The European Union has set in the White paper on transport policy an ambitious goal of halving the number of traffic fatalities over the period of 2000 - 2010 (European Commission, 2001). The goal was confirmed in 2003 in the Road Safety Action Programme (European Commission, 2003). The White Paper identifies a number of principal lines of activity for achieving the target including:

  • harmonisation of penalties and

  • promotion of new technologies to improve road safety.

Traffic enforcement and its mechanism have figured as a subject of research since the late 1940's. Then, the objective of traffic enforcement was “to implant a feeling of ever-present surveillance by highway patrols” (Irby & Jacobs, 1960), the essential term being “the feeling of presence” rather than the actual presence of the police. The subjective factor, “feeling” in the concept of deterrence, was probably first introduced explicitly as subjective risk of detection in the mid 1960s by Brehmer (1966). Enforcement even today is leaning largely on the conception of deterrence, even though the view of deterrence and methods to maintain it have evolved during the past decades.

Over the years, a lot of useful information and knowledge has accumulated for developing effective enforcement strategies and tactics. The partners, representing all major traffic safety research institutes in Europe have participated in a number of scientific projects contributing to a common enforcement knowledge base.

In many of the European transport safety policies, there are a safety targets expressed in quantitative terms. Also, included are a number of possible measures in order to meet the targets. PEPPER work identifies these needs by providing decision makers with:

  • tools to implement conventional and innovative safety measures in the field of enforcement,

  • ways of prioritising different enforcement methods and safety measures, and

  • a proposal and a conceptual model to assess the deployment and impacts of enforcement on a European level also the adoption of Commission Recommendation on Enforcement in the Field of Road Safety.