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EU target to half road fatalities by 2020 won't be reached, European Commission estimates

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EU target to half road fatalities by 2020 won't be reached, European Commission estimates
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REUTERS
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Roads in the EU are getting safer every year, but there is still work to do to prevent fatalities.

The European Commission has estimated it will fail to reach its target to half the number of road deaths by 2020.

In 2018, 25,100 road fatalities were reported in the 28 EU member states, according to statistics from the European Commission. These tragic events, however, are happening less often than they used to: the 2018 figure shows a 21% decrease from 2010.

The average fatality rate in 2018 in the EU members states was 49 road deaths per 1 million inhabitants, which constitutes a 1% decrease from 2017.

Yet the European Commission concludes that these efforts are not enough, as the 2020 target is unlikely to be reached.

"Determined and well-focused efforts are now needed at all levels and across all sectors", the report said.

"In 2018, the majority of Member States had a road fatality rate of below 60 deaths per million inhabitants. For eight countries, the figure was below 40 per million inhabitants."

The highest number of fatalities were reported in Romania (with 96 fatalities per million inhabitants in 2018) and Bulgaria (with 88). These are the only two countries that reported a fatality rate higher than 80 per million, the EU Commission noted in the report. Latvia and Croatia follow, with 78 and 77 respectively.

But where, then, are the safest roads? The EU countries with the safest roads are the UK (with a rate of 28 per million), Denmark (30) and Ireland (31).

"Some countries made a lot of progress, such as Slovenia with a 13% drop, Lithuania with 11%, Bulgaria with 9% and Slovakia and Cyprus with 8%", the report said.

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