Road traffic safety: challenges and reality

Date

2007 12 20

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On 23 October 2007, in the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania an International Conference was held under the title: “Road traffic safety: challenges and reality”. The Conference was arranged by the European Commission together with the Seimas Committee on Economics and the Ministry of Transport and Communications of the Republic of Lithuania.

Every country has an obligation to care for the safety of its citizens, therefore traffic safety and its improvement is among the most actual problems requiring joint efforts and responsibility while making and implementing important decisions”, - by these words the objective of the Conference was indicated in the welcome speech by Mr. Alminas Mačiulis, State Secretary of the Ministry of Transport and Communications of the Republic of Lithuania.   

Mr. Mačiulis maintained that the European Commission has approved in the White Paper a general aim for all EU Member States to reduce by half, until 2010, the proportions of deaths in road accidents. Regrettably, for the meantime Lithuania is lagging behind the EU average of deaths rate on roads. Therefore a necessity has emerged to seek breakthrough and essential progress in the field of traffic safety improvement - legal system is in the process of improvement, dealing with proposals for applying more strict sanctions for drunk driving, for exceeding speed limits or for other gross violations of traffic safety requirements. State Secretary of the Ministry of Transport and Communications indicated that the breakthrough requires many efforts, so being responsible for the formation of national policy of traffic safety improvement and coordination the Ministry of Transport and Communications urges and invites also non-governmental organisations to join the European Road Safety Charter.         

Mr. Zoltan Kazatsay, Deputy Director General of EC General Directorate for Energy and Transport, introduced to the participants of the Forum the new Directives of European Commission on the improvement of traffic safety. He pointed out that the EC is planning also for the next year to arrange the Traffic Safety Day and he invited all for energetic and radical actions of traffic safety improvement on European roads.   

Experts from Portugal , France , the Netherlands , Sweden and Estonia also spoke about their experience in the improvement of traffic safety.