UK road safety record ‘excellent’ in 2015

12.00 | 2 November 2016 | | 8 comments

The UK continued to enjoy an ‘excellent’ road safety record last year, according to a grading system published by the European Commission.

The EU Transport Scoreboard, which compares all 28 EU member states, shows that in 2015 only Malta and Sweden had less road fatalities per million inhabitants than the UK.

At 28 road fatalities per million inhabitants, the UK figure is almost half the EU average (52).  At 36, Ireland is also below the average.

However, in terms of road congestion, the UK really struggled, coming bottom of the 28 countries. Measured in ‘hours spent in road congestion annually’, UK motorists spent 41.45 hours in congested traffic, compared to the average of 29.49 hours.

Focussing on the ‘quality of roads’, the UK ranked 12/28. Based on a survey by the World Economic Forum and using a scale from one (extremely underdeveloped) to seven (extensive and efficient), the UK scored 5.13, slightly above the EU average of 4.77. The Netherlands topped the table with 6.14.

Another area where the UK struggled was ‘new passenger vehicles using alternative fuels’, such as electric cars. At 1.1%, the UK fell well below the EU average of 2.9%, and was dwarfed by Italy (12.8%) and the Netherlands (12.59%). It’s overall rank was 11/28.

On a related topic, the UK also fell below the EU average in terms of electric vehicle charging points. Measured against 100,000 city inhabitants, the UK had 20.4 charging points, compared to the average of 26.3. The Netherlands topped that particular chart with 145.4.




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    Under the present circumstances of the lack of Civilian Road Safety Officers nowadays due to heavy financial cut backs it seems to me a good ideas that it be taken up within curriculum in schools. In my home town there is no longer what one can call a Road Safety Office and as result little or nothing is now happening in that regard.

    Bob Craven, Lancs
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    Thank you Pat; your comment made me smile.

    I recall having an increasingly heated debate with a school who had refused ANY kind of road safety education for the previous five years who then subsequently cancelled our Good Egg Drivers workshops at the last minute as they had “the school dance to organise and the Christmas trees to erect”.

    I was almost incandescent and lapsed into my default, unambigously worded, Geordie vernacular.

    A sharp intake of breath down the phone ensued, where I assumed I’d blown RS education for ever and she capitulated. Crises over. Job done.

    The point is we shouldn’t HAVE to fight. A+ grades are worthless if students end up wrapped around a tree…


    Jan James
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    > Why is road safety education not a mandatory inclusion in our educational curriculum? Why haven’t we introduced Graduated Driving Licences when the evidence for casualty reduction in countries and states that support GDL is irrefutable?

    Such as the 45mph limit on single carriageway-, dual carriageway roads and motorways for newly qualified drivers in Northern Ireland?

    David Weston, Corby
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    When UK motorists are stuck in traffic for many, many, hours, they are unable to crash at speeds which are so low that KSI is most unlikely to happen. Which throws up the well worn adage, ‘Lies and Statistics’ which can actually ‘fool all the people all the time’..

    Russell Jones temporarily in Florida
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    Jan, I agree with you, and Bob I agree with you too, so I have ‘agreed’ both. How?
    Comparatively speaking (country v country) we have done well and continue to do well. But Jan is right, we could do so much more. If road safety were properly funded a lot more could be done. Engineering changes are very expensive and many are needed to improve roads but the way road safety EDUCATION is either overlooked or thought of as the Cinderella compared to engineering is thoroughly disappointing. Also, some schools could do better. It makes me mad when things like Kerbcraft in schools are cancelled because the school thinks something trivial is more important. (This doesn’t include the Christmas panto though, we all know EVERYTHING stops so that can go ahead.)

    Pat, Wales
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    I’m sorry but, at the risk of sounding contentious, I could never agree with the suggestion that our UK road safety record is ‘excellent’ when, according to the latest DfT data (2015), no less than 66 (SIXTY SIX) young drivers and their similarly aged passengers (17-24) are killed or seriously injured every week on our roads. There is nothing remotely excellent about that. As a mother myself, it makes me feel utterly sick.
    How can we allow this to happen?

    Why is road safety education not a mandatory inclusion in our educational curriculum?
    Why haven’t we introduced Graduated Driving Licences when the evidence for casualty reduction in countries and states that support GDL is irrefutable?

    And, how do we still allow trainees (PDIs) who may or may not pass their final coaching exams to teach our kids – our most precious of life’s gifts – to ‘learn’ to drive.

    All of this has of course been compounded by the fact that great swathes of dedicated hard working road safety professionals, all of whom care deeply about this burning societal issue, have been decimated with road safety cuts, loss of human resources, and loss of budgets.

    So no, I don’t think it’s excellent at all. I think it’s appalling and I, for one, hang my head in shame…

    Jan James, CEO – Good Egg Safety CIC
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    Whilst David is repeating the obvious and 3 persons agree I feel that when it comes to road safety we do well. I must say that from a road safety point of view I am not much bothered about electronic vehicle and their power supplies. As regards road congestion we are a small island with a large, possibly the largest % of vehicle ownership in Europe so its understandable that congestion is an issue here. We just do not have the land space available that other countries have. That said we have still done extremely well and deserve a pat on the back though we should by no means at all become complacent but all interested parties should unify and work together in reducing deaths and injuries even further.

    Bob Craven Lancs
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    Remember these results are for EU member states only and the best in Europe is Norway, with Switzerland close behind. See PACTS report by TRL

    David Davies, London
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