Mobility and Transport


Public consultation on road infrastructure and tunnel safety

Public consultation on road infrastructure and tunnel safety

Public consultation on road infrastructure and tunnel safety
Consultation period: 

Impact assessment on the revision of Directive 2008/96/EC on road infrastructure safety management and Directive 2004/54/EC on minimum safety requirements for tunnels in the trans-European road network

The aim of the European Union’s transport policy is to promote mobility that is efficient, safe, secure and environmentally friendly. 25,500 people lost their lives on EU roads in 2016. While this represents a significant improvement compared to the past (for example 56,000 people died in road traffic accidents in the EU in 2000) the objective is to continue to reduce fatalities and serious injuries on the road.

Road infrastructure safety management procedures aim to ensure the safety of existing and planned roads. Safe roads have a key role to play in improving road safety, together with safe vehicles and safe drivers, as part of the Safe System approach. Well designed and properly maintained roads can reduce the probability of road traffic accidents happening and can also reduce the severity of accidents that do happen.

There are many factors that influence the safety of road infrastructure. These factors include road design, the visibility and readability of road markings and road signs (for both human drivers and the cameras and sensors used in advanced driver assistance systems), the use of appropriate road equipment such as guard rails and crash cushions, traffic control and traffic calming measures and other safety improvements on existing road infrastructure.

The EU regulatory framework for road infrastructure safety management is composed of two Directives: Directive 2008/96/EC on road infrastructure safety management (the Road Infrastructure Directive) and Directive 2004/54/EC on minimum safety requirements for tunnels in the trans-European road network (the Tunnel directive).

The current EU legislation covers roads and tunnels within the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T), which is a network of main European roads (primarily motorways and national/main roads). (Map of the TEN-T network).

The existing Road Infrastructure Directive defines rather general guidelines and best practices for all stages of road infrastructure planning, development and operations without imposing specific technical standards or technical measures on Member States. The main management instruments set out in the Directive are road safety impact assessments (strategic analysis at the planning stage), road safety audits (from design to early operation), road network safety management (regular safety rankings and follow-up at high accident locations) and safety inspections (periodic checks at particular locations).

The Tunnel Directive aims to prevent the occurrence of fires and accidents in tunnels and to provide improved protection of road tunnel users in case of accidents. The Directive defines organisational and technical requirements that need to be fulfilled in order to provide a minimum level of safety in road tunnels longer than 500 metres that are part of the trans-European road network.

The effects of the implementation of the two Directives were assessed in two separate ex-post evaluations that were completed in 2015. The evaluation studies also indicated that there were areas for potential improvements in the field of road infrastructure safety.

Please note that in addition to answering the survey questions respondents also have the option of uploading relevant documents.

Consultation period

This consultation will last for 12 weeks. Questionnaires should be returned by 10 September 2017 at the very latest.


Target group

All interested stakeholders are welcome to participate in this consultation.

Structure of the questionnaire

The questionnaire contains the following sections:

  1. Information about the respondent
  2. Questionnaire

The first section is obligatory for all respondents, collecting information about the respondent and asking for the right to publish the information.

The second section is designed to gather input from a broad public audience on the general functioning of the Directives and the need for continued EU action in this field.

Context and objective of the consultation

The European Commission has launched an impact assessment process with a view to the possible revision of the EU road infrastructure safety management and road tunnel safety legislation. This on-line public consultation is organised to allow interested stakeholders and citizens to express their views on this as part of the impact assessment process.

Stakeholders with specialist knowledge or direct professional links to the topic are invited, in the framework of this public consultation, to upload relevant expertise material or send them by e-mail to

All such contributions will be analysed, reported on and considered in the evaluation.

More information can be found on the following webpages:

General information on Road Safety policies:

The two EU Directives (and accompanying documents, including national guidelines for the implementation of the legislation) are available on:

Relevant ex-post evaluation studies:


Transparency and confidentiality

Please note that contributions received from this survey, together with the identity of the contributor, will be published on the European Commission's website, unless the contributor objects to publication of the personal information. In this case, the contribution will be published in anonymous form.

Follow the explanations about the protection of personal data.

The policy on "protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data by the Community institutions" is based on Regulation (EC) N° 45/2001 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 December 2000.

Important notice

As part of the European Transparency Initiative, organisations are invited to use the Register of interest representatives to provide the European Commission and the public at large with information about their objectives, funding and structures.

If you are not registered yet in this register, please visit:


Please note that this document has been drafted for information and consultation purposes only. It has not been adopted or in any way approved by the European Commission and should not be regarded as representative of the views of Commission staff. It does not in any way prejudge, or constitute the announcement of, any position on the part of the Commission on the issues covered. The European Commission does not guarantee the accuracy of the information provided, nor does it accept responsibility for any use made thereof.