The hemicycle of the European Parliament building in Strasbourg, France

MEPs renew calls for serious road injury reduction target

  • September 9, 2015

The European Parliament has reiterated calls for a pan-European target to cut serious road injuries.  In a vote today on a review of European transport policy since 2011, MEPs called for, “the swift adoption of a 2020 target of a 40 % reduction in the number of people seriously injured, accompanied by a fully fledged EU strategy.”

Since 2010 the number of people seriously injured on EU roads has been reduced by just 1.6%, compared to an 18% decrease in the number of road deaths. Last year the numbers actually went up, by more than 3% compared to the previous year, with at least 203,500 people suffering life-changing injuries. ETSC has long argued for the need for a separate pan-European target to reduce serious road injuries, to complement the targets that have been in place since 2001 to reduce deaths.

The European Commission has been committed to introducing such a target since 2010. Two years ago, the crucial common definition of the types of injuries to be recorded and tracked was approved. A target was finally expected to be set in the first half of 2015, having been promised ‘shortly’ in a Commission press release of 24 March 2015.

But the European Commission backtracked, and it is now unclear when the target will be set.  ETSC has joined with more than 70 experts and representatives of road safety organisations and victims groups from across Europe together with 12 members of the European Parliament in a letter to President Jean-Claude Juncker urging him to adopt the overdue target.

Later this month, the United Nations will adopt a set of sustainable development goals including a target to cut road deaths and injuries by half by 2020. The target will also apply to all member states of the EU.

Antonio Avenoso, Executive Director of ETSC said:

“Today’s vote, combined with the bold new targets to be agreed by the UN at the end of September should give new impetus to the Commission to come forward with an EU serious road injury target and measures to meet it by the end of this year.

“Serious injuries in road collisions are a terrible burden on more than 200,000 people every year, and must be addressed. Setting a target will send the political signal needed to start getting the numbers down significantly.”