Road safety: Policy orientations on road safety 2011-20


European Commission communication (COM(2010) 389 final) - towards a European road safety area 2011-2020


Although progress was made on road safety in the European Union (EU) during the 3rd European road safety action programme (RSAP) which ran between 2003 and 2010), the European Commission highlights that efforts to improve road safety need to be further strengthened.


The European road safety policy orientations (2011-2020) aim to provide a general framework and challenging objectives to guide national and local strategies, in accordance with the principle of subsidiarity. Within the general framework, the Commission highlights the need to:

Principles and target

The Commission sets out 3 main principles:

Following the RSAP 2003-10, the Commission proposes to maintain the target of halving the overall number of road deaths in the EU between 2010 and 2020. This demonstrates the EU’s clear commitment to road safety and having a common objective is intended to provide EU citizens with a more uniform level of road safety within the EU. The Commission encourages individual EU countries to contribute to the achievement of this common target through their own national road safety strategies.

During the public consultation for these policy orientations, which took place between July and December 2009, a target for reducing road traffic severe injuries was proposed. Once a common definition exists for ‘severe injuries’, the Commission is to add a common ‘injuries reduction target’ to these European road safety policy orientations up to 2020.

Strategic objectives

The Commission has identified 7 objectives, for which actions will be proposed at both EU and national level:

Implementation of the European road safety policy orientations 2011-20

Open cooperation between EU countries and the Commission facilitates the implementation of the EU road safety policy. Parallel to this, EU countries also have national road safety plans that include specific national objectives which are individual to their particular situation.

The Commission will pursue the improvement of the existing tools for data collection and analysis, such as CARE, the EU database on road accidents established in accordance with Council Decision 93/704/EC, as well as the European Road Safety Observatory (ERSO), which makes publicly available through the Internet road safety data and knowledge at European level.


For more information, see Road safety on the European Commission’s website


Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions - Towards a European road safety area: policy orientations on road safety 2011-2020 (COM(2010) 389 final of 20 July 2010)

last update 09.05.2016