Urgent action needed to meet EU road safety targets
EU road safety stakeholders, including national and local authorities, are being urged to take bold action to ensure targets to halve road fatalities are met.
The call comes from the European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) following the publication of new European Commission data showing that deaths on EU roads fell 2% last year, following a 1% increase in 2015.
The figures show 25,500 people lost their lives on EU roads in 2016, 600 fewer than in 2015 and 6,000 fewer than in 2010. A further 135,000 people were seriously injured on the road according to Commission’s estimates.
According to ETSC analysis, road deaths will now need to fall by 11.5% a year in order to meet the EU target of cutting deaths by half in the decade to 2020.
Antonio Avenoso, executive director of the European Transport Safety Council, said: “With around 500 deaths on EU roads every week, a figure that has hardly budged in three years, bold action from the EU and member states is long overdue.
“EU minimum vehicle safety standards have not been updated since 2009. A plan to require carmakers to install life-saving technologies such as automated emergency braking, overridable intelligent speed assistance and passenger seat belt reminders in all cars was postponed last month until March 2018, and even then will face several years before the changes are implemented. Every day of delay will mean more avoidable deaths.
“Member states also need to reprioritise action on enforcement, infrastructure safety improvements and measures to make pedestrians and cyclists safer on our roads. Road deaths and serious injuries devastate lives and cost the European economy billions every year.”