The preliminary 2017 road safety statistics released by the European Commission show, for the second year in a row, that Romania’s road are the most dangerous in the EU.
According to the EU official, Romania’s road safety performance has not improved between 2016 and 2017. However, its overall reduction rate of 19% since 2010 was very close to the EU average (20%).
25 300 people lost their lives on EU roads in 2017, which is 300 fewer than in 2016 (-2%) and 6,200 fewer than in 2010 (-20%). There are two countries that are exceptions – Romania and Bulgaria, recording a fatality rate higher than 80 deaths per million inhabitants.
In addition, it is estimated that another 135 000 people were seriously injured last year, including a large proportion of vulnerable users: pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists. Beside the victims, road fatalities and injuries also affect the society as a whole, with an estimated socio-economic cost of €120 billion a year.
“25 300 people lost their lives on our roads last year, and many more were left with life-changing injuries. Behind these figures are as many stories of grief and pain. Road safety is of course a responsibility shared with the Member States, but I believe that the EU can do more to better protect Europeans. The Commission is currently working on a series of concrete measures that we plan to announce in the coming weeks. The ambition is clear: saving more lives on our roads”, Commissioner for Transport Violeta Bulc said.
With an average of 49 road fatalities per one million inhabitants, European roads remained by far the safest in the world in 2017. Within the EU, Sweden (25 deaths per million inhabitants), the UK (27), the Netherlands (31) and Denmark (32) reported the best records in 2017. Compared to 2016, Estonia and Slovenia reported the largest drop in fatalities with respectively -32% and -20%.
Building on the Ministerial Declaration on Road Safety from March 2017, the Commission is currently working on a new road safety framework for 2020-2030, together with a series of concrete measures contributing to safer roads. This could include a revision of the European rules on vehicle safety, on infrastructure safety management and an initiative for the safe transition to cooperative, connected and autonomous mobility.
The Commission is planning to present these measures in spring 2018.