TRANSPORT: New traffic laws for Britain in EU drive to cut deaths

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The Independent Online
Britain will have to bring in new road safety measures if the target of halving car deaths in Europe by 2010 is confirmed, according to an EU report. Member states need to standardise speed limits, reduce legally acceptable levels of alcohol for drivers, increase seat-belt use and modify car design, said the European Transport Safety Council.

In an influential proposal to the EU, the ETSC called for the introduction of a strategic road safety plan to cut fatalities. Many of the measures are likely to be brought in by the Dutch presidency, which is putting forward a package of road safety policies before the summer. The plan could mean new laws for Britain, despite its position as top of Europe's road safety league.

The ETSC report called for the EU to aim for 95 per cent of drivers to use seat belts, saving 7,000 lives a year, and for road standards to be harmonised across Europe. Motorists driving on the Trans-European Road Network - the motorway which will link Europe - would have to travel at under 75mph.