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2012 - fewest road deaths ever in the EU

19 March 2013

Vice-President Mr Siim Kallas has presented the latest road safety statistics for the EU Member States in 2012. The number of road deaths went down 9% compared to last year, which is a great improvement.

Overcoming obstacles to road injury reduction

The last 10 years have seen Europe’s roads become considerably safer, with a drop in fatalities. In terms of the risk of injury, safety has also improved, with numbers of injuries having been cut by some 25 %. The Commission announced in 2010 that it will also work on a numerical target for injuries. The European Commission has approved a report on the work to further reduce the serious road traffic injuries. 

A common definition for serious road traffic injuries

The importance of a common EU-wide definition for serious road injuries cannot be understated. As Susanne Lindahl of the European Commission Road Safety team tells us, ‘Arriving at a common EU definition of serious injury is a major step forward as it is a prerequisite for starting work on a comprehensive action strategy to tackle serious injuries’.

Irish EU Presidency makes road safety a priority

The first half of 2013 sees Ireland assume the EU Presidency. Transport is a key action area for the Irish Presidency and, as Irish Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Mr Leo Varadkar recently told the European Parliament Transport Committee, ‘the over-riding (transport) priority for our Presidency will be to promote a safer, more integrated, more efficient and sustainable transport network for Europe’.
Better protection for professional drivers

Another aspect of the Presidency’s road safety work is securing agreement on a new tachograph regulation. Tachographs are fitted to vehicles to record driving and rest times of drivers. They help to monitor compliance by professional drivers with EU law on driving and rest times. Tachographs must be installed in all new vehicles weighing over 3.5 tonnes for goods transport and carrying more than nine people for passenger transport.

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