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European cars may carry black boxes

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Black boxes, usually associated with aircraft, could now find a place in cars and lorries after the European Commission unveiled its new programme to reduce road accidents.

The road safety action programme plans to halve road deaths in Europe by 2020 and will include proposals for safer roads with tougher car and lorry standards and the introduction of "intelligent" vehicles.

The move comes after an EU survey showed rising public concern over disregard for key road safety regulations on drink driving, excessive speeding, the use of mobile phones and ignoring seat-belt laws.

EU transport commissioner Siim Kallas said: "One hundred people die every day on Europe's roads. We have made good progress since 2001 and we have succeeded in saving nearly 80,000 lives.

"But the number of fatalities and injuries on our roads is still unacceptable.

"We are looking at what kind of cars motorists drive, where they drive and how they drive, and we want to cut road deaths in half by 2020."

Road deaths across Europe have dropped by 36% in the past decade - 35% in the UK, from 61 road accident fatalities per million people in 2001 to 38 per million last year.

© Press Association 2010