Press Notice
Friday 21 January 2000


Executive Summary

A leading European transport safety expert will tell EU policymakers and leaders of professions next week that the lack of an EU strategy for transport safety is costing lives.

Presenting the 2nd European Transport Safety Lecture in Brussels next Tuesday, Professor Murray Mackay (UK) will say:

"Deaths and injuries from transport crashes are mainly avoidable. The absence of an explicit, science-based transport safety policy at EU level is costing lives and money. To be credible, this policy must be based on sound data, must have a business plan of proven strategies and must have explicit performance indicators."

"We will know when the political will is there when we see explicit targets set to save lives in road crashes and when the level of the EU transport safety budget equivalent to the cost of only 8 fatalities takes proper account of the size of this major public health problem which claims over 43,000 lives annually. The gap between what we know to be good and what we practice is enormous".

In his lecture entitled ‘Safer transport in Europe: tools for decision-making’, Professor Mackay sets out the building blocks of an effective common transport safety policy calling for:

  • the development of EU databases for all transport crashes
  • targets to be set to reduce road deaths and performance indicators used in all modes at EU and national level
  • the EU to require independent crash investigation agencies
  • the use and further development of vehicle data recorders or black boxes in all vehicles
  • implementation of the wide range of demonstrably effective legislative and non-legislative measures at EU level recommended in successive reports by ETSC’s independent transport safety experts since 1993.