safety.
To achieve its objectives, the Commission proposes legislation and political action, but makes also some funding available through the European Research Framework Programmes and its Road Safety Subvention Programme.