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Cyprus way-off EU target to reduce road deaths

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Cyprus is in the bottom half of the EU 27 for preventing road deaths, as it failed to reach the goal to reduce fatalities by 50% in the decade from 2010-20.

According to the 15th annual Road Safety PIN Report published by the European Transport Safety Council, Cyprus was among the worst performers. It only reduced road deaths by 20%, compared to the EU average of 37%.

Cyprus in 2020 dropped from 18th place to 21st compared to 2019, despite pushing road deaths down from 52 to 48.

The island registered a road death rate per population of 54.1 per one million in 2020, while the EU27 index was 42.3.

A total of 18,844 people lost their lives on EU roads in 2020. In 2010 there were 29,691 deadly road accidents recorded; a 37% reduction was achieved.

The report noted that up until 2019, the reduction in deaths was just 23% but jumped to 37% in 2020 as a result of restrictions introduced to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic.

Nevertheless, if no measures to prevent fatalities were introduced, it is estimated that in the decade 2010-2020, 56,305 more road deaths would have occurred.

The ETSC estimates the economic benefit to European societies from this reduction at €156 bln.

Although the bloc failed to meet its 50% reduction goal, all EU member states recorded progress in saving lives.

The only EU country that had succeeded in bringing down its road deaths by at least 50% was Greece, with a reduction of 54%.

Cyprus managed to bring down the percentage of serious road injuries by 64% in 2020, while the EU average was just 14%.

It was only second to Greece, which reduced serious injuries by 71% last year.

The number of recorded serious injuries increased by 15% in Malta and 12% in the Netherlands since 2010.

The 2021 Road Safety PIN Award went to Greece for its performance during the decade in reducing death rates.

Greece’s success was attributed to increased police checks and the effective use of speed cameras, reducing the alcohol limit whilst driving by professionals, novice riders, and bike users, while increasing penalties for traffic violations.

The ETSC called EU members to renew their commitment to reducing road deaths by 50% by the end of the current decade.

Among other measures, the ETSC is promoting the creation of a safe, smart transport network.