EU road deaths fall

12.00 | 31 March 2014 | | 4 comments

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."



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    Stats19 does not show “known causes”, it shows contributory factors. A factor should be recorded where the investigating officer at the scene of the collision forms the “opinion” that the factor contributed, or was a “possible” factor. The contributory factors form has been very well designed to try to allow investigators to report everything they find.

    In Britain, the investigating officers formed the opinion that, in over 86% of the fatal collisions they attended and investigated, speeding was not a factor and it wasn’t even a “possible” factor either. I admit I was very surprised when I first saw this in 2006, but all the evidence since then seems to support the officers’ judgements. We need to understand the evidence and perform proper testing if we are to reduce their workload. I suspect they see things that we would rather not.

    Dave Finney, Slough
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    I think ETSC have acknowledged what Rod is getting at ‘……and an aggravating factor in all crashes…’

    Hugh Jones, Cheshire
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    The difference is that the Stats19 in the UK only identifies where speed was a known “cause”. Speed is a “factor” in almost all collisions where the speed of those involved stopped them taking sufficient avoiding action to prevent the collision. Hence speed is “implicated” in almost all collisions as the reason why they could not have been avoided or the consequences mitigated.

    Rod King 20’s Plenty for Us
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    Has ETSC been miss-quoted when they say that speeding is a “primary factor in about one third of fatal collisions” because it certainly isn’t here in Britain? Here, speeding is a factor in 13.6% of fatal collisions and, even in those, it may not be the primary factor:

    Obviously it is great news that deaths have fallen across the EU but, if we jump to conclusions without the facts, policies that don’t work, or that cost more than more effective ones or, worse still, that damage road safety, may be adopted. What we need to know is what caused the falls and the evidence to prove it. That way lives really can be saved.

    Dave Finney, Slough
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