(Brussels, 19 June 2019) Ranking EU progress on road safety – new report published

The numbers killed on EU roads fell by just 1% last year, and by just 4% over the last five years, according to the latest ETSC Road Safety Performance Index Annual Report – published on June 19, 2019. The EU target to cut road deaths in half over the decade to 2020 now looks out of reach, says ETSC. Meeting that target would require an unprecedented 21% reduction per year in 2019 and 2020. In many Member States, road safety has been deprioritised in recent years, with cuts to traffic police enforcement, and a failure to invest in safer infrastructure.

The EU’s biggest and boldest recent road safety initiatives – an update to minimum vehicle safety standards and a significant increase in the scope of infrastructure safety management rules – were only finalised in the last 12 months, after several years of delay. These welcome new measures will also take several years to take full effect. ETSC is calling on the new European Parliament and Commissioners to make road safety a priority from day one. Road deaths and injuries in the EU are still unacceptably high by any measure, with around 500 deaths every single week, the equivalent to three Boeing 737 planes crashing and killing everyone on board.

Out of the 32 countries monitored by the ETSC Road Safety Performance Index (PIN) programme, 16 reduced road deaths in 2018 (Fig.1). The best results were achieved by Slovakia with a 17% decrease, Israel with 13%, Slovenia with 12%, Lithuania with 11% and Bulgaria with 10%. Road deaths increased in ten countries, while progress stagnated in six. A total of 91 people lost their lives on Slovenian roads in 2018 compared to 104 in 2017. This represents 13 fewer road deaths or a 13% reduction. Road deaths have decreased by 34% since 2010. The annual numbers of road deaths in Slovenia are relatively small and are subject to annual fluctuation. However, the longer term trend goes downwards. 2018 was the first year Slovenia had a lower road mortality (44 road deaths per million) than the EU average (49). The road safety programme 2013-2022 set a target of no more than 35 per million by 2022.

The close cooperation between many stakeholders certainly contributed to these good results. Orchestrated by the Traffic Safety Agency, responsible ministries, the police, the motorway company, the roads agency, nongovernmental organisations, local communities and especially the Road Safety Council for prevention and education, all played a role. Not forgetting the media which helped reach the wider public,” highlighted Ms Vesna Marinko, acting head of the Traffic Safety Agency, Slovenia.

Of course, we still face a lot of challenges, including access and inappropriate speed, drunk-driving and, a growing issue, driver distraction related to the use of mobile devices while driving,” concluded Ms. Marinko.

Read the full RANKING EU PROGRESS ON ROAD SAFETY 13th Road Safety Performance Index Report