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Vulnerable road users benefit less from improved road safety

21 May 2014

According to the International Transport Forum at the OECD the number of road fatalities fell by 1.7% between 2011 and 2012 in the 31 countries covered by the International Road Traffic and Accident Database (IRTAD).

However, road safety policies are not succeeding in improving protection for vulnerable road users. The latest available data shows that reductions in road deaths among pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists have levelled off since 2009/10. In some cases, increases have been recorded.

The data was published today by the International Transport Forum at the Annual Summit of Ministers of Transport in Leipzig, Germany, in its 2014 Road Safety Annual Report.

The increased number of cyclists has been accompanied by a slowing of the decreasing rate of deadly crashes by cyclists registered in previous years, and in some cases by an increase. Fatalities among car occupants were reduced by 50% between 2000 and 2012, whereas decreases were only 34% for pedestrians, 31% for cyclists and 17% for motorcyclists.

The share of fatalities among elderly road users is slowly increasing in many IRTAD countries. This reflects the changing age structure of populations. In 2012 the share of fatalities in the age group 65+ for the first time exceeded 30% for European IRTAD counties. In Japan this share has been even higher for some time; it is now at around 55%.

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