As Europe grows closer together, road safety cannot stop at national borders. For this reason, we support all joint measures which are likely to further improve safety on Europe’s roads.
In this context, Germany welcomes the commitment of the European Commission to further improve safety on Europe’s roads. It largely supports the 2010-2020 Road Safety Guidelines which were presented in July 2010. In particular, Germany supports the efforts of the European Commission to promote appropriate technologies in road transport and to reinforce the protection of vulnerable road users. In addition, Germany considers demographic change which is increasingly gaining in importance and the resulting increase in the number of elderly people in Europe to be an important element for future road safety activities.
In general, however, care must be taken to ensure that road safety measures at European level are only envisaged if they are likely to generate more added value for the Member States than purely national measures. In this respect, the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality must be observed. The different general conditions and mentalities make it necessary to leave scope for national solutions and thus for targeted action. In addition, the constitutional principles applying in the individual Member States must be observed.
To improve European road safety, the involvement of each individual EU member state will be needed. Therefore, Member States will first have to do their homework at national level. Germany has already done so: In 2010, 3,648 people were killed on our roads. This was the lowest figure since official statistics were introduced in 1953. In relation to its population size, Germany is thus also among the countries with the lowest numbers of road fatalities in the European Union. With its new Road Safety Programme 2011, the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure has prepared a road map for road safety activities in the years ahead in order to continue this positive trend.