Report supports calls for an EU target to reduce serious road injuries
22 November 2016
Brussels - Newly-published research carried out for the European Commission recommends that the EU should set a target to reduce the number of people seriously injured in road collisions. 135,000 people were seriously injured on European roads in 2014, according to figures published by the European Commission for the first time in April. While the number of deaths on European roads has fallen dramatically over the last decade, serious injuries have declined at a much slower rate. Official targets to reduce road deaths have been in place since 2001, but there is no equivalent for serious injuries.
The new research examined real world collision data and investigation outcomes from across Europe in an attempt to boost understanding of the most common collision situations that result in serious injuries. The data reveal many of the key risk factors and victim profiles which could help member states identify the best measures to reduce such collisions.
According to the researchers, cyclists are most likely to be seriously injured when travelling in urban areas with 50 km/h speed limits – with more collisions occurring in summer months, and in the afternoon. Pedestrians, however, are more at risk in winter months, with the elderly and children the most likely victims.
Seriously injured motorcyclists and car occupants are most likely to be male and young – though middle aged motorcyclists are also heavily represented in the collision statistics.
Antonio Avenoso, executive director of the European Transport Safety Council said:
“Serious injuries on our roads continue to have a devastating impact on millions of victims and their families. We know that EU targets, combined with the right measures have had a dramatic effect on reducing deaths. It’s essential that we now apply the same thinking to serious injuries. We have the data, and this new report highlights the situations and groups that would most benefit, so it’s time for the Commission to finally give the green light.”
The Commission was expected to set a target to reduce serious road injuries in the first half of last year, having been promised ‘shortly’ in a Commission press release of 24 March 2015.
Public health groups and medical experts backed an EU target last month. Their intervention followed earlier calls from MEPs, transport ministers and road safety experts.
European review of Project EDWARD
The Project EDWARD initiative on 21 September was widely supported by the European Commission, with a wide range of events and initiatives taking place across Europe. Do take a look at their recently published newsletter which gives details of what Project EDWARD set out to achieve, and showcases some of those events that contributed to its overall impact.
Road safety: a personal choice
In its most recent Road Safety newsletter, The European Commission published an interview with TISPOL General Secretary Ruth Purdie. Here's the abridged version, or you can find the full edition in the Newsletter
As a former police officer, Ruth Purdie has personal experience of attending many road traffic collisions and having to deal with the aftermath. As General Secretary of TISPOL (European Traffic Police Network), she is clear about the issue of road safety and what needs to change for improvement.
“Road safety is not just a European issue, it is a global issue,” she says. “Some 70 people lose their lives on EU roads every day. Road traffic incidents are the most significant cause of death in males under 25.”
Road incidents are also huge life-changing events for the victims and their families and friends. Having to visit a family and break the news of the death of a son or daughter is one of the worst jobs for a police officer. “No parent expects to have to bury a child,” Ruth Purdie adds.
Although EDWARD was initially seen as a one-off event, the TISPOL General Secretary is now keen to continue the initiative. “EDWARD is all about raising awareness and this first event has really worked well and gathered significant momentum. It would be good to keep it going,” she says. “We will quickly evaluate the results and, if the case is good, I will recommend that we organise further events in 2017 and 2018.
“After all, EDWARD is all about preventing death and serious injuries on the road,” Purdie continues. “And responsible personal behaviour by all road users – drivers, cyclists, pedestrians and passengers – is key to making a change and ensuring that road deaths and injuries in Europe start to decrease again. Awareness-raising activities like EDWARD are essential to inform and motivate people to change and show more respect to other road users. If we save just one life today it has been worth it.”
You can read more by following this link
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