Document: CEMA-Common-Pledge-and-Roadmap-for-Action-.pdf

New EU Dialogue Group should coordinate efforts to reduce accidents, CEMA presents Roadmap for Action & calls on stakeholders to get involved

21 September 2017

Executive Summary

The number of on-road accidents with farm machines in the EU is very low (when compared to accidents with other vehicles) and fatal accidents have decreased continuously in the last years (e.g. -36% and -38% from 1998–2013 in the Netherlands and Spain), while the reduction of non-fatal accidents has been even higher. Still, on average, around 400 fatal on-road accidents occur in the EU every year in which an agricultural machine is involved. The majority of accidents is not caused directly by the farm machine or its driver, but occurs as the result of other factors such as the lack of awareness of other vehicle drivers on e.g. narrow and winding country roads. Effective, evidence-based priority measures are therefore needed to reduce this number of accidents further.

The European agricultural machinery industry is fully committed to contribute to this goal and has therefore made a common pledge: to reduce the number of fatal on-road accidents with farm machines in the EU by 50% by 2035.To make this pledge a reality, CEMA calls on all stakeholders to work together and contribute to reaching this goal. To do this, CEMA proposes the establishment of a new EU Dialogue Group. The Group should focus on: a better understanding of the available data; sharing of best practices in EU Member States; and making recommendations on how to reduce on-road accidents with farm machines.

Meaningful and effective reduction efforts will have to focus on different aspects such as maintenance, periodical inspections, up-grading of the legacy fleet, driver behaviour as well as public awareness campaigns, and not merely on safety design features of new vehicles given that:

- The overwhelming majority of on-road accidents happens with old farm machines – so a special focus has to be put on the legacy fleet!

- 80% of on-road accidents appear to be caused by just 5 major factors – reduction efforts thus need to focus on them as a matter of priority!

- Maintenance problems such as defective rear lighting have been found to contribute to the occurrence of accidents – gradual progress towards regular Periodical Technical Inspections (PTIs) could effectively address this problem.  

- New agricultural machines will boost road safety further in the coming years

Based on the available statistical evidence and the existing efforts in EU Member States listed in this document, CEMA proposes the following Roadmap for Action as the most effective and cost-efficient approach which should be implemented as a matter of priority:

  1. Improve the safety of the legacy fleet of farm machines on EU roads by retrofitting of high-placed lighting and signalling & moving towards Periodical Technical Inspections (PTIs)
  2. Boost driver training to ensure greater awareness & alertness of drivers of farm machines
  3. Raise awareness among other road users about agricultural machines on the road
  4. Speed up the development and introduction of seamless Vehicle-to-Vehicle (V2V) communication as the ultimate accident prevention tool