Slovakia Honored for Dramatic Reduction of Highway Deaths
The European Transport Safety Council issued a report that found the country cut total deaths of road users by 37 percent from 2010 to 2013, making the most progress toward the EU target of halving these deaths by 2020.
Slovakia is the country that made the most progress in 2010-2013 toward achieving the EU goal of halving road deaths by 2020, the European Transport Safety Council stated in a report released June 18 that showed road deaths in Slovakia declined by 37 percent during the period. Ironically, a June 6 bus collision in Slovakia killed four people and wounded several others, ETSC Director Antonio Avenoso noted.
Spain, Greece, and Portugal all reduced their road deaths by more than 30 percent during the same period, while Finland, Serbia, and Sweden reduced deaths by less than 5 percent and there were slightly more road deaths recorded in Estonia and Malta in 2013 than in 2010, the agency reported.
According to the report, 26,025 people died in road collisions throughout the EU in 2013 and 199,000 others were seriously injured. However, the number of seriously injured motorists is not falling as quickly as road fatalities are, ETSC reported, prompting the agency to call for a target to be set of cutting serious road injuries 35 percent between 2015 and 2020 – a goal that should be achievable, it stated. ETSC reported that the European Commission is expected to come forward with wider proposals to tackle serious injuries next year.
"Today we are recognizing the progress that Slovakia has made in recent years to improve road safety. But we are reminded by this recent tragedy that our collective responsibility is to work towards a day when deaths on the road are a thing of the past," Avenoso said. "We hope that recent events, and today’s award, will inspire new measures in Slovakia to improve road safety. We urge the government to introduce a penalty point system combined with increased enforcement of traffic laws, extend the speed camera network, and require the use of alcohol interlocks for repeat drink driving offenders."