First publishedon www.WorldHighways.com
Norway comes in first, again but Ireland wins the PIN award for greatest progress as noted by the European Traffic Safety Council (ETSC)
For the fourth consecutive year, Norway has topped traffic safety in the Europe Union as reported by the European Traffic Safety Council (ETSC).
In 2018, the number of persons killed on Norwegian roads was 20 per million inhabitants. Next lowest was Switzerland with 27 per million inhabitants, followed by the UK with 30.
Romania was the worst country with 96 killed per million inhabitants, followed by Bulgaria with 87 and Serbia with 78. The EU average was 49.
Norway had 108 persons were killed in traffic accidents in 2018 – 50% less than the number in 2010. In the same period, the European Union has seen only a 20% drop in traffic deaths.
However, the agency reports that Ireland takes home the 2019 ETSC Road Safety Performance Index (PIN) Award, calling the country “a model for the European Union”. The annual award is presented to a European country that has demonstrated continued progress on road safety combined with a strategic approach to tackling the problem across government.
Ireland was the second safest European Union state in 2018 in terms of road deaths per million inhabitants and has moved up five places in the ranking of EU countries since 2010 when it held 7th place.
In terms of numbers killed, Ireland has cut annual deaths by more than 30% since 2010. By comparison, deaths increased in other relatively safe countries over the same period, including Sweden and the Netherlands.
According to ETSC, Ireland’s performance has been driven by the establishment of a specific government road safety agency - Road Safety Authority - a long-term strategic plan to cut road deaths with specific targets, regular evaluation and follow-up and a multi-agency approach to delivery across government. In recent years considerable efforts have been put in place on tackling dangerous speeding, as well as drink-driving.
“If every country in Europe could get to the same level of safety as Ireland, we could cut road deaths by 40%,” said Antonio Avenoso, executive director of the ETCS.
Progress in Ireland stands in contrast to relative stagnation in the EU as a whole. The numbers killed on EU roads fell by just 1% last year and by just 4% over the past five years, according to the ETSC Road Safety Performance Index Annual Report.
The EU target to cut road deaths in half over the decade to 2020 now looks out of reach. Meeting that target would require an unprecedented 21% reduction per year in 2019 and 2020.