Five measures the EU and European governments should consider implementing to reduce deaths and serious injuries on the roads have been recommended by the European Transport Safety Council (ETSC).

According to new figures, there were 20,600 road deaths in the EU last year, a three per cent increase compared with 2021. But a reduction of ten per cent from 2019 – the last year before the Covid-19 pandemic.

To help reach the target of halving the number of road deaths and serious injuries by 2030 the ETSC has suggested the following measures:

  • Boosting levels of traffic enforcement to mitigate major risks such as speeding, drink- and drug-driving and distraction.
  • Effective enforcement of existing road traffic laws. The ETSC said enforcement of drink-driving has decreased in many European countries in recent years, and checks on vehicle speed, seatbelt wearing and distraction from mobile devices vary widely across the continent.
  • Boost investment in cycling and walking, modes that do not increase risks for other road users.
  • Make inexperienced drivers safer through changes to driving licences. The ETSC is calling for new requirements for Graduated Driving Licences and more accompanied driving to ensure that new drivers do not undertake the riskiest driving activities during at least their first year on the roads including driving at night, driving with a group of young people in the car, and driving after having drunk any amount of alcohol.
  • Set appropriate speed limits, with 30 km/h the default in urban areas.