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07 May 2019

Concern over road safety problems in Europe

First published07/05/2019
A range of issues are affecting road safety in Europe.


In France there is concern at the estimate of 68,000 drivers who do not hold a valid license. This represents an increase over previous years and now accounts for around 1.4% of the total number of drivers in the country, according to the data from road safety body, Prevention Routiere. As perhaps is to be expected, the crash statistics for these unlicensed drivers are worrying, with them being involved in 4.5% of fatal crashes. Around 66.7% of unlicensed drivers have never taken a driving test, with the current high cost of taking the test, approximately €1,500, thought to be a key contributory factor.

A problem with recording driving offences accurately in Ireland means that over 2,000 people may still be driving, despite having been banned. Ireland saw 10,240 people being banned from driving for a range of offences in 2018. However of those, 2,286 were not properly recorded and may still be at the wheel as a result. This is an increase of 2,042 in 2017 and 1,685 in 2016.

Data from Finland meanwhile shows the high risks for young males from road traffic crashes. Analysing Finnish road crashes from 2018 shows that young males in the 15-24 age group have triple the risk of being killed in a road crash. Speeding, drink driving and a lack of seat belt use are all contributory factors in this high risk of fatalities for young males, according to the Finnish Road Safety Council.

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