EU sets long-awaited target to reduce serious road injuries
European Union transport ministers have formally agreed a target of halving the number of people seriously injured on EU roads by 2030 from their 2020 level.
In ‘council conclusions‘ adopted today (8 June), ministers formally endorsed the Valletta declaration on improving road safety, first announced in March at an informal meeting, and said the number of pedestrians and cyclists killed or seriously injured each year was of particular concern. Ministers also called on the European Commission to come forward with a new road safety strategy for the decade 2020-2030.
The agreement marks the first time the EU has set a separate pan-European target to reduce serious road injuries, to complement the targets that have been in place since 2001 to reduce deaths, and follows the landmark publication last year of figures for the number of people seriously injured on Europe’s roads: 135,000 in 2014.
According to data from the European Transport Safety Council (ETSC), the number of serious injuries on EU roads has declined much more slowly than the number of deaths in recent years.
Antonio Avenoso, executive director of the ETSC, said: “We warmly welcome today’s commitment to a long-term target to tackle deaths and, for the first time, serious injuries on EU roads. But if the EU is serious about meeting this goal, meaningful measures are needed now. EU vehicle safety standards have not been updated since 2009 despite rapid advances in technology that can help drivers keep within speed limits and avoid collisions. Every day of delay will lead to more unnecessary deaths and serious injuries on our roads.”
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