The transport ministers of the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia have added to calls for the European Union to come forward with a target to reduce the numbers of people seriously injured in road collisions.

In a declaration signed in Prague at a meeting of the Visegrad group of countries, the ministers wrote “that traffic crashes cause an unacceptable human, social and economic loss and harm physically, psychologically and materially the victims and their relatives.” They called for a target to reduce serious injuries by 40 per cent by 2020.

Transport ministers from Belgium, Cyprus, Finland, Ireland, Lithuania and Luxembourg also backed calls for a serious injury reduction target last year.

The European Commission, for the first time, published a figure last month for the number of people seriously injured on Europe’s roads: 135,000 in 2014. According to ETSC data, the numbers have declined much more slowly than the number of deaths in recent years.

The release of the new 2014 data required the adoption, by all EU member states, of a standardised medical definition of what constitutes a serious road injury, as well as a standardised way of collecting the statistics.