Bernhard Kohl - Articles and news items
Four years have passed since the European Directive 2004/54/EC on minimum safety requirements for tunnels in the Trans-European road network became effective in 2004. In almost all EU member states, the EU Directive considerably changed the legislative background of road tunnel safety as well as the relevant national technical guidelines.
The EU Directive thus initiated an impetus towards harmonisation of regulations in Europe. At the same time, it animated the communication between countries with many years of experience of routine road tunnel operations and those countries, which do not have many tunnels in their existing network, but which are going to build many kilometres of new road infrastructure in near future. The 4th International Conference on Tunnel Safety and Tunnel Ventilation offered a perfect stage to continue and enhance that communication.
Since 1999, road tunnel safety has become a subject of growing interest in the public as well as among tunnel specialists. This is largely because of different incidents that have led to an increased risk awareness.
The recent catastrophes in the Mont Blanc tunnel, the Tauern tunnel, and Gotthard tunnel have demonstrated the urgent need for improving the prevention and mitigation of tunnel accidents, including adequate detection systems and being prepared operation staff and emergency services.