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An estimated 40% of road deaths in EU are work-related

UK road deaths, road deaths 2016, killed on UK roads.

An estimated 40% of all road deaths in Europe are work-related according to figures released by the European Transport Safety Council (ETSC).

The report shows that road deaths in the EU have not reduced in three years. In 2016, 25,671 lives were lost on EU roads and it is estimated that a large proportion were work-related.

The study suggests that government and public authorities should lead by example and adopt work-related road safety management programmes for their employees and their fleets and include vehicle safety in public procurement requirement

ETSC’s executive director Antonio Avenoso said: “While there are some great examples of large and small organisations across Europe starting to take road safety seriously, there are thousands more that turn a blind eye to the risks their employees take every day on the roads.

“Many companies also wrongly see road risk management as a burden rather than an opportunity.  But reducing risks through journey management, targeted training and purchasing safer vehicles can cut insurance costs, lead to less time off and boost a company’s image. While employers need to do more, our report also shows that they need help and support from national governments and the EU to do it. ”

Improved data collection is a crucial first step to tackling work-related deaths. Police forces in the majority of EU countries do not currently register the purpose of the journey when recording the details of traffic collisions.

There is also no standardised EU definition of a work-related road death. This leads to an underestimation of the scale of the problem when neither deaths of third party road users nor commuting deaths are categorised as such.

Jason Wakeford, spokesman for Brake, the road safety charity, said: "Reductions in the numbers killed on UK roads have stagnated in recent years. Road deaths fell by just 1.4% between 2010 and 2016 - way short of the EU target. All other EU countries, with the exception of Lithuania, Malta and Sweden, have made better progress and urgent action is needed.

"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." 

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