ETSC welcomes all to its new web site

  • From 1st February it will be possible to view all press notices, report summaries and newsletters and to download ETSC reports

The Portuguese Presidency

  • ETSC welcomes the Portuguese Presidency’s decision to make road safety a top transport priority for the next six months

The European Commission

  • A new Directorate-General came into being on 1st January 2000 combining Transport and Energy

  • Proposes targets for intelligent transport applications

The European Parliament

  • MEPs discuss the transport of dangerous goods by road and rail.


Portuguese Presidency of the EU

1 January – 30 June 2000

The Portuguese Presidency has put road safety high on the EU agenda. Priority for the developing Common Transport Policy over the next six months will be given to actions that contribute to bringing Member States closer in terms of safety, quality and technological innovation. In particular, the Presidency will promote measures to improve people’s safety, enhanced quality in transport and the integration of new technologies.

  • Road safety: The fight against road crashes will constitute a major concern. This could also help to improve Portugal’s own safety record. Currently its roads have the highest fatal injury risk levels in the European Union.
  • Maritime safety: The Presidency’s work will focus on safe bulk carrier loading and unloading operations in Community ports and the future creation of a maritime safety committee.
  • Rail transport: Improved quality and efficiency of rail transport will be a concern of the Presidency. Actions arising from the so-called "rail package" will be continued.
  • Air transport: Passengers’ rights will be a priority, together with initiatives linked to flight delays and environmental protection.
  • Trans-European networks: Discussion on new guidelines for the, initiatives in the field of public service obligations and State aid for land transport will also be on the Presidency’s agenda.
  • European satellite navigation system
  • Particular attention will be paid to new technologies, following up the work undertaken to create a European satellite navigation system – the Galileo Programme.
  • Internal market: Special attention will be given to increasing effectiveness of market controls in order to guarantee a high level of safety in products and to technical harmonisation of motor vehicles (see parallel agreement on global technical regulations, page 6).
  • Health: The Presidency will also follow work in progress and the debate on the integration of health protection requirements into Community actions and policies (see public health resolution, page 3).
  • Social affairs: The Presidency will continue work on the proposals to be submitted by the EC in the field of sectors excluded from the organisation of working time (see Safety Monitor December 1999 and working time – road transport, page 6).

ETSC and MEPs call upon Transport Commissioner to take decisive action

As the European Commission prepares to introduce a new road safety communication, ETSC and European Parliamentarians will meet this month with the Transport Commissioner, Mrs Loyola de Palacio. They will urge her to adopt an EU-wide strategy implementing a range of demonstrably effective legislative and non-legislative actions to cut road deaths from 43,000 to 25,000 annually. This package should include two new Directives introducing:

  • An upper legal blood alcohol limit of 0.50 promille to save around 1,000 lives annually which is strongly supported by EU drivers according to EU-funded surveys

  • Mandatory crash tests for safer car fronts for pedestrians and cyclists on new designs (to save 2,000 deaths and prevent 19,000 severe injuries).

Both of these were already agreed, in principle, three years ago by the European Commission for implementation in the 1997-2001 action programme.

Giving cross-party Parliamentary support to ETSC’s call, Mark Watts MEP (PSE) and Dieter Koch MEP (EPP) said in a press statement: "The European Parliament has for some time, put road safety at the top of its priority list for transport policy. It is now time for the other EU institutions to demonstrate that political will really exists. We have recently adopted a specific budget for transport safety. We now need to set EU targets to save lives and to implement a package of proven measures."

Jeanne Breen, ETSC’s Executive Director said: "Road crashes are the leading cause of death for EU citizens up to 45 years of age. They cost twice the EU budget for all its activity. One in 3 people in their lifetime will need hospital treatment after a road crash. The scope and potential impact of EU action to address this largely avoidable problem is considerable." ETSC also wants to see:

  • Mandatory fitment of smart audible seat belt warning devices on new cars with progressively louder signals when seat belts are not used. 7,000 lives could be saved if the worst belt wearing rates in the EU were brought up to the level of the best.

  • Further support for the European New Car Assessment crash information programme which is stimulating improvements in car occupant crash protection.

