Following two years of solid decreases in the number of people killed on Europe’s roads, the first reports on road deaths in 2014 are disappointing. According to the figures released today, the number of road fatalities has decreased by approximately 1% compared to 2013. This follows on the 8% decrease in 2012 and 2013. The figures reveal a total of 25 700 road deaths in 2014 across all 28 Member States of the EU. Whilst this is 5700 fewer than in 2010, it falls short of the intended target decrease.
Violeta Bulc, EU Commissioner for Transport said: “It’s sad and hard to accept that almost 70 Europeans die on our roads every day, with many more being seriously injured. The figures published today should be a wake-up call. Behind the figures and statistics there are grieving spouses, parents, children, siblings, colleagues and friends. They also remind us that road safety requires constant attention and further efforts.” She added: “We need to step up our work for the coming years, to reach the intended EU target of halving the number of road deaths by 2020. Let’s work together to make sure more people come home safely at the end of their journey. This is one of my priorities and should be one of the priorities of all governments in all the Member States!”
In 2014, the country specific statistics (see Annex) show that the number of road deaths still vary greatly across the EU. The average EU fatality rate for 2014 is expected to be 51 road deaths per million inhabitants. Malta, the Netherlands, Sweden and the United Kingdom continue to report the lowest road fatality rates, with less than 30 deaths per million inhabitants. Four countries still report fatality rates above 90 dead per million inhabitants: Bulgaria, Latvia, Lithuania and Romania. .
However the figures published today do show that the total number of EU road deaths has decreased by 18.2% since 2010. Some European countries report a better than average road safety improvement over the years. This is the case of notably Greece, Portugal and Spain. Equally Denmark, Croatia, Malta, Cyprus, Romania, Italy, Slovenia and the Czech Republic report a reduction of road deaths above the EU average for 2010-2014.
Road safety targets and actions
In order to reach the EU strategic target of halving the number of road deaths from 2010 to 2020, additional efforts are now needed. Most every-day road safety actions are done at local or national level, for example through the enforcement of road traffic rules, education campaigns and infrastructure development and maintenance. The EU contributes with legislation and recommendations on issues of common concern, for example on the minimum requirements for technical vehicle inspections and the harmonisation of technical standards.
What will the Commission do next:
Finalise an interim report on EU road safety policy taking stock and setting the agenda for next five years. The report is expected to be published in May 2015.
Continued work on the new analysis of serious road traffic injuries. The Commission intends to set shortly a new target for the reduction of serious road injuries and define a strategy to meet this target.
A review of rules on training and qualifications of professional drivers. A Commission proposal is expected to be adopted by end of 2016.
A review of the EU framework on infrastructure safety management drivers. A Commission proposal is expected to be adopted by end of 2016.
For more information
Factsheet on Road safety in the EU
Commission’s road safety work and EU road safety statistics: http://ec.europa.eu/roadsafety.
Source: Europa Press Releases