The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents says publication of new plans for halving road deaths across the European Union should be an added catalyst in the bid to improve safety on the UK’s roads.
Figures contained in the European Commission report show that in 2009, the UK was the Member State with the lowest road fatality rate by population – at 38 fatalities per million inhabitants. This figure had fallen by 35 per cent from 61 fatalities per million inhabitants in 2001 – also a year in which the UK had the lowest level of road fatality among Member States.
RoSPA says the UK should not become complacent, however, and that it should strive to set a good example throughout the next decade.
In a recent publication, called European Road Safety Policy Orientations for 2011-2020, the European Commission outlines seven strategic objectives: improved safety measures for trucks and cars; building safer roads; developing intelligent vehicles; strengthening licensing and training; better enforcement; targeting injuries; and a new focus on motorcyclists.
The policy follows the EU’s current 2001-2010 Road Safety Action Plan, which aimed to halve road fatalities from 50,000 to 25,000. The Commission reports that this target has “not been completely met” but that, by the end of the plan period, a fall of more than 40 per cent is expected.