Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2007-05-09-Speech-3-122"

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"Mr President, Commissioner, ladies and gentlemen, just a few weeks ago I took part once more in one of Germany’s regular round tables for long-distance truck drivers. As a result, I learned of a great many expectations these drivers have in terms of their ideas with regard to a) a functioning internal market and b) an improvement in road safety. My impression was that our long-distance truck drivers are more reliant on Europe than the average EU citizen. Bus and truck drivers are constantly at pains to drive without accident – for which I should like to take this opportunity to thank them. To enable them to do so, however, they need – among other things – the opportunity to survey developments affecting their vehicles. What this means is that we must provide them – by law, if need be – with the technical capabilities enabling considerate driving. This is exactly what we mean to achieve with the Directive currently under discussion. It is good that it has been compulsory since January 2007 for all new heavy goods vehicles to be equipped with lateral blind spot mirrors. It would be an illusion to believe that this blind spot can be completely eliminated with mirrors alone, however; and so I would caution against a new-found exaggerated sense of security, particularly in pedestrians, cyclists and wheelchair users. Drivers of new and older vehicles alike should have the right and opportunity to use these mirrors. In this respect, the retrofitting obligation is long overdue. It will hopefully enter into force on 31 March 2009, which means that approximately 800 more people will lose their lives in the meantime, on account of our permitting such a long transitional period. Perhaps, however, hauliers, too, will take the initiative and, rather than waiting until the deadline, will retrofit their vehicles fully in line with the European Road Safety Charter far in advance of the entry into force of the Directive. I should like to pay tribute to all of them already for their act of social responsibility."@en1

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