An EU report released today, March 19th, shows that road fatalities in Europe have dropped 9% last year.
“2012 was a landmark year for European road safety, with the lowest ever number of road deaths recorded. A nine per cent decrease means that 3000 lives were saved last year. It is hugely encouraging to see these kinds of results,” said Vice-President Siim Kallas, European Transport Commissioner.
Although the figure is encouraging it is not enough as 75 people still die on Europe’s roads every day. The European Commission plans to cut the number of EU deaths by half by 2020 and find a strategy to reduce t e number of serious injuries on Europe’s roads. The countries with the smallest number of road fatalities are Sweden, the UK, Denmark and the Netherlands, which report around 30 deaths per million of inhabitants.
Only 45% of Europe’s population benefits from the quickly increasing legislative changes regarding road deaths, while the rest of 55% of Europe’s population lives in countries which do not offer the protection of the road safety laws on all five key risk factors: child restraints, seat-belts, helmets, speeding and drinking and driving.
“The improvements in road safety in the European Region are striking,” said Zsuzsanna Jakab, WHO Regional Director for Europe. “However, 92 000 deaths per year is 92 000 deaths too many. We would like to appeal to governments to act on this evidence, knowing that this course of action will pay dividends in the short and long term.”