Enforcement in the EU – Vision 2020

  • Published: European Transport Safety Council (ETSC), 2015
  • Authors: European Transport Safety Council (ETSC)
  • Date Added: 12 Feb 2016
  • Last Update: 12 Feb 2016
  • Format: pdf


To set out the action the EU and the Member States need to take to achieve a high level of enforcement of traffic law to save lives across the EU by 2020.


Not Applicable

Key Findings:

  • The European Commission adopted a new target to halve road deaths by 2020 and, in its Transport White Paper in 2001, a ‘Vision Zero’ for 2015. In order to achieve the 2020 target the EU will have to go above and beyond current reduction trends. Enforcement is a means to prevent collisions from happening by way of persuading drivers to comply with the safety rules.

  • A number of recommendations were made, including:

    • Prepare enforcement plans with yearly targets for enforcement and compliance in the areas of speeding, drink and drug driving and seat belt use.

    • Adopt a ‘Zero Tolerance’ approach to enforcing the three priority areas of road safety legislation.

    • Ensure greater convergence in enforcement of road safety related road traffic rules and develop common minimum standards.

    • To address speeding, the recommendations include: conducting mobile checks; using fixed cameras in places where speeding causes a high level of collisions; channel revenues from camera enforcement back into road safety work; collect speeding rates for all types of three times a year; improve enforcement of speeding of PTWs by improving number plate visibility and accuracy of speed detection; use average speed cameras in places where speeding over appreciable distances is a problem; incorporate speeding offences in penalty point systems, and make sure that levels of penalty escalate as the level of speeding above a speed limit increases; and monitor development of speed patterns (mean speed and 85 percentile) and publish regular overviews of change of different road users.

    • To address drink driving, the recommendations include: introduce targeted breath testing to complement enforcement based on suspicion; intensify enforcement of drink driving laws by setting targets for minimum level of alcohol checks of the motorist population; introduce obligatory testing for alcohol in all collision dealt with by the Police and collect quarterly rates of drink driving and/or rates of traffic deaths from collisions involving drivers over the limit.

    • Introduce random drugs testing with zero-tolerance approach for illicit drugs (testing for presence of a drug) with a blood/urine/saliva tester. Combine this with an impairment approach for other psychoactive substances.

    • For seat belt wearing, the recommendations are to conduct intensive seat belt use actions of 1-4 weeks, which must take place at least twice a year and collect yearly seat belt wearing rates for the various road and occupant categories (driver, front and rear passengers)


Enforcement, Policy, Leadership


Actions required to achieve a high level of traffic law enforcement across the EU.