Annual figures out today say road safety improved only marginally in the EU last year.
Also, heavy rain caused severe problems on the roads around Valencia. Thousands of drivers fined during yesterday’s one-day anti-pollution traffic restrictions in Paris. More changes made to Germany’s ‘foreigner toll’. Polish truck drivers protest at German minimum wage rules. Long term major motorway closure in southern Italy.
ROAD SAFETY IN EUROPE: 2014 RESULTS ANNOUNCED
UK and Sweden now neck and neck at the top. Very bad year in Latvia. Road deaths continue to fall but rate slows.
The UK and Sweden had the safest roads of the major countries in Europe last year according to new figures.
(The Netherlands, traditionally among the top countries, has yet to publish its 2014 results.)
Both Sweden and the UK saw 29 road deaths per million inhabitants in 2014, the ‘road safety measure’. Sweden was marginally ahead of the UK in 2013.
However, in common with many other countries, both saw rises in fatalities. Sweden was up 6% and the UK up 3%.
Announcing the annual road safety results in Brussels earlier today, EU Transport Commissioner Violeta Bulc said it had been a ‘very bad year’ for road safety.
A total of 25,700 people were killed on Europe’s roads, an average of 70 each day, down just one percent on 2013.
She did however acknowledge that the news was not all bad.
Malta had the lowest rate of road deaths at 26/million after a fall of nearly 40% last year (and 27% the year previously).
Luxembourg also reversed a three year trend of rising roads deaths with a twenty percent cut to 65/million. That is still well above the European average of 50.5/million but at least brings it into line with neighbouring Belgium (down 1% to 64/million).
Of the major countries, Spain remained steady at 36/million compared to France (53, up 4%) and Germany (42, up 1%). Italy saw the number of deaths fall six percent to 52/million.
At the other end of the scale, it was indeed a very bad year in Latvia which saw an eighteen percent rise to 106 deaths per million inhabitants.
Also at or above 90/million are now Bulgaria (90) and Romania (91) though that actually represents an improvement for the latter.
Meanwhile Poland, long dogged with the reputation for having Europe’s most dangerous roads, continues to improve, down 3% to 84 deaths per million.
Bulc said the Commission would publish an in depth analysis of the figures in May but added there was no direct correlation between a country’s economy and road safety.
To achieve the EU target of halving road