The number of people killed on Europe’s roads fell by 8% last year, following a 9% decrease between 2011 and 2012, according to provisional figures released by the European Commission.
The European Commission also announced today (31 March) that in 2015 it will be adopting a "strategic target for the reduction of road safety injuries".
Vice-President Siim Kallas, EU Commissioner for mobility and transport, said: that the EU is “fully back on track to reach the road safety target for 2020”.
Commenting on the 2013 casualty stats, Antonio Avenoso, executive director of the European Transport Safety Council (ETSC), said: “We welcome the reduction in the number of road deaths in Europe last year. But the fact that more than 500 lives are still being lost every week on our roads is a reminder that Europe needs to step up its efforts.”
ETSC says that speeding is a “primary factor in about one third of fatal collisions and an aggravating factor in all crashes”. To help combat this, ETSC says that Intelligent Speed Assistance (ISA) is available at “modest cost”, and should be fitted to all lorries, buses and vans to “ensure speed limits are respected”.
The EC figures show that the number of cyclists killed is increasing, partly due to the increase in popularity of cycling. ETSC says that legislation to improve the safety of lorries “must be given the green light as soon as possible”.
Antonio Avenoso added: "The EU needs to help push advanced road safety features into the hands of the many, not the few. As long as they remain optional, take-up will remain limited.
"The Commission is currently reviewing the General Safety Regulation, this is an opportunity that must not be missed."