The European Parliament has reiterated its call for a pan-European target to cut serious road injuries following a review into the European transport policy.
In a vote on 9 September, MEPs called for ‘the swift adoption of a 2020 target of a 40% reduction in the number of people seriously injured, accompanied by a fully-fledged EU strategy’.
Since 2010 the number of people seriously injured on EU roads has been reduced by just 1.6%, compared to an 18% decrease in the number of road deaths.
Last year the numbers rose by more than 3% compared to the previous year, with at least 203,500 people suffering life-changing injuries, according to the European Transport Safety Council (ETSC).
The ETSC has long argued for the need for a separate pan-European target to reduce serious road injuries, to complement the targets that have been in place since 2001 to reduce deaths.
The European Commission has been committed to introducing such a target since 2010 but recently backtracked having promised an official target would be set ‘shortly’ in March 2015, and it is now unclear when the target will be set.
ETSC has joined with more than 70 experts and representatives of road safety organisations and victims groups from across Europe, together with 12 members of the European Parliament, to urge Jean-Claude Juncker, the EU president, to adopt the overdue target.
Antonio Avenoso, executive director of ETSC, said: “Today’s vote, combined with the bold new targets to be agreed by the UN at the end of September, should give new impetus to the Commission to come forward with an EU serious road injury target and measures to meet it by the end of this year.
“Serious injuries in road collisions are a terrible burden on more than 200,000 people every year, and must be addressed. Setting a target will send the political signal needed to start getting the numbers down significantly.”
ETSC says that later this month the United Nations will adopt a set of sustainable development goals including a target to cut road deaths and injuries by half by 2020. The target will also apply to all member states of the EU.