29 March 2017 - The Minister of Infrastructures and Transport, Graziano Delrio, has participated in the European Conference of Transport Ministers, organized in cooperation with the Maltese Presidency, in order to take stock of the situation on Road Safety and Maritime Transport.
At the end of the morning-session of the Conference, chaired by the Maltese Minister, Joe Mizzi, the declaration of the EU Ministers on Road Safety has been adopted. The document signed at the presence of the EU Commissioner for Transport, Violeta Bulc, defines the new EU strategies to reduce the number of deaths and injuries on roads.
In this regard, Minister Delrio has stressed the work done by the Italian Government to pursue the European objectives of halving the number of road accident victims by 2020. “The results that have been achieved are extremely encouraging, showing a reduction of 21% of death and injuries on roads, from 2010 to today and a reduction of 5% from 2015 to the first half of 2016 but which are not enough to reach the fixed objective”.
And also for this reason the Ministry of Infrastructures and Transport has adopted a new national policy on road safety, planning various actions, Delrio stated. To put it more specifically, it has been foreseen more maintenance for Infrastructures, in particular for the extra-urban roads where the 47% of fatal accidents occur.
“The safety of road infrastructures is a priority to pursue” Minister said. “A sector which saw investments rise considerably also introducing technological improvements”.
Another key factor is represented by the widespread initiatives in the field of communication and road safety education on risky behaviors to the protection of the most vulnerable road users. “Italy has also strengthened legal measures introducing the road homicide crime” Minister Delrio stated, and it has also been foreseen the Highway Code’s Reform”.
The Minister expressed his satisfaction for the work done together with the European Countries and the Commission in order to move towards a more coordinated action. “To better pursue the European strategies, we intend to submit to the Council of Ministers a new National Plan on Road Safety, adopting the Declaration signed in Valletta with a new framework of concerted actions with particular regard to the technological innovations of Road Infrastructures, vulnerable road users, works necessary for the reductions in road accidents”.
In the afternoon the Ministers have adopted joint declaration establishing the priorities for the maritime transport policies for 2020: competitiveness, decarbonization, digitalization in order to ensure global connections, an efficient internal market and a maritime cluster capable of facing global challenges.
Also in this case, Minister Delrio stressed “the importance of a coordinated and joint European action for sustainability and innovation, for work and competitiveness”. In the guidelines proposed, the Minister has recognized “the priorities of the Italian policy for the maritime sector, to which was payed strong attention with the reform of the Law on ports and logistics” which is producing concrete benefits such as customs clearance of goods at sea, which is actually being carried out in 17 sea-ports, with a reduction in clearance times per year, which made Italy become a world leader in this field.
Today was an important day in order to achieve the objectives of EU policies on road safety. In fact. 2016 was the first year in which Commission published the data on serious road accidents, based on new common criteria. On the basis of these data, coming from 16 Member States which represent the 80% of the EU population, in 2016 the number of road accidents’ victims has decreased by 2%, and by 5% in Italy.
In 2016, approximately 25,500 people have lost their lives on the roads of the European Union, 600 people less compared with 2015 and 6,000 persons less compared with 2010. Other 135,000 people were seriously injured . The most important data that emerges is that in the last six years the number of road accident victims was reduced to 19%, showing a positive result but which is still far from the European objectives fixed on road safety. The vulnerable road users, such as pedestrians, cyclists and motocyclists, represent a substantial part of the serious injuries”. The European countries with the safest roads and with the lowest mortality rate per million inhabitants are Sweden (27), Great Britain (28), Nertherlands (33), Spain and Denmark (37), Germany (39) and Ireland (40).
Moreover, the Commission stated that “the chance of dying in a road accident changes from one State to another: although the gap is gradually reducing year-by-year, people who live in one of the Member States with the highest mortality rate are three times more likely to be killed in a road accident than people who live in the Countries with the lowest mortality rate.
This is why the Commission requested all interested parties to define virtuous paths aiming at applying road legislation as well as organizing awareness-raising campaigns in order to achieve the objective of halving the number of road accident victims between 2010 and 2020.