Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2008-06-19-Speech-4-019"

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"Madam President, I am the rapporteur on the subject of urban mobility, and my main task at the present time is undoubtedly to induce our House to vote on the report, which has already been dealt with by the Committee on Transport and Tourism, in the course of the July part-session, so that we can send out the right signals in good time for the Commission’s action plan on urban mobility, which is due to appear in the autumn. One of these signals relates directly to the subject of our debate today. In general, but especially in our towns and cities, we are finding it increasingly difficult to raise enough money for major developments to our hardware, by which I mean our roads. There are also numerous good reasons for not doing so. Accordingly, we need to use the appropriate software, in other words intelligent vehicles and equally intelligent organisation of traffic flows, to ensure that better use is made of the scarce resource that is our road network. Congestion, then, is one problem for which we undoubtedly need new and better technology. In this context we organised a hearing as part of our deliberations in the Committee on Transport and Tourism, where we were told by the industry representatives – not entirely surprisingly – that anything was possible. Many things are possible, but the motor industry needs timely signals on the one hand, while care must be taken on the other hand to ensure that these driver-assistance systems, once developed, are fitted to the great bulk of vehicles and do not remain the preserve of a privileged few who can afford very well-equipped cars. This is an argument that has rightly been advanced during our discussion today. It cannot be a matter of reserving the best new technological developments for a very few vehicles, leaving the large mass of drivers, in fact, with the same old problems, compounded by the fact that the systems are not really compatible with each other. Accordingly, if we really want to explore the subject of traffic movements and the problems they cause us along with the opportunities offered to us by personal mobility, we need a large number of very closely coordinated actions. In this context let me put forward one final argument, to which Mr Koch rightly referred. New, good, improved technology can make cars safer and road traffic less dangerous, but it can also be misused and foster a misconception among drivers that, since their car can do everything, they no longer really need to devote much attention to safe driving. Relaxed driving is a fine thing, but I believe it is far more important to drive safely and, above all, to be aware of the consequences of one’s driving behaviour. This is, therefore, another area in which we must not lose sight of the psychological impact of new developments."@en1

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