(Brussels, 11 June 2019) Tackling urban road safety must be a key priority for the European Union and European countries over the next decade, according to the recently published European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) report. Progress in reducing road deaths on urban roads and on rural roads since 2010 was similar in Slovenia, Portugal, Austria, Greece, Italy, Denmark and Sweden, report says.

According to the data revealed mid-June, road deaths on urban roads decreased at around half the rate of those on rural roads over the period 2010-2017. Road deaths on urban roads decreased, on average, by 2.2% each year between 2010 and 2017, compared to 3.9% on rural roads, i.e. an average difference of 1.7 percentage points.

Pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists – the three most vulnerable road user groups – represent 70% of those killed and seriously injured on urban roads. To break down this number, pedestrians represent 40%, motorcyclists represent 18% and cyclists represent 12%. Among seriously injured on urban roads pedestrians represent 25%, motorcyclists represent 22% and cyclists represent 23%

One of the key challenges for cities is enforcing safe speed limits. Among the countries that monitor levels of speed compliance on urban roads countrywide, between 35% and 75% of observed vehicle speeds in free-flowing urban traffic are higher than the 50 km/h limit.

The report also found vast differences in the level of safety across the European Union. Mortality on urban roads is highest in Romania with 105 road users killed annually per million urban inhabitants – four times the EU average. But there are also several countries leading the way. Around nine people per million urban inhabitants are killed on urban roads in Sweden, 11 in the UK, 13 in the Netherlands and 14 in Ireland and Spain.

Regulations, infrastructure adjustments and educational activities, similar to the road safety adaptations required for more cycling. A lack of data and regulation is hindering progress in this area at the present time, according to the report.

Read the full report