  • Mandatory fitment of daytime running lights on motorcycles, in the first instance, to help reduce the high fatal injury risk of motorcycle travel, currently 20 times more dangerous than car travel.

  • An upper blood alcohol limit of 0.20 promille for learner drivers. There are 10,000 EU deaths annually in the 15-24 year old age group.

  • A series of EU road safety guidelines on important road safety activity for voluntary use by road safety professionals.

  • An EU road safety information system to include EU crash and casualty data, national traffic data, regulations important for safety, national best practice guidelines and results from EU demonstration projects.

Creation of a new Directorate General of Energy and Transport - TREN

The European Commission adopted the new organisation resulting from the fusion of the Directorate Generals of Transport and Energy, DG "Energy and Transport" - TREN – comprises some 650 people, divided in nine directorates. It has been operational since January 1, 2000.

EU Budget 2000

On 16 December 1999 the Parliament adopted at second and final reading the 7.96 million euro commitment for the budget line B2-702 (Preparation, evaluation and promotion of transport safety) for the year 2000. Together with administrative costs it totals 8.5 million euro commitment.


7.96 commitment

5.66 payment


0.54 commitment

0.54 payment


8.50 commitment

6.20 payment

Public Health Resolution

The Commission is currently working on a new action programme on public health which is to be presented to Council and Parliament during the Portuguese Presidency.

At the Council of Health Ministers’ meeting of 18 November 1999 a Resolution on ensuring health protection in all Community policies and activities was adopted (see Safety Monitor 28, December 1999).

Transport safety in EU applicant countries

The Council adopted the EU common positions in view of the Accession Conferences at ministerial level with Cyprus, Hungary, Poland, Estonia, the Czech Republic and Slovenia held on 7 December 1999. One of the ten chapters of the common positions relates to Transport Policy.


A new Commission communication ‘eEurope: An Information Society for all’ was well received by EU heads of state or government at their Helsinki summit on December 10 and 11 1999. They will look at it in detail in March, during a special meeting devoted to employment, economic reform and social cohesion.

The eEurope action plan should be finalised in June, for implementation between 2000 and 2004. It deals with 10 priority areas for action, one of them being the role of Information Technology in improving transport and reducing the number of crashes.

The Communication states that the use of digital technologies should make transport safer. For instance, the use of "variable message signs" on motorways has reduced rear-end collisions by 30% (in fog by 85%); advanced driver assistance and anti collision systems have reduced crashes by around 50%. (See Safety Monitor 28, December 1999 for ETSC’s views on the pros and cons for safety of intelligent transport).

In addition to a better organisation of airspace, the Communication suggests that it will also be necessary to seek a new digital technological and operational solution, which needs to be carefully validated to ensure that it is acceptable to all stake holders and that the safe operation of aircraft is guaranteed during the transition.

Member States should provide the adequate resources to achieve the targets below. At the European level, the Commission will provide full support through relevant Community Programmes, including the definition and implementation of GNSS-2 (Galileo) next generation Global Navigation Satellite System. The Commission proposes that

By the end of 2001:

• All citizens on the move throughout Europe should have full access everywhere to multi-lingual support, call localisation and fully organised provision of emergency services through the 112 number.

ETSC welcomes this initiative which it called for in its recent review compiled by EU medical experts on post- impact care.

By the end of 2002:

• All new cars sold in Europe should be equipped with more efficient active safety enhancing systems.

ETSC will seek clarification to ensure that these are safety rather than performance enhancing systems and whether intelligent speed adaptive systems are envisaged. Also ETSC will want to draw attention to the scope for intelligent passive safety systems such as smart seat belt audible warning devices.

• To support the development of value-added personalised traffic and travel planning information services as to cover 50% of medium and large European cities.

• All main trans-European networks should be covered by systems offering traffic incident/congestion information and management.

By the end of 2004:

• All major air routes should be serviced by airborne, ground-based or space-based infrastructure capable of contributing to reduce congestion to acceptable levels while enhancing safety levels.



