Annual road deaths have exceeded 41,000 in the European Union, with 1.7 million people suffering injuries. In the face of such levels, the European Commission has proposed new safety measures. The most notable features of two directives now heading for governments’ and the European Parliament’s consideration, Member States would have to oblige heavy vehicles to be equipped with mirrors that cover the blind spot.
This would be aimed in particular at reducing the number of accidents involving two-wheeled vehicles. Road infrastructure would need to be better engineered and monitored – with more attention paid to how motorways are built and maintained. Road accidents are the 11th leading cause of death globally. Britain is reported to have the safest roads in the world. Brussels has a target to halve the number of road fatalities in Europe overall by 2010.