Draft proposal for Parliament for the assessment of road traffic safety
On 23 September 2021, the Government submitted a draft proposal to Parliament to nationally implement the reformed directive on road infrastructure safety management. The goal is to expand the monitoring of road safety to reduce the number of fatalities and serious accidents in road traffic.
A key change is that the scope of application of the act will expand and an even larger part of the route network will be within the scope of systematic monitoring. The current regulation applies to Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) roads, whose length in Finland is 5,199 kilometres. In the future, provisions would also apply to the arterial roads pursuant to the Finnish arterial route decree. The length of the road network within the scope of application would be 6,572 kilometres in total.
In addition, a regular road safety assessment will be conducted within the network. Unprotected road users, i.e., pedestrians, cyclists, and motorcyclists, in particular, should be addressed more systematically in road safety assessments. The first assessment must be completed by 2024. Assessments will be used to update the national transport system plan and decide on the targeting of road maintenance.
The changes required by the EU directive on road infrastructure safety management, entered into force in December 2019, will be implemented in the act on the transport system and roads. The legal amendments would increase information about what the status of traffic safety is in the road network.
In addition, the Government proposal would add specifications to road and railway acts to make national regulations better respond to EU regulation on environmental impact assessments (EIA). The changes would regulate cross-boundary environmental impact assessments regarding those road and railway projects, to which the Act on Environmental Impact Assessment Procedure applies. Similarly to several member states, Finland received an official warning from the EU Commission on 28 November 2019 regarding deficiencies in EIA regulation.
A referral debate will be held on the proposal now submitted by the Government to Parliament. The timetable for the debate will be listed on Parliament's website (upcoming plenary sessions).
After the referral debate, the proposal will be sent to a Parliamentary Committee. The proposed act is scheduled to enter into force in autumn 2021. The acts required by the directive on road infrastructure safety management must be in force by 17 December 2021.
Mervi Karhula, Senior Adviser, tel. +358 29 5342 976, mervi.karhula(at)gov.fi
Press release, 4 March 2021: Improving the assessment and monitoring of road traffic safety - draft bill circulated for statements (in Finnish)
Valtioneuvosto.fi: Government proposal for Parliament as acts on amending the act on the transport system and roads and section 24 of the railways act (HE 138/2021) (in Finnish)
Gateway to Information on Government Projects: Government proposal for the implementation of the directive on amending directive 2008/96/EC on road infrastructure safety management (LVM053:00/2019) (in Finnish)
Lausuntopalvelu.fi: Request for statements on the draft for a Government proposal for amending the act on the transport system and roads and the railways act (in Finnish)
EUR-Lex: Directive (EU) 2019/1936 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 October 2019 amending Directive 2008/96/EC on road infrastructure safety management