Transport Council, 9-10 December 1999

The agenda of the Transport Council in December 1999 included discussion on several issues linked to transport safety:

The Galileo project:

The Council took note of the progress report by the EC on the implementation of the GALILEO definition phase and of the interventions of delegations, which covers in particular, the negotiations with the US and Russia and the possible participation of other third countries, the legal status, institutionalising a Galileo Steering Committee, security of the system, public/private partnership and cost/benefit analysis.


Air traffic management:

Ministers welcomed the Commission’s suggestions for short-term action to alleviate air traffic delays in EU presented in "single European sky". A high level group to study the problem and present a report in June is planned. They further agreed to continue with plans to set up a new civil aviation safety agency in Europe, to be known as the European Aviation Safety Authority (EASA). The Commission was invited to draft an analysis of possible scenarios for setting up such an agency and to hold exploratory talks with non-EU countries on the issue.

• Railway Package

The Council reached unanimous political agreement, the Portuguese abstaining, on its common position on three draft Directives on railways. It instructed the Permanent Representatives’ Committee to finalise the texts of these drafts with a view to the adoption of the common positions, without discussion at a forthcoming Council meeting. They will then be forwarded to the European Parliament for second reading.

The Directives, together with a proposal and a working paper, form the so-called railway package which aims at revitalising Europe’s railways by creating favourable conditions for the development of a dynamic and competitive customer-oriented railway system. It sets out a definition for a Trans-European Railway Freight Network (TERFN) which will enable international freight transport within the Community with access for EU railway undertakings to that network, under the conditions laid down in the directives.

In two Directives transport safety is mentioned:

1) In the draft Directive amending Directive 91/440/EC on the development of Community’s railways. As for safety questions, the draft text provides that

- Member States shall ensure that bodies independent of railway undertakings: lay down safety standards and rules; certify rolling stock and railway undertakings and investigate accidents.

- Railway undertakings may be required or allowed by Member States to assure the enforcement and monitoring of safety standards and rules, while guaranteeing the neutral and non-discriminatory execution of those functions.

2) In the draft Directive replacing Directive 95/19/EC relating to the allocation of railway infrastructure for its use and safety certification.

Furthermore, the Council adopted the following conclusion on railway policy:

The Commission would present a proposal for a Directive about enforcement and monitoring of railways’ safety standards that will be ensured by national independent bodies acknowledged through a European label.


- The Council invited the European Commission to pursue actively the negotiations with a view to the market access agreements in the field of aviation with the Central and Eastern European Countries (CEECs). Negotiations on establishing a European Common Aviation Area are ongoing.

- The Council adopted the decision authorising the European Commission to start negotiations on the access to the market in the area of aviation with Cyprus.

- Candidate countries will be entitled to ask for access to the trans-European network; all rail operators that meet safety conditions are at liberty to request a licence, whereas, hitherto, practically only those rail companies that made up European groupings and combined transport operators could do so.

• Short sea-shipping Resolution:

The Council invited the European Commission to continue and intensify the promotion of short sea shipping. Amongst other things this meant presenting an inventory of the public financial support to ports and proposals on the access to the market for port services, while taking into account the diversity of circumstances prevailing in the Community ports, such as their peripheral location, as well as public service obligations and the need to maintain a high level of safety.

• Action Programme in the field of civil protection:

The Council adopted the decision establishing an EU action programme in the field of civil protection for the period from January 2000 till December 2004.

Individual actions shall be selected primarily on the basis of the following criteria:

  • Contribution to preventing the risks and damage to persons, property and in so doing the environment, in the event of natural and technological disasters
  • Contribution to increasing the degree of preparedness of these involved in civil protection in Member States, in order to increase their ability to respond to an emergency
  • Contribution to improving the means and methods of forecasting techniques and methods of response and immediate after care after emergencies
  • Contributions to public information, education and awareness, so as to help citizens to protect themselves more effectively.

Each action needed be implemented in close co-operation with Member States.

Discussion on the proposal for a Directive on the harmonisation of the examination standards of rail, road and river safety advisers and on the proposal aimed at improving safety in road tunnels was postponed

Speedometers, liquid fuel tanks and cableway installations

Following agreement reached between the Council and the Parliament on three Directives in October 1999, the Council unanimously approved all the EP’s second reading amendments on

  • the Directive on speedometers for two- or three-wheel motor vehicles
  • the Directive on the approximation of the laws of the Member States relating to liquid fuel tanks- and rear underrun protection of motor vehicles and their trailers and
  • the Directive relating to cableway installations designed to carry persons.

