Innovation, fairness, sustainability and safety is needed in transport sector
Transport sector needs innovation, fairness, sustainability and safety, therefore the European Parliament recently has adopted a resolution in the topic urging the European Commission to reinforce the competitiveness of the sector. Resolution 2017/2545(RSP) of the European Parliament focuses among others on the need to
(1) improve innovation and competitiveness of the road transport sectors,
(2) facilitate cross-border mobility on road,
(3) improve social conditions and safety rules, and
(4) promote low-emission road transport.
Full text of the resolution is available here.
Karima Delli (Greens/EFA, FR), Chair of the Transport and Tourism Committee of the European Parliament highlighted that the road initiatives should foster technological development in the sector and urge the sector to embrace the opportunities of digitalisation. The Commission should provide for a suitable regulatory framework for connected and automated driving as well as for new collaborative business models. The quality of work in road transport needs to be addressed to make it more attractive for young people to enter the profession to deal with the shortage of professional drivers.
The current situation consisted of varying interpretations of EU rules and enforcement practices results in abusive practices or circumvention of existing legislation, and unfair competition and exploitation of workers, MEPs confirm. Different national rules on social conditions and rights also create considerable barriers for the operators, MEPs add. Through this the MEP is quite probably referred to the current opposition of Western and Eastern European freight transport companies deriving from the inequalities in the market due to differences in salaries, freight prizes, and often lacked or impossible adherence of compulsory resting times.
Decarbonisation of road transport
In addition, MEPs urge the Commission to help speed up transition from traditional fossil-fuel powered vehicles to electric-powered vehicles and call for effective national policy frameworks to stimulate wider uptake of alternative fuel vehicles. EC should create a framework which will avoid fragmented charging schemes for passenger cars across the EU, MEPs say. They stress that a coherent road charging system should be proportionate to the use of the road. They also want the Commission to come up with guidelines to ensure implementation of “user pays” and “polluter pays” principles and ambitious proposals for CO2 standards for trucks and buses.
Improving road safety
Moreover, there is a strong need to improve safety on EU roads to reach the target of halving road deaths and injuries by 2020 and call on the Commission and member states to adopt an EU wide target for reducing serious road injuries.
They call on the Commission and EU countries to address driver fatigue, so that legislation on rest breaks is respected and investment in road infrastructure also includes improving facilities for the drivers. The Commission should run an EU-wide study on the effects of driver fatigue in bus and coach transport and freight transport by vans and trucks, MEPs concluded according to the official press of the EP. More information here.