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C 14/30 EN Official Journal of the European Communities 16.1.


6.7. Prevention policy should include: technical and legal work and skilled jobs it creates. Working conditions and terms
measures to enable vessels sailing in EU waters to be identified of employment on board vessels should be such that vessels
and tracked; sanctions of a deterrent nature in the event of can operate with maximum safety. There should also be
deliberate pollution (degassing); and the exclusion from the sufficient qualified inspectors to carry out onboard inspections
EEZ of sub-standard vessels. of vessel structures, safety equipment, modern navigation
instruments and crew conditions.
6.8. An ambitious maritime safety policy — for which the
current proposals represent merely a start — should rehabili- 6.9. The adoption of tougher rules clearly requires a real
tate the maritime transport environment and ensure that safety political commitment on the part of Member States and the
benefits not only maritime-industry professionals but also earmarking of appropriate funding, so as to ensure that these
shipbuilders and equipment-manufacturers in terms of the rules are properly implemented as soon as possible.

Brussels, 19 October 2000.

The President
of the Economic and Social Committee

Opinion of the Economic and Social Committee on the ‘Communication from the Commission
to the Council, the European Parliament, the Economic and Social Committee and the Committee
of the Regions: Priorities in EU road safety — progress report and ranking of actions’

(2001/C 14/05)

On 20 March 2000 the Commission decided to consult the Economic and Social Committee, under
Article 262 of the Treaty establishing the European Community, on the above-mentioned communication.

The Section for Transport, Energy, Infrastructure and the Information Society, which was responsible for
preparing the Committee’s work on the subject, adopted its opinion on 28 September 2000. The
rapporteur was Mr Ghigonis.

At its 376th plenary session on 19 October 2000 the Committee adopted the following opinion

1. Introduction — continue to work with and develop the European
New Car Assessment Programme (EuroNCAP):
1.1. In this new Communication on road safety, the
Commission assesses the progress made since the Communi- — campaigns and legislation on seat belts and child
cation of April 1997 (1). It points out that the decline in the restraints;
number of road accident victims is levelling off and proposes,
with a view to further promotion of road safety:
— recommendation to the Member States on
— six short and medium-term priorities for action: maximum blood/alcohol levels in traffic;

(1) Promoting road safety in the EU, COM(1997) 131 final; ESC — legislation on speed limiters for light commercial
opinion — OJ C 73, 9.3.1998, p. 66. vehicles;
16.1.2001 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 14/31

— develop guidelines for management of ‘Black Spots’ commitment and an active approach on the part of all the
(places with a concentration of accidents) and the European and national institutions concerned are needed in
design of ‘forgiving’ roadsides (i.e. less likely to cause order to ensure that such progress will be achieved on a
injury in the event of an accident); permanent basis.

— legislation on car fronts which would be safer for
pedestrians and cyclists.
2.2. The proposed approach
— five fields of further research to establish whether possible
measures satisfy the cost-effectiveness requirement:
2.2.1. The Committee is pleased that the initiatives
— medical standards for driving licences; announced by the Commission respect the framework laid
down in the previous Communication for the 1997-2001
Programme and meet the requirements identified by the
— testing for driving licences;
Committee in its opinion of 10 December 1997(1) for the
setting of priorities and for cost/benefit evaluation:
— daytime running lights;
— the combination of legislative and non-legislative
— effect of medicines on driver behaviour; measures, selected on grounds of effectiveness and the
cost-effectiveness ratio;
— post-accident care.
— objective, easy-to-apply criteria for prioritising possible
— three priority supporting measures: measures;

— the CARE accident statistics database; — respect for the subsidiarity principle in a field where
national and regional peculiarities can seriously influence
— an integrated information system; the effectiveness of a measure;

— research into vehicle standards and telematics. — an effort, nonetheless, to achieve the highest possible
level of harmonisation, in the interests of European
citizens travelling between countries and of professional
1.2. Finally, the Commission recommends that Member road users.
States, regional and local authorities establish a practice of
calculating the costs and effects of road safety measures, that
they increase investment in such measures and that they
develop mechanisms which will enable the benefits of such 2.3. General criticisms and suggestions
measures to be felt more directly by those taking the decisions
and bearing the costs of their implementation.

