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EU road deaths fell by 11% in 2010
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Road fatalities in the EU decreased by 11 per cent in 2010 according to new statistics published by the European Commission.  Whilst the number of deaths varies between EU states, most countries achieved significant double-digit reductions in the number of road deaths in the past year.  Highest reductions were seen in Luxembourg (33 per cent), Malta (29 per cent), Sweden (26 per cent) and Slovakia (26 per cent).  The UK reported an 18 per cent reduction in road deaths.

European Commission Vice-President Siim Kallas, responsible for Transport, said: "It is very encouraging that nearly all member states have managed to significantly reduce their number of road deaths, but there is no room for complacency. A hundred people still die on Europe's roads every day."

    EU road deaths fell by 11% in 2010

    Mr Kallas added: "We have made good progress since 2001 and we have succeeded in saving nearly 100,000 lives, but the number of fatalities and injuries on our roads is still unacceptable. We want to cut the number deaths by half by 2020. For this we will be looking at what kind of cars people drive, where they drive and how they drive."

    The publication comes ahead of a vote by MEPs tomorrow (Wednesday, 6 July) on proposed legislation to help tackle those drivers who commit traffic offences whilst travelling in the EU but who escape prosecution once they return home.  

    EU figures suggest that foreign drivers account for five per cent of traffic, but around 15 per cent of speeding offences.

    Underlining the need for an EU wide agreement on the cross-border enforcement of traffic offences draft directive, Mr Kallas said:  "A foreign driver is three times more likely to commit an offence than a resident driver. Many people seem to think that when they go abroad the rules no longer apply to them. My message is that they do apply and now we are going to apply them."

    If the Parliament votes in favour, the draft directive will be formally adopted by EU government ministers in the coming weeks.   Member states will then have two years to transpose it in their national law before it comes into force, (see below for more information).

    Background

    EU road safety action plan 

    In July 2010 the Commission adopted challenging plans to reduce the number of road deaths on Europe's roads by half in the next 10 years.

    The road safety action programme sets out a mix of initiatives focussing on making improvements to vehicles, infrastructure and road users' behaviour. 

    The seven strategic objectives include:

    - improved safety measures for trucks and cars;

    - building safer roads;
    - developing intelligent vehicles;
    - strengthening licensing and training;
    - better enforcement;
    - targeting injuries;
    - a new focus on motorcyclists.

    Detailed measures for each strategic objective are listed in MEMO/10/343.

    EU crackdown on drivers committing traffic offences abroad

    Under the proposal, EU drivers would be able to be identified and therefore prosecuted for offences committed in a member state, rather than the one where their car is registered.

    In practical terms, the new rules will give EU countries mutual access to each others' vehicle registration data via an electronic data exchange network to be put in place. This will allow for the exchange of the necessary data between the country in which the offence was committed and the country in which the car was registered.

    It will be up to the national authorities of the EU country where the offence was committed to decide on how to follow-up for the traffic offence. The directive does not harmonise either the nature of the offence nor the penalties for the offence.

     

    For more information, please contact the London press office on 020 7973 1971.
    Please note: all amounts expressed in sterling are for information purposes only.

    Last update: 06/07/2011  |Top