The European Transport Safety Council has asserted that the European Commission needs to stop delaying the introduction of new road safety measures if they want to stop the increase in deaths on the roads. Published on 31st March the European Commission released the 2015 Road Safety Statistics and they made for less than positive reading.
The European Commission was expected to have put some new vehicle safety, infrastructure safety and pedestrian protection rules in place by now as wel as introducing a new target for the reduction of serious road injuries but in every instance there has been a delay and the figure of those dying on EU roads has increased.
Publishing the figure of the number of people seriously injured and killed on European roads was a first for the European Commission. The figures showed 135,000 people seriously injured in 2014 and with this they had to both define seriously injury and put measures in place that were standardised across EU states. In both instances ETSC saw these moves as positive and moving in the right direction but there is still a need for a long term target and practical measures for bringing down the numbers of seriously injured people. Last year there were promised made but nothing has been delivered and now that the data the European Commission was collecting is public, they cannot have any more reasons to hold back on making the changes necessary.
The Executive Director of ETSC, Antonio Avenoso, said on the release of the figures: “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.”
Speaking on behalf of the Commission, EU Commissioner for Transport Violeta Bulc commented: “Every death or serious injury is one too many. We have achieved impressive results in reducing road fatalities over the last decades but the current stagnation is alarming. If Europe is to reach its objective of halving road fatalities by 2020, much more needs to be done. I invite Member States to step up efforts in terms of enforcement and campaigning. This may have a cost, but it is nothing compared to the €100 billion social cost of road fatalities and injuries.”
The figures found that the average EU fatality rate for 2015 was 51.5 road deaths per 1million inhabitants and this has marked a slowdown after figures in 2012 and 2013 showed a positive reduction.
Road safety across Europe sets a precedent for the UK and standard measures should see improvements on all roads.