Health and safety
Transport accounts for around a third of all final energy consumption in the EEA (European Environment Agency) member countries and for more than a fifth of greenhouse gas emissions. It is also responsible for a large share of urban air pollution as well as noise nuisance. (European Environment Agency)
The current mobility model causes enormous impact on people's health and safety.
First there is the pollution produced by exhaust gases. In Europe, 40,000 die every year from illnesses relation to traffic pollution.
- Urban transport accounts for 70% of the pollutants and 40% of the greenhouse gas emissions from European road transport (European Environment Agency).
- Road transport is responsible for 17,5% of overall greenhouse gas emissions in Europe and its emissions increased by 23% between 1990 and 2009 (European Environment Agency).
Meeting the GHG reduction target means focusing on the cleanest possible technology and on low-carbon fuels, but also on using the most efficient transport modes (by public transport, by bike or on foot).
Then there are accidents. Traffic accidents have become a public health problem, In Spain there are 45,000 deaths each year, and it is the highest cause of death among the under-25s. In Catalonia there are 800 deaths and 30,000 injuries every year caused by traffic accidents, 20% of which involve pedestrians or cyclists.
Private vehicles are therefore, statistically, less safe if the number of kilometres covered and the number of passengers transported are considered.
A mobility model that promotes safer methods (walking, cycling and collective transport) would probably reduce the number of accidents and their seriousness.