Balancing efforts to improve urban safety
There are many laudable efforts across Europe aiming to raise awareness and improve safety understanding among both vehicle drivers and cyclists and pedestrians. Efforts are also being made to provide better access for cyclists to the city space. Moreover, vehicle technology is becoming increasingly mature to make a bigger contribution to reduce common urban accident scenarios involving unprotected road users.
European vehicle regulation is presently being revised in order to improve vehicle safety. In addition, several city authorities are looking at city access restrictions and buying power as driving forces by putting in place schemes aiming to stimulate actors in the transport value chain to invest in safety.
There seems to be a much stronger agreement today compared to just a few years ago on the size and characteristics of the urban safety concerns involving unprotected road users and the actions needed to improve the situation. However, many of these efforts involve large infrastructure projects, vehicle technology development and deployment, and international policy and regulation development, all of which take time to implement and reach their full effect. So the urgency of the local road safety concerns remains. As a result, additional efforts are needed in the short-term to mitigate the prevalence of risk in traffic.