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In 2006, 370 people were killed on Switzerland's roads, or 9,5 percent less than in the previous year.
However, the number of serious accidents did not decline: although there were fewer fatalities, the number of seriously injured road users increased. As before, more than 5,000 people are seriously injured every year on our roads. These figures show that there is not only a need for action, but also that carefully conceived measures can result in increased road safety.
For this reason, the "Via sicura" programme of measures aimed at enhancing road safety in Switzerland is more necessary than ever before. The 56 measures proposed in this programme will bring about a marked improvement in the safety of our roads. Or to put it another way, they will help save lives. The decline in the number of fatalities on Switzerland's roads demonstrates that measures to enhance road safety are effective, regardless whether these take the form of single measures or entire packages as is the case with the "Via sicura" programme.
Experience has shown that a broad range of measures is required in order to significantly enhance road safety. The objectives are clear: our roads need to be constructed so that they forgive driving errors and should only be used by drivers who have received the necessary level of instruction and possess the full physical and mental capacity required to drive a motor vehicle. This means that the following factors need to be influenced:
- Awareness of social problems
- Behaviour of road users
- Safety of motor vehicles and road infrastructure
"Via sicura" will have a positive impact in a variety of ways. It is a fully developed, many-sided and broad-based road safety programme that also offers a favourable cost/benefit ratio. The measures it contains have been proposed and assessed by the country's leading road safety experts. The Swiss Federal Roads Office is to submit its proposals concerning options for the implementation of "Via sicura" to the Federal Council by 2007, and the latter is expected to announce its decision in the first half of year 2008.
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