According to an analysis by the European Environment Agency (EEA), i road tolls should be much more expensive in countries where theair pollution exceeds a certain threshold. The reason is not purely environmental but above all economic: drastically lowering theair pollution produced by road transport, there would be a reduction in health-related costs of about 100 billion euros.
The heavy vehicles like trucks, they should pay road tolls more salty. The cost of road tolls should be proportional to air pollution levels registered in the country. The estimate made by the EEA highlighted that theair pollution it causes 100 million days of sick leave and 350,000 premature deaths in Europe. The effects ofair pollution, in addition to damaging the environment and human health, they involve high economic costs. The EEA report estimates that only the costs derived from air pollution caused by heavy vehicles of member countries, amount to 43-46 billion euros per year.
The costs that each country must bear to stop the damage caused byair pollution could be recovered through a structure of toll for major roads and highways. Revenue from this operation should not be invested in health care but in programs aimed at promoting the sustainable mobility. Does this sound like a good idea? It probably is, however, the application of road user charges depends on a decision by individual countries, so the EU cannot impose its will.
“European economies rely on long distances to transport goods. But there is also a hidden cost, paid for in years of poor health and lost lives. This cost is particularly high for those living along major European transport routes. By incorporating these costs into the price of goods, we can encourage healthier transport methods and cleaner technologies. " This is stated by Jacqueline McGlade, executive director of the EEA.
The diesel fuel used by most heavy vehicles, causes more pollution atmospheric per kilometer compared to other fuels such as gasoline. The exhaust emissions originating from diesel engines have been defined carcinogenic by the International Agency for cancer research. It is necessary to implement stricter strategies: the heavy vehicles are responsible for 40-50% ofpollution from nitric oxide and significantly contribute to raising the levels of fine dust. To date, the only possible strategy is to optimize the freight transport system through partnerships, intelligent systems and cooperations such as the one proposed by the spedingo service.