Scene of a car crash, UK

ETSC comments on publication of 2018 EU road death figures

  • April 4, 2019

The European Commission has published the 2018 figures for road deaths and serious injuries in the European Union.

Commenting on the new figures, Antonio Avenoso, Executive Director of the European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) said:

“It’s very disappointing that road deaths in the EU hardly declined in 2018.  This is now the fifth year in a row that hardly any progress has been made.  However there are reasons to be optimistic for the future.

“In recent weeks, the EU has finalised two important pieces of road safety legislation: updated minimum safety standards for new vehicles and a significant expansion of the scope for rules on infrastructure safety management.  But these initiatives will take time to bear fruit.  It will be another five years before all new cars are required to be fitted with life-saving technology such as Automated Emergency Braking and overridable Intelligent Speed Assistance.  And the required improvements to infrastructure safety will also take time to implement.

“In the meantime, EU member states will have to take bold action: increasing levels of enforcement, taking meaningful steps to address speeding, drink / drug driving and distraction and ensuring that vulnerable road users get the safe infrastructure they need, particularly in our towns and cities.

“Tackling road safety issues can lead to controversy, which social media now has a tendency to magnify and distort.  But the deaths of 70 people every day or 500 people every week on EU roads cannot be ignored.  It is not fake news.  And that’s especially true for the thousands of families, friends and co-workers affected by road deaths and serious injuries.  The issue must be given the political priority it deserves.”