Approximately 40,000 people are killed and 1.5 million injured annually in road accidents in the 15 EU countries. Traffic violations cause many accidents, which in turn lead to great human suffering and economic losses.
Traffic law enforcement by police is aimed at conscious or habitual violation of the rules. In principle, this kind of non-compliant traffic behaviour should be eliminated by law enforcement. However, the present strategy, practice and intensity of traffic law enforcement are far from optimal.
The aim of ESCAPE is to identify important areas of non-compliant behaviour among road-users and to assess the potential of law enforcement tools, both traditional and innovative, to improve compliance and thus contribute to safety on European roads. ESCAPE will prepare the basis for implementing demonstration projects across EU member states.
ESCAPE will integrate existing information with results from new studies and analysis, and thus search for new, innovative approaches to law enforcement. For this purpose it will:
- survey legal issues concerning law enforcement in European countries, with emphasis on national differences and social acceptance of various enforcement strategies and methods;
conceptualise alternative law enforcement, monitoring, legal and administrative tools and assess their potential to reduce non-compliance
- develop guidelines for monitoring non-compliant behaviour and assessing the impacts of enforcement on road-user behaviour, and on accidents
- specify the most promising law enforcement tools, judged by: accident reduction potential, short and middle term feasibility social acceptance and other criteria, with the view to undertake demonstration projects;
- consult and co-operate with organisations involved in traffic law enforcement in member countries, and thus encourage to search for new approaches and prepare the ground for testing of most promising new ideas