Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2000-01-17-Speech-1-047"

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"Madam President, we cannot and must not accept the fact that we hear ever more frequently of accidents causing major damage on our roads, but also on our railways and waterways, not solely but at least partly because those involved do not take the transport of dangerous goods seriously enough or because – as a result of ignorance or a lack of training on the part of the drivers or others responsible for the various vehicles – a minor accident has all too often become a major disaster. As an Austrian, I still have a vivid memory, as, I believe, we all do, of the catastrophe which cost so many human lives last year in the Tauern Tunnel, where subsequent work to rebuild the parts of the tunnel which had been destroyed in this fire continued for many months at huge expense. The renovation project, which lasted for months, cut off this important route between the north and south of Europe. The traffic which had to be diverted because of this stretched the patience of many thousands of people in the EU to the limit. In fact, all hell broke loose in some municipalities in my province. Prevention has to be our answer to disasters of this kind and this draft directive is an important step towards well-trained safety advisers being available, so that the right action is taken in good time. All the same, we must not content ourselves with enacting European law to ensure greater safety. We also need to follow this up and make sure that our rules are transposed by the Member States in good time and – even more importantly – we need to ensure that they are also applied afterwards. Please let this not be yet another sector where we subsequently have to lament the lack of enforcement. I should like to address one final point. We must not content ourselves with sealing another hole in the safety net and shutting our eyes to the fact that, where transport safety in Europe is concerned, there is still much more to be done. In this context, I should like to make a request and ask the Commissioner responsible, who is with us here today, to table an appropriate text as soon as possible with a view to continuing to make it safer for traffic to transit tunnels in the future, so that we in Europe do not have to experience any more such disasters on this scale."@en1

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