2.3.1. In view of the point made in the Communication that
applying best practice throughout the EU would significantly
reduce the number of accidents and victims, the Committee
2. General comments
regrets that a specific initiative to promote best practice has
not been proposed. The Committee calls on the European
Commission to confirm its commitment to actively promoting
2.1. General aim the spread of best practice.

2.1.1. The Committee endorses the objectives of Com- 2.3.2. The Committee notes that the CARE database, set up
munity policy on road safety and welcomes this new initiative in 1993, is not yet being used to the full. The analyses
on the part of the Commission. mentioned in point 2.4 of the Communication show how
useful such a database can be. However, the use made of it so
far has been very limited. If all those concerned with road
2.1.2. The Committee shares the Commission’s view that safety (authorities, industry, scientists, road users etc.) could
the overall slowdown in the reduction of the number of road have access to it, CARE would be a much more powerful
accident victims justifies new measures. In the absence of other instrument for road safety than it is at present.
quantitative targets, the minimum essential requirement is a
constant trend in reducing the number of road accident
victims. The Committee regrets that there does not appear to
be an analysis of the causes of this slowdown, which would (1) Promoting road safety in the EU, COM(1997) 131 final; ESC
have made it possible to find appropriate solutions. A true opinion — OJ C 73, 9.3.1998, p. 66.
C 14/32 EN Official Journal of the European Communities 16.1.2001

2.3.3. The Committee takes the view that the lack of uniform maximum blood alcohol levels to be adopted,
precise, relevant data constitutes in general terms a major although it does not underestimate the difficulties involved in
obstacle to the development of advanced road safety policies. reaching agreement on this. It reiterates the proposal it made
Improvements are possible and must be implemented with full in its earlier opinion (1) for the adoption of a directive setting
respect for all the factors which, taken together, make it the maximum blood alcohol level at 0,5 mg/ml; this rate
possible to develop such policies: would not of course affect stricter measures taken by some
Member States.
— data collection

— data processing
3.1.5. The Committee endorses the initiatives for legislative
measures on the use of seat belts and child restraints. Given
— data analysis that this type of measure should not systematically exclude
categories of vehicle or transport categories, the Committee
recommends that, for example, in the case of public transport,
— information on the policy pursued. taxis and commercial vehicles, legal provisions should take
account of the operational and commercial aspects.

2.3.4. The Committee points out that the behaviour of road
users depends to a large extent on knowledge and attitudes
acquired at a very early age. Education in road safety, especially
3.1.6. The Committee supports in principle extending the
at primary school, is a basic prerequisite for success, and
fitting of speed limiters to other commercial vehicles. However,
Community standards could be drawn up for this.
it would point out that in the long term variable speed limits,
depending for example on weather conditions and traffic
intensity, are preferable to fixed limits. Technical progress
would make possible the introduction of such systems for all
categories of road vehicle in the near future. Current speed
3. Specific comments on the initiatives proposed
limiters are not capable of operating in such a system.
Extension of the use of compulsory speed limiters should
therefore be gradual, and special attention should be given to
possible untoward effects, such as increased use of vehicles
3.1. Priorities for action with a gross weight just below the limit, involving more
vehicle-kilometres, higher levels of emissions and higher road
safety risks.
3.1.1. The Committee endorses the Commission approach,
which involves incorporating non-legislative measures more
in a coherent road safety policy.

