Traffic fatalities in the European Union dropped 2% last year, but the European Commission says the slight improvement is not good enough.
European Coordinator for Road Safety Matthew Baldwin says it was the second year in a row the number had fallen and while the trend is encouraging, 25,260 people still lost their lives on EU roads.
“It is time we stopped accepting so many deaths,” Baldwin says in a statement.
“We need an active, cooperative, holistic approach amongst all stakeholders to implement what we know needs to be done.”
Baldwin says while European roads are the safest in the world, the downward curve has flattened out in recent years. This is putting pressure on the EC’s target of reaching close to zero fatalities and serious injuries by 2050.
EU data shows about 1 million accidents occur yearly with 1.4 million people injured – or 13,600 a day.
For every death on Europe’s roads there are an estimated four permanently disabling injuries, such as damage to the brain or spinal cord, eight serious injuries and 50 minor injuries.
The EC’s road safety program sets out a mix of initiatives, at the European and national level, focusing on improving vehicle safety, the safety of infrastructure and road users’ behavior.
Meantime, the EC is calling for proposals under its €122 million ($139 million) Mobility for Growth program.
The focus is to support research and innovation activities in relation to low-carbon and sustainable transport; automated road transport; electrified vehicles; safe and resilient transport systems; European industrial leadership; and behavioral issues and user needs for mobility solutions.