There were around 3,900 fewer road deaths in the European Union in 2020 compared to the previous year, according to a new report by the European Transport Safety Council (ETSC).

The 17 percent annual reduction in deaths is most likely attributable to Covid-19 restrictions on travel.

“Road safety is, in the end, a public health issue,” said Antonio Avenoso, Executive Director of ETSC said. “Covid has killed 3.5 million people worldwide. Over the last decade, at least 13 million have died on the world’s roads. The extraordinary and necessary global response to the Covid pandemic has shown how policymakers and society as a whole can act when most people are working towards a common goal. Can we apply the same focus to the challenges of road safety?”

A total of 18,844 people died in road traffic in the EU in 2020, 10,847 fewer than in 2010, representing a 37 percent decrease. However, this still falls short of the EU target to cut road deaths by 50 percent by 2020.

ETSC named Greece the winner of the 2021 ETSC Road Safety Performance Index Award, given in recognition of outstanding efforts to improve road safety. Road deaths in Greece decreased by 54 percent over the decade to 2020.

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