EU Transport ministers sign active travel provision into Valetta road safety declaration

An EU declaration on road safety improvement has today launched, within which a commitment to to take in account cycling and walking in new mobility plans and safety policies was signed.

Dubbed the Valetta Declaration on Improving Road Safety, the ministers gathered in Malta to drive forward measures to halt incidents on the road. With a goal to halve road deaths by 2020, the document includes, “where feasible”, consideration for the inclusion of dedicated infrastructure for active travel, as well as expanding the footprint of reduced speed limits.

Coming in tandem with the latest road fatality data from the EU for 2016, it has now been revealed that road deaths posted a two percent decrease year-on-year.

ECF road safety policy officer Ceri Woolsgrove said: “Taking into account the slow down and even slight rise of 1% of fatalities the previous year this suggests that the EU target of cutting deaths by half in the decade to 2020 is becoming increasingly difficult and shows that we are entering a period of difficulty for EU road safety. This means the timing and importance of the Declaration is all the more important.”

ECF Secretary General Bernhard Ensink, invited to address the ministers in Malta as rapporteur on the protection of vulnerable road users, welcomed the ‘Valetta Declaration’. He called on the EU and the EU Member in his speech to encourage the modal shift to cycling, walking, and public transport as good safety practice and to provide international comparative statistics for walking and cycling safety.

He ended with a plea to implement Intelligent Speed Assistance in all motorized vehicles now.

Targets and goals were also called for by the ministers for Europe to achieve on road safety including “a new road safety policy framework for the decade after 2020” and “a target of halving the number of seriously injured in the EU by 2030”.