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EU road safety progress “grinding to a halt”

Wednesday 25th March 2015

A “negligible” 1% fall in EU road deaths in 2014 represents a “drastic slowdown in progress”, according to the European Transport Safety Council (ETSC).

The 1% decrease in 2014, revealed in data released yesterday (24 Mar) by the European Commission, follows falls of 8% in both 2012 and 2013. And the total number of EU road deaths has decreased by 18.2% since 2010.

The EU describes the 2014 figure as “disappointing” and “falling short of the intended target decrease”, and the ETSC says it puts at risk the EU's target of halving road deaths by 2020.

While the country specific statistics show that the number of road deaths varies greatly across the EU, the average EU fatality rate for 2014 is expected to be 51 road deaths per million inhabitants.

Malta, the Netherlands, Sweden and the United Kingdom continue to report the lowest road fatality rates, with less than 30 deaths per million inhabitants. In contrast, Bulgaria, Latvia, Lithuania and Romania report fatality rates above 90 deaths per million inhabitants.

Countries reporting a better than average improvement over the years include Greece, Portugal and Spain, while Denmark, Croatia, Malta, Cyprus, Romania, Italy, Slovenia and the Czech Republic report a road death reduction above the EU average for 2010-2014.

Violeta Bulc, EU commissioner for transport, said: "The figures published today should be a wake-up call. They also remind us that road safety requires constant attention and further efforts. We need to step up our work for the coming years, to reach the intended EU target of halving the number of road deaths by 2020.”

Antonio Avenoso, executive director of the ETSC, said: “While there is no single factor that explains today's deeply worrying figures, there is no doubt that in recent years the EU, and many member states, have shifted road safety way down the priority list.

“If you cut back on police enforcement and road maintenance, if you don't do enough to protect the increasing numbers of people walking and cycling, and if you ignore new trends such as distraction - it's obvious that the numbers dying will not just stagnate, they will start to increase.

"We need to see short and medium term action from national governments and from the EU, starting today.”

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Steve - you say:
"Currently the "road safety" industry focuses almost exclusively on speed".

I'm not sure who you are referring to when you describe the 'road safety industry', but your statement is simply not correct if you are referring to local authority road safety officers, who comprise the membership of Road Safety GB.

A quick whiz around this newsfeed will soon identify initiatives focusing on children, cycling, drink driving, driver distraction, driver training, drug driving, in-car safety, mobile phones - to name but a few.

I can reassure you that all road safety officers think there is much more to road safety than 'speed'.
Nick Rawlings, editor, Road Safety News

Agree (3) | Disagree (1)
+2

Currently the "road safety" industry focuses almost exclusively on speed, specifically speed related to numbers on a pole rather than speed for conditions. This has been the case for at least a decade, and has clearly reached any zenith it may have.

A rethink is essential, a complete new approach and a re-evaluation across the board. There is more to road safety education than parroting the lie "speed kills".

How about the same monetary input that speed kills had being transferred to the 2 second rule, if that catches, then there should be a marked drop in incidents.
Steve, Watford

Agree (2) | Disagree (4)
-2

apprapo "Only fresh thinking will help achieve the target" - someone who recently invented a new product not related to his usual activity pointed out the same, saying that "It was not candle-makers who invented the light bulb".
Idris Francis Fight Back With Facts Petersfield

Agree (3) | Disagree (6)
-3

Unfortunately we again are talking politics and that means money. Money speaks as does power and it's not necessarily what we may want, hear or need. Without money in this situation there will be no endeavour.
Bob Craven lancs...Space is Safe campaigner.

Agree (4) | Disagree (2)
+2

It's not money that's lacking Bob, it's ideas! Only fresh thinking will help achieve the target.
Duncan MacKillop. No surprise - No accident.

Agree (4) | Disagree (3)
+1

No Duncan.
I think they are saying we are skint and have no money to put into road safety and therefore the target we have set ourselves for 2020 is out of reach unless..... unless more money is made available. And that's not likely.
Bob Craven Lancs.....Space is Safe Camapaigner

Agree (4) | Disagree (2)
+2

When Ms Bulc says "The figures published today should be a wake-up call" is she in fact saying that the road safety industry should be looking at doing things differently?
Duncan MacKillop. No surprise - No accident.

Agree (5) | Disagree (3)
+2