Road maintenance saves lives & money say road, vehicle industries & safety bodies

Brussels, 27 November 2013 - The Féderation International de l'Automobile (FIA), the European Road Federation (ERF), the International Road Transport Union (IRU) and the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA), along with leading safety organisations EuroRAP and Euro NCAP, today call on the European Commission and national governments to step-up road maintenance standards.

The organisations - which represent consumers, road and vehicle industries, and safety bodies - made this call in a joint statement issued today to coincide with the publication of 'Roads that cars can read' by EuroRAP and Euro NCAP. The report points out that inadequate maintenance and differences in road markings and traffic signs are now a major obstacle to the effective use of technology in vehicles, such as lane departure warning and traffic sign recognition.

“Roads that are not regularly maintained cost many times more to repair and reconstruct. They result in avoidable death, bodily injury and damage, and fail to provide the connectivity on which jobs, the economy and society depend," caution the organisations in the statement which was issued at FIA's event, 'Developing safe, efficient and connected mobility'.

The organisations call on EU member states to maintain road infrastructure, keeping it safe and fit for its modern purpose. "Throughout Europe, the declining condition of our roads has become a matter of deep concern," the statement reads. "The failure to maintain the value of this fundamental asset underpinning the entire European economy and society brings costs that everyone will pay in higher taxes, higher motor and health insurance, and fewer jobs. Failure to manage the financing of proper road maintenance is a failure of good government.

“This failure is not only putting drivers at risk, but also the effective operation of future vehicle safety technologies in which European companies and institutions have invested billions. Improved vehicle safety has been the single most important reason that road deaths have fallen in the last decade in many countries. There must now be concerted action on safe roads, safe vehicles and safe driving to move the 300,000 annual deaths and serious injuries and 2% loss of GDP in Europe towards zero, in line with Europe’s declared long-term vision.”

The statement concludes: “We call on the Commission and all stakeholders to support this strategy to develop roads that both drivers and vehicles can read.”

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Note to editors - The report Roads that Cars Can Read: A Quality Standard for Road Markings and Traffic Signs on Major Rural Roads is published jointly by EuroRAP and EuroNCAP with contributions from the FIA, ERF and ACEA.

Media contacts

  • ACEA Cara McLaughlin +32 2 738 73 45 cm@acea.be
  • IRU Stuart Colley +32 2 743 25 84 stuart.colley@iru.org
  • ERF Konstandinos Diamandouros +32 2 644 58 77 k.diamandouros@erf.be
  • EuroNCAP Marie Brasseur +32 2 400 77 46 marie_brasseur@euroncap.com
  • EuroRAP Becky Hadley +44 20 7808 7997 becky.hadley@hadstrong.com David Armstrong +44 20 7808 7997 david.armstrong@hadstrong.com