The UK is one of the European countries making the slowest progress when it comes to reducing the number of road deaths, a new report has highlighted.
The 11th Road Safety Performance Index Report, produced by the European Transport Safety Council (ETSC), compares statistics from 32 European countries – including the 28 EU member states.
The report shows that road deaths fell by just 1.4% in the UK between 2010 and 2016, way short of both the EU28 average for the period (18.7%) and the target for 2020, which requires member countries to have reduced road deaths by 34% from 2010.
Of the 32 countries featured in the report, only Luxembourg (no change), Sweden (1.5% increase) and Malta (46.7% increase), failed to make better progress than the UK over the seven-year period.
Published yesterday (21 June), the Road Safety Performance Index Report uses the provisional GB figure for the year ending September 2016 (1,810 deaths) – as the data for 2016 is yet to be released – combined with the final 2016 data for Northern Ireland (63 deaths).
Looking at year-on-year progress, the UK’s 4.1% increase in fatalities in 2016 ranks it 24th out of the 32 counties. The figure is also above the EU28 average, which is a 2.0% reduction.
However in terms of deaths per million inhabitants during 2016, the UK is fourth in the table with 29. The EU28 average is 51.
On the back of the new report, Brake has once again called for urgent action to reduce the number of road deaths in the UK. The charity described the lack of a UK target as a ‘disgrace’ and has joined the call – initiated earlier this year by the Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety (PACTS) – for the creation of a Road Collision Investigation Branch.
Jason Wakeford, Brake spokesman, said: "Reductions in the numbers killed on UK roads have stagnated in recent years.
“It’s a disgrace that there are currently no UK targets for reducing the number of road deaths and we are calling for a UK target to be set as a priority for the Government.
"We need the creation of a Road Collision Investigation Branch, to help better understand road crashes so that lessons can be learned to prevent future deaths, alongside extra police resource for traffic enforcement.
“Brake is also calling on the European Commission to introduce new vehicle safety standards, including mandating Intelligent Speed Adaptation – helping drivers stay within speed limits.”