The Directives were approved without debate in the Fisheries Council at 16-17 December 1999 in Brussels.



Working time – road transport

The issue of whether or not to include independent lorry drivers in the scope of the directive concerning the organisation of working time for mobile workers performing road transport activities continued to divide the delegations at the Transport Council. The proposal provides for a maximum weekly working time of 60 hours, with the maximum average working week limited to 48 hours over a 4-month reference period.

The European Commission agreed to reflect upon various possibilities and of the future Portuguese Presidency to resume work on this dossier in due course.


Transport of dangerous goods by road

Dieter Koch’s (EPP, Germany) report on the amendment of the Council Directive 94/55 on the approximation of the laws of the Member States with regard to the transport of hazardous goods by road was approved on November, 24 1999 by the Committee on Regional Policy, Transport and Tourism at the first reading.

Mr Koch did not object to the first (postponement of dates) nor second (new marginals etc.) categories of amendments, as they were purely technical. The third category of amendments, acknowledging or allowing the Member States the right to adopt or maintain their own legislation in special cases (climate specific issues mainly in the Nordic countries) were acceptable.

A Plenary vote was expected in the December 1999 session, but postponed to 17 January 2000.


Interior fittings of motor vehicles

The Internal Market Council adopted its common position on the proposed Directive amending Directive 74/60 on the approximation of the laws of the Member States relating to the interior fittings of motor vehicles (see Safety Monitor 28, December 1999). At the Parliamentary second reading on 10 January 2000 the draft recommendation was approved without amendments and will go to plenary at 18 January 2000.

Parallel agreement on global technical regulations for vehicles

The Parliament has approved (assent procedure) the report from rapporteur Guido Bodrato (EPP, I) on the "Parallel agreement" covering the global technical regulations for wheeled vehicles, equipment which can be fitted and/or be used on wheeled vehicles in the December plenary. The European Commission can now accede to the Agreement without delay (see also Safety Monitor 28, December 1999).

Car insurance law

MEPs urged the Commission to extend the planned new EU legislation on car insurance to allow motorists to claim for accidents, which occur outside EU borders. The demand won the support of Parliament at its plenary in December for second reading under the co-decision procedure. The plan drafted by former Internal Market Commissioner Mario Monti two years ago, aims at harmonising insurance regulations across the EU and making it easier for drivers involved in road accidents in another state to recover the costs. Rapporteur on this issue, Willi Rothley (D, SP) argued that the proposal should be widened to cover accidents in non-EU countries as well if the vehicle is registered in an EU Member State.

The European Commission said it could agree in principle but not necessarily along the lines proposed by the European Parliament. On 18 January 2000 negotiations on this issue will be held between the Commission and Parliament (see Safety Monitor 27, September/October 1999).



Common aviation area EU/US

At the "Beyond Open Skies" Conference in Chicago in the second week of December 1999, Mrs de Palacio proposed the setting up of a transatlantic common aviation area between the EU and the US. She presented the results of this conference to the Council and asked for a mandate for the European Commission to negotiate such a transatlantic common aviation area.



The Commission has adopted a revised package of railway proposals which has been submitted to the last Transport Council of 9th December 1999 (see page 4).


The Committee on Regional Policy, Transport and Tourism of the European Parliament voted at first reading without any amendments for a report from its Chairman, Kostas Hatzidakis (EPP/G) on the approximation of laws of Member States regarding the transport of dangerous goods by rail. The European Parliament is now waiting for a modified version of the European Commission and a common position of the Council and the Commission.


The ETSC Board of Directors congratulate Jeanne Breen, ETSC’s Executive Director who was awarded the OBE for her contribution to road safety in the UK New Year Honours list.



25 January 2000 The 2nd European Transport Safety Lecture "Safer transport in Europe: tools for decision-making" with Professor Murray Mackay OBE, DSc, FREng and officials of the EC and EP.

2 February Safety and Quality Assessment System (SQUAS) for the transport of chemicals by rail in Europe; conference on the UIC-CEFIC SQUAS Agreement organised by the International Union of Railways in the UIC, Communication Department, Paris. Contact: Tel: +33 1 444 92 053, Fax +33 1 444 92 059, E-mail:

9-11 February 2000 International Summit on Air Traffic Control, Kingsway Hall London, United Kingdom. Organised by Air Traffic Control 2000. To register Tel: + 44 171 430 7300, Fax: +44 171 430 7301, freephone: 0500 821 057 (UK), E-mail:, Internet:

5-8 March 2000 5th World Conference on Injury Prevention and Control, New Delhi, India. Contact: Ms. Arati Walia, Tel: + 91 11 691 9377, Fax: +91 11 684 8343, E-mail:

6-9 March 2000 17th Annual International Aircraft Cabin Safety Symposium organised by SCSI in the Sheraton Universal Hotel Universal City, Los Angeles, California. Contact: SCSI 28915 Northbay Road 509 Rancho Palos Verdes, CA 90275, Tel: 800 545 3766 (US and Canada) 310 541 1030, Fax: 310 540 0532, E-mail:, Internet:

18-21 May 2000 Fourth International Conference Global Safety: Traffic Safety – Occupational Safety, Bled, Slovenia. Organised by the Slovene Road Safety Council, DVR a/o. Contact: Kristina Abrahamsberg, Tel: + 386 61 132 02 53 Ext. 217, Fax: + 386 61 312 562, E-mail:

22-26 May 2000 15th International Conference on Alcohol, Drugs and Traffic Safety, T 2000, Stockholm, Sweden. Organised by ICADTS. Contact the Secretariat: Tel: +46 243 753 59, Fax: +46 243 759, E-mail:, Internet:

7–9 June 2000 Vehicle Safety 2000, London, UK. Organised by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (Automobile Division). Contact Anna Chapman, Tel: + 44 171 973 1291, Fax: +44 171 222 98814.

14–16 June 2000 2nd International Symposium on Geometric Design of Highways. Organised by TRB (USA) and FGSV (Germany), Mainz, Germany. E-mail:, Internet:

4-7 Sept. 2000 International Conference on Traffic and Transport Psychology, Bern, Switzerland. Organised by the Swiss Council for Accident Prevention (Bfu). Contact: ICTTP c/o bfu, Fax: +41 31 390 22 30, E-mail:

6-8 Sept. 2000 Icrash 2000, International Crashworthiness Conference, London, UK. Organised by the International Journal of Crashworthiness, the Bolton Institute. Contact: Lorna Hollingham, Icrash 2000 Conference, Faculty of Technology, The Bolton Institute, Dean Road, Bolton BL3 5AB, United Kingdom, Tel: +44 1204 903834, Fax: +44 1204 381107, E-mail:; Internet:

20-22 Sept. 2000 The International Research Council on the Biomechanics of Impact organises the 2000 IRCOBI Conference on the Biomechanics of Impact, in Montpellier (France). Contact: Antoinette Charpenne, IRCOBI Secretariat/INRETS, 25 avenue Francois Mitterand, Case 24, 69675 BRON Cedex, France, Tel: +33 4 72 14 24 20, Fax: +33 4 72 14 23 60, E-mail: charpenne@

20-22 Sept. 2000 Traffic Safety on Three Continents, 11th International Conference organised by the South African council for Scientific & Industrial Research, Technikon-Pretoria, Swedish Road and Transport Research Institute, US Transportation Research Board and Federal Highway Institute in the CSIR Conference Centre Pretoria, South Africa. Contact: VTI, Kenneth Asp SE-58195 Linkoping Sweden, Tel: +46 13 20 40 00, Fax: +46 13 12 61 62, E-mail:

ETSC is grateful for the financial support provided for the Safety Monitor by:

  • DG VII European Commission
  • BP Amoco
  • Ford of Europe
  • KeyMed
  • Railtrack
  • Scania
  • Shell International

The contents of the Safety Monitor are the sole responsibility of ETSC and do not necessarily reflect the views of its sponsors.