Stricter road safety measures, such as speed limits of 30 kilometers per hour (kph) in built-up areas, will eliminate fatal road accidents in the European Union by 2050, MEPs said in a resolution adopted in plenary in Strasbourg on Wednesday.
In a resolution adopted by 615 votes to 24, with 48 abstentions, MEPs emphasized that as speeding plays a key role in 30 percent of fatal accidents, safe speeds for vehicles would be up to 30 kph in built-up areas and where there are many pedestrians and cyclists.
The European Parliament would also introduce zero tolerance for drivers’ alcohol consumption in all countries, as alcohol also plays a role in a quarter of fatal road accidents.
MEPs called for the mandatory introduction of a safe driving style in mobile and electronic devices that would be expected to limit messages that distract drivers. In addition, tax incentives and insurance schemes would support the purchase and use of vehicles that meet the highest safety standards.
In their view, more investment is needed, focusing on road safety and accident hot spots. In this context, member states have been called upon to set up national road safety funds to use the proceeds of road fines to implement road safety initiatives.
The resolution recalled that around 22,700 people die every year and 120,000 are seriously injured on the roads of the European Union. The previous decline in the number of road deaths has come to a halt, which means that the Union has failed to meet its target of halving the number of fatal road accidents between 2010 and 2020, as they fell by only 36 percent.
According to the latest data, roads are still the safest in Sweden, with 18 fatalities per million inhabitants, while in 2020, Romania reported the highest mortality rate, with 85 fatalities per million inhabitants. The EU average is 42 fatal accidents per million inhabitants. The Hungarian data is slightly higher than this, with 46 deaths.
The current urban speed limit in the European Union is generally 50 kph with most countries imposing a 30 kph limit in residential areas.