Road Safety Standards

Wednesday, 18 June 2008 - Strasbourg

"Mr. President,

The Commission was defeated by the UK before when trying to impose harmonised measurements – caught like graffiti vandals altering UK road signs. But they do not listen, and Mr. Markov is going to put road safety standards under the control of an unelected Commissioner.

Amendment 5 is good: 'Several Member States already possess well functioning road safety management systems. These countries should be permitted to continue using their existing methods'. Will some countries be more harmonised than others? Which countries? Please name names.

UK roads have high safety standards – for instance, too many speed cameras. Why not harmonise those? Please take away as many as you like. Amendment 53 requires harmonisation of sign visibility and readability, and 49 requires harmonised road signs and markings. Is this readability designed to confuse UK motorists in 35 EU languages? What is it? Is the rapporteur proposing huge road signs with massive texts so motorists can pick out their language at a distance? Or maybe parking bays so motorists can get out and read it all? What next? UK distances are in miles, with stopping distances in yards. The EU is about harmonisation, not people, so the unelected Commissioner will take away UK imperial distances and traditions via the back door without asking the people.

The title of this report should be 'EU cannot read the signs'. Well, the writing is on the wall. Keep your distance, listen to the people, not to politicians. If you want to mess with the imperial measure, let us have a UK and Irish referendum on it, or do you want just more road rage? The UK would be better off out."