Labour MEPs have condemned the European Commission's plans to scrap a key target on reducing serious road injuries, due to be announced to EU transport ministers today.
As a result of the shock move, road safety experts and MEPs from across the political spectrum have come together in an open letter to European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker demanding the target is kept.
The decision to scrap the measure comes as new European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) figures showed that serious injuries from road accidents increased by around three per cent across Europe last year.
The Commission's change in policy could prove costly as well as dangerous, with experts at the ETSC estimating serious road injuries cost the European economy billions a year - more than €50 billion (£36.5bn) in 2010 alone.
Lucy Anderson MEP, Labour European spokesperson on transport, said:
"The Commission is showing a blatant disregard for victims of traffic accidents with its bizarre decision to scrap this measure.
"In road safety, targeting works. International evidence demonstrates that setting specific targets focuses politicians and governments on the need to put in place proper resources and strategies for reducing injuries and deaths on our roads.
"Labour MEPs are today urging the European Commission to reconsider this wholly unjustified U-turn."