3.2. Further research
3.1.2. Indeed, the information derived from the EuroNCAP
Programme is more useful than a legislative approach in
promoting the marketing of the safest vehicles, and the
campaigns, like the information for road users, influence the The Committee welcomes the subjects proposed for further
human factor which is decisive for road safety. research. The effects of medicines and drugs on drivers’
behaviour, in particular, should be studied as a matter of
priority. Despite the usefulness of certain practical measures
(warnings, comparative data), the constantly growing use of
3.1.3. The Committee also endorses the initiatives to pro-
such substances leads the Committee to recommend binding
mote improvement of infrastructure with a view to road safety
measures to penalise people driving while under the influence
(‘Black Spots’, ‘forgiving’ roadsides). Accident prevention and
of medicines and drugs. Such measures mean that information
impact reduction in the event of accident should be included
must be provided as of now about their effects for all parties
in these types of infrastructure improvement based on road
concerned (pharmaceutical companies, doctors, chemists,
safety. The Committee takes the view that infrastructure
managers, just like vehicle manufacturers through the Euro-
NCAP Programme, could be guided in this direction through
the publication of comparative data on the safety of road

(1) ESC Opinion on the Communication from the Commission to
the Council, the European Parliament, the Economic and Social
3.1.4. The Committee attaches great importance to con- Committee and the Committee of the Regions: Promoting road
tinuing the measures taken to combat drink-driving. It regrets safety in the EU — the programme for 1997-2001, OJ C 73,
the Commission’s claim that it is apparently impossible for 9.3.1998.
16.1.2001 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 14/33

3.3. Supporting measures on construction and maintenance of road infrastructure should
be more geared to road safety; telematics would be very useful
for improving respect for the rules of the road and for
3.3.1. In the Committee’s view, the rapid development of communicating to road users any information likely to
the CARE database is a key factor for any prioritisation and encourage safety-orientated behaviour.
any road safety policy based on the cost-efficiency principle.
That is why the Committee mentioned it above in the section
General criticisms and suggestions. 4. Conclusion

In general, the Committee supports any action likely to
3.3.2. The Committee endorses the two other supporting improve road safety. In particular, it is pleased that the Council
measures — an integrated information system and research of Transport Ministers adopted a resolution on 26 June 2000
into vehicle standards and telematics. However, it feels that on strengthening road safety, which indeed accords with the
this research should also cover road infrastructure. Standards measures advocated in this opinion.

Brussels, 19 October 2000.

The President
of the Economic and Social Committtee

Opinion of the Economic and Social Committee on the ‘Proposal for a Regulation of the European
Parliament and of the Council amending Council Regulation (EEC) No 3922/91 on the
harmonisation of technical requirements and administrative procedures in the field of civil

(2001/C 14/06)

On 27 April 2000 the Council decided to consult the Economic and Social Committee, under Article
80(2) of the Treaty establishing the European Community, on the above-mentioned proposal.

The Section for Transport, Energy, Infrastructure and the Information Society, which was responsible for
preparing the Committee’s work on the subject, adopted its opinion on 8 September 2000. The
rapporteur was Mr von Schwerin.

At its 376th plenary session of 19 October 2000 (meeting of 19 October) the Economic and Social
Committee adopted the following opinion by 94 votes, with one abstention.

1. Introduction 2. Gist of the Commission proposal

1.1. The Commission proposal for a regulation is intended 2.1. The Commission’s explanatory memorandum to the
to harmonise technical requirements and administrative pro- proposal makes the following points:
cedures in the field of civil aviation. The idea is that, in future,
JAR-OPS 1 (Joint Aviation Requirements for the operation of 2.1.1. When drawing up the second liberalisation package
aircraft engaged in commercial air transportation) — issued by in 1989, the Council and the Commission agreed that
the Joint Aviation Authority (JAA) and already incorporated Community air transport policy also had to address the har-
by Member States into national law — will (with minor monisation of the regulatory framework applicable to civil
amendments) take the form of a regulation published by the aviation in order both to maintain a high level of safety and to
Commission. ensure fair competition in the internal market.