The UK has the safest roads of any European Union country, according to a new study from the European Commission.
The 2018 road safety statistics report shows that the UK had 28 road traffic fatalities for every one million inhabitants last year – the fewest of any EU member state.
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After the UK, Denmark and Ireland had the next lowest numbers of road fatalities, while the most dangerous roads were those in Romania, Bulgaria and Latvia.
The EU as a whole saw a one per cent decrease in road deaths last year, with Slovenia, Lithuania, Bulgaria, Slovakia and Cyprus seeing drops of 13%, 11%, 9% and 8% respectively.
For the entire study period from 2010 to 2018, Greece saw the biggest drop in the number of road traffic fatalities – 45 per cent – followed by Lithuania (43 per cent), Portugal (35 per cent) and Slovenia (34 per cent), while the figure for the EU as a whole was 21%.
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Despite the improvements, there were still 25,000 people killed on European roads last year, meaning that the EU is a long way off meeting its target of halving 2010’s number of road deaths by 2020 and there being virtually no fatalities or serious injuries by 2050.
The news follows an announcement that the EU will require all new cars to be fitted with speed limiters – as well as a number of other vehicle safety systems – by 2022, with the UK set to implement the same rules post-Brexit.
Further EU-mandated rules to reduce the number of fatalities on its roads include updates to infrastructure safety management, the launch of a Safer Transport Platform aimed at providing advice and technical assistance on funding and financing options for investment in transport safety, and the EU Road Safety Exchange being set up to develop partnerships between road safety professionals in different European countries and address their specific road safety problems through “sustained twinning activities”.