The European ministers for transport gathered in Brussels for a meeting of the Council of the European Union, where they agreed to reform and strengthen road infrastructure management rules.
The Council of the European Union agreed its position on a proposal from the 3rd Mobility package by the European Commission to strengthen road infrastructure management to reduce road fatalities and serious injuries.
The reform of the Road Infrastructure Safety Management Directive will extend the scope of the current rules to motorways and other primary roads beyond the trans-European transport network (TEN-T). This will contribute significantly to the improvement of road infrastructure safety across the European Union. The directive would also cover roads outside urban areas that are built using EU funding (which is something FEMA has been lobbying for extensively).
‘It will become mandatory to take account of vulnerable road users such as motorcyclists in road safety management procedures’
The proposal introduces a network-wide road safety assessment, which is a snapshot of the entire road network covered by the directive used to evaluate accident risk. Authorities will use the findings to carry out more targeted road safety inspections or take direct remedial action. It will become mandatory to take systematic account of pedestrians, cyclists and other vulnerable road users such as motorcyclists and other users of powered two-wheelers in road safety management procedures. These road users accounted for almost half of road fatalities in the EU in 2017.
The presidency of the European Union is currently held by Austria. Norbert Hofer, Minister for Transport, Innovation and Technology of Austria, said: “Well-designed and properly maintained roads reduce the risk of road accidents. This reform will help the EU to progress towards its goal of halving the number of road deaths by 2020.”
FEMA general secretary Dolf Willigers “This is a pleasant surprise. The decision of the Council is exactly what we have asked for. This is great news for motorcyclists. From now on road authorities will have to take vulnerable road users, including motorcyclists, into account with all decisions regarding the main roads in Europe. This will lead to an better road safety for us. It is now up to the European Parliament to follow this good example.”
Top photograph by Husqvarna.