UK ROAD SAFETY PROGRESS SINCE 2010 RANKS AS ONE OF THE WORST IN EUROPE
PACTS has assisted the European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) to revise its 15th Annual Road Safety Performance Index (PIN) Report which ranks progress on road safety by European countries. It looks back at the last ten years of EU and national action on road safety, and ahead to the next ten years, with a commentary on each country.
The revised UK results for 2020 (published by DfT in June 2021) show only four countries made less progress than the UK in reducing road deaths over the decade 2010-2020. The UK achieved a 20% reduction – much of it in the Covid-hit 2020 – way below EU 37% average.
Reductions in European road deaths 2010 – 2020
The 20% reduction in road deaths combined with an increase in population resulted in the UK retaining its position (3rd) as one of the “safest” countries in 2020. With 23 road deaths per million population, UK was behind Norway (17) and Sweden (20) while EU average was 42.
In 2010 the UK was in 2nd position, behind Sweden. In the decade 2010-2020, UK road mortality decreased by almost 8 deaths per million people while the EU average reduction was considerably higher at 26.
European road deaths per million population 2010 – 2020
Greece was the winner of the ETSC PIN award for 2021. Despite severe economic difficulties, it reduced road deaths by a remarkable 54% over the decade. Only Norway achieved more.
Commenting on the report, David Davies, Executive Director of the Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety, said: “There is a common picture emerging from those EU countries winning ETSC awards for most casualty reduction progress – Greece, Ireland, Switzerland and Norway. They acknowledge the need to improve, set themselves ambitious targets, take comprehensive action with political backing and resources, all based on data and evidence of what works. There are no miracle solutions.
The UK needs to recognise that it is living on its laurels. It must stop congratulating itself of having “the safest roads in the world”. 1,800 deaths and 35,000 serious injuries every year are appalling numbers and should not be tolerated.
There are so many ways these tragedies could be avoided. The first thing that the Government should do is to enact the provisions of the EU General Safety Directive into UK law. (We voted for it when we were members.) This will mean new cars and trucks built in 2022 will incorporate much higher safety standards that will benefit not only vehicle occupants but also other road users, including pedestrians and cyclists.”
For further information visit https://www.transportxtra.com/publications/local-transport-today/news/69249/uk-must-do-more-to-cut-road-deaths-says-pacts and download the report at www.etsc.eu/pin15 (Note – it is based on UK data that has now been updated.)
[This post, based on the updated 2020 casualty data for GB from the Department for Transport, replaces the earlier post.]