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Halving Serious Road Traffic Injuries

European transport ministers have formally agreed to set a target of halving the number of serious injuries on roads in the EU by 2030 from their 2020 level. This is in addition to the existing target to halve the number of road deaths on EU roads by 2020 from the 2010 baseline.

No Significant Fall in Road Casualty Figures

According to the European Council, one area of particular concern is the number of pedestrians and cyclists killed or seriously injured each year.

Ministers have also called on the European Commission to come forward with a new road safety strategy for the decade 2020-2030.

Statistics from the European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) show that 25,500 people died on EU roads in 2016, a figure that has remained virtually unchanged in three years. In addition, the European Commission estimates that more than 135,000 suffer serious injuries as a result of road traffic accidents every year.

“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,” commented Antonio Avenoso, Executive Director of ETSC. “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.”

New Target Welcomed

The news has been welcomed by safety groups, including road safety charity Brake.

“We warmly welcome today's EU announcement, which will help focus efforts across Europe to reduce needless road deaths and injuries,” said Mary Williams, CEO for Brake. “Targets are essential. They focus governments' minds on the crisis, and the need for urgent steps to be taken by them to save lives. All governments should focus on measures that drive towards zero casualties through a safe systems approach.”

“We particularly call for measures that protect pedestrians and cyclists, such as segregated road space, 20mph (30km/h) limits and vehicle design improvements, such as intelligent speed assistance (which restricts the speed of vehicles below limits) and advanced automated emergency braking systems (currently under consideration by the EU),” she added.

"It's a disgrace that there are currently no UK targets for casualty reduction,” she concluded. “Brake applauds Highways England for setting its own target of a 40% reduction in the numbers of people killed and seriously injured on the Strategic Road Network. We are calling for a UK target to be set as an urgent priority for the incoming government."

Sustainable Development Goal

Action to reduce the number of road traffic injuries is being taken at many levels. In addition to European action, the United Nations has a Sustainable Development Goal target to halve road deaths by 2020, although doubts exist about whether this target will be achieved.

Brake has backed calls for the adoption of a new Sustainable Development Goal target – to halve road deaths and serious injuries by 2030 using 2020 as a baseline – at the end of the current UN Decade of Action.

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If you have been injured in a road traffic accident and would like to find out more about claiming compensation, then contact our specialist personal injury lawyers today.

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