Speed Monitor Issue 5 (June 2009)
In this edition of the Speed Monitor you will find news about recent speed policy developments and speed management initiatives in EU Member States, and a country focus on the Czech Republic. With the exception of the year 2007, a bad year for many European countries, the Czech Republic has had constant reductions in the number of road deaths, and recorded 1,076 road deaths in 2008. This represents a 19% reduction compared to 2001 (1,334 deaths) the year the European road safety target was launched. Speeding is by far the most common cause for road deaths, thus indicating a real need for action in that field. Indeed, according to police statistics in 2008 excessive speed (432 road deaths) and inappropriate speed (273 road deaths) claimed 705 lives together. Successful speed management measures include infrastructure improvements through the use of traffic calming measures, but significant progress remains to be made in the field of enforcement and driver education about speed. A long-lasting political debate on the increase of speed limits to 160 Km/h on some stretches of motorways, a proposal that is fortunately unlikely to come to fruition, is also symptomatic of a lack of awareness and commitment to road safety among a wide segment of society and decision makers.