The European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) says the European Commission must stop delaying new road safety policy measures.
2015 road safety statistics published by the European Commission confirm that European roads remain the safest in the world despite a recent slowdown in reducing road fatalities. 26,000 people lost their lives on EU roads last year, 5,500 fewer than in 2010 - but the same amount as 2010.
Antonio Avenoso, executive director of ETSC said: “Last year, the European Commission described the poor progress on road safety as a ‘wake-up call’. But twelve months later, four critical policy measures have been delayed. We hope that the announcement of today’s even more worrying figures will finally lead to some more concerted action.
“This Commission has repeatedly emphasised its ‘better regulation’ agenda. But road safety requires constant vigilance as well as new measures with legal backing. A failure to regulate, in the case of road safety, could lead to more deaths and serious injuries.”
ETSC says EU member states also need to take action to help improve road safety. Declines in levels of police enforcement, a failure to invest in safer infrastructure and a lack of action on tackling speed and drink driving have also played a role in recent poor progress in some member states. ETSC’s in-depth analysis of the latest national road safety data will be launched on 20 June at the ETSC Road Safety Performance Index conference in Brussels.
The European Commission has, for the first time, published a figure for the number of people seriously injured on Europe’s roads - 135,000 in 2014.
This move required the adoption, by all EU member states, of a standardised definition of what constitutes a serious road injury, as well as a standardised way of collecting the data. ETSC welcomes this long overdue and positive step in the right direction. But a long term target and measures to reduce the numbers seriously injured are now needed. They were promised last year but not delivered. ETSC says that now the data are available, there is no reason to delay further.