IAM RoadSmart has renewed its calls for road safety targets as research shows the UK is is falling behind on road safety progress.
A recent report by the European Transport Safety Council found that the EU looks set to fail on reaching its targets to halve the numbers of those killed in road crashes by the end of the decade.
The report outlined how there were just a 2% decrease in the numbers of those killed in road crashes in the EU in 2017, and only two countries look set to meet the targets set by the end of the decade (Greece and Estonia).
Although progress has flattened in the past four years, the report credits the fact there were 6,350 fewer deaths in 2017 compared to 2010 in EU countries, and a huge 54% drop in fatalities since 2001. Norway and Sweden are the safest countries for road users in Europe.
However, the report said that the UK, Sweden and the Netherlands have achieved the slowest progress in further reducing road deaths since 2010.
The UK has gone from 1,905 killed on roads in 2010 to 1,854 in 2014 to an estimated 1,783 in 2017 – a fall of 6.4%.
The ETSC report has prompted IAM RoadSmart to warn that past progress could be undone and to call once again for road safety targets, and a joined-up approach.
Neil Greig, IAM RoadSmart director of policy and research, said: “We know what works when it comes to making inroads into road fatalities, but more consistent funding and priority for road safety is needed to deliver it.
“The Safe System is firmly established in the UK but it does need to be backed up by road safety targets. The government’s own capacity review found that the lack of targets has led to the perception that road safety is not as high a priority as it could be. There is little comfort in being stuck in third place with limited prospects of going top of the league without a fundamental shift in approach and investment levels to eradicate personal loss and suffering on our roads.”
The comments follow the UK government’s recent move to improve road collision investigation as well as the EU Commission’s announcement of a new target for a 50% reduction in EU road deaths and serious injuries between 2020 and 2030.