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Road safety in Europe as a public health priority

Resolution 2129 (2016)

Parliamentary Assembly
Assembly debate on 24 June 2016 (27th Sitting) (see Doc. 14081, report of the Committee on Social Affairs, Health and Sustainable Development, rapporteur: Ms Naira Karapetyan). Text adopted by the Assembly on 24 June 2016 (27th Sitting).
1. Europe has seen significant progress in the last few decades as regards improved road safety, and some European countries have the lowest accident rates in the world. The Parliamentary Assembly nevertheless draws attention to the severe public health impact of road accidents, resulting in high numbers of people dying or having to live with disabilities. The situation could worsen in the coming years.
2. The Assembly recalls the principles laid down in the Global status report on road safety 2015 of the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Global Plan for the Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020, which provide the framework for policy action. The Assembly also recalls the recently adopted Sustainable Development Goals on the halving of the number of global deaths and injuries from road crashes by 2020, and on the provision of access to safe, affordable and sustainable transport systems for all.
3. The Assembly urges member States to develop effective long-term policies for road safety and to better co-ordinate their practices, taking into account the variety of legislation and policies across Europe.
4. More specifically, the Assembly recommends that member States step up co-ordination and action in order to:
4.1 implement legislative and policy measures at international, national and local level, including the implementation of good practices (for example, “zero-death” policies and action plans for road safety) and securing commitment from major decision makers to ensure effective enforcement;
4.2 make a comprehensive assessment of the current road safety situation in their countries, to allow decision makers to take efficient measures and to set targets for road safety to be achieved by 2020;
4.3 designate lead agencies to put in place comprehensive road safety data-collection programmes to support the implementation of national road safety strategies, plans and targets, and to monitor their implementation, supporting pilot projects and the application of ISO 39001 standards in road safety management systems;
4.4 encourage the creation of multi-sector partnerships, including governments and their agencies, private sector companies, industry, academia and non-profit organisations, to make technical and scientific knowledge and information available rapidly to all stakeholders, including through open data-sharing systems;
4.5 provide adequate financing for programmes promoting road safety and invest a mandatory percentage of 10% of road infrastructure expenditure on safety;
4.6 address the key behavioural risk factors, which are essential elements of any action plan to increase the safety of roads, in particular through awareness-raising campaigns for drivers, cyclists and pedestrians, and include road safety education in school curricula from an early age;
4.7 devise and implement legislation and policy measures on issues such as the influence of alcohol, drugs, diseases and the use of medicines on driver performance, including periodic driving tests and medical checks to enable the evaluation of the continuing capacity to drive, with co-ordination between health-care departments and transport authorities;
4.8 introduce urban planning designed to protect vulnerable road users, notably pedestrians and cyclists, as well as promote public transport, walking and cycling;
4.9 make compulsory the use of helmets for motorcyclists and of seat belts and child restraints in cars, put in place other safety measures (such as special pavements and speed bumps), forbid the use of mobile phones while driving, enforce credible speed limits adapted to the environment and driving conditions (for example, a maximum speed of 50 km/h in urban areas, with lower limits in residential areas and in the vicinity of schools and sports facilities), give priority to pedestrians and promote the use of active and passive safety equipment and technological improvements on all roads and in all vehicles;
4.10 further develop first aid and rescue systems on the roads, emergency transportation, quality post-crash care for victims of road traffic accidents, treatment in hospitals and rehabilitation;
4.11 put into place and promote adequate training for new drivers.