EU sees "alarming" stagnation in number of EU road deaths

Across the European Union, 26,000 people died in road accidents in 2015

The EU has set itself a goal of halving the number of road deaths in the decade from 2010 to 2020, but is falling short on that target, according to the European Commission.

"We have achieved impressive results in reducing road fatalities over the last decades but the current stagnation is alarming," said EU Transport Commissioner Violeta Bulc.

The commission has little say on road safety measures, which are mostly set at the local or national level.

Last year's road fatalities were 1 per cent higher than in 2014, according to Thursday's preliminary report. A year earlier, a 1-per-cent drop was recorded.

Overall, member states have achieved a 17-per-cent reduction on 2010, when 31,500 road deaths were reported.

The figures differ significantly from country to country.

The highest rates - at least 90 dead per 1 million inhabitants in 2015 - were in Bulgaria, Romania and Latvia.

At the other end of the scale, Malta, Sweden, the Netherlands and Britain all recorded fewer than 30 road deaths per 1 million inhabitants, the commission said.

For the first time, the commission also compiled data on those seriously injured in road accidents, estimating that 135,000 people were affected in 2014. The majority of them were pedestrians, cyclists, motorcyclists and other "vulnerable" road users, it said.

The cost of road fatalities and injuries is estimated to be at least 100 billion euros (112 billion dollars) in rehabilitation, healthcare and material damage, the EU's executive said.

Last update: Fri, 24/06/2016 - 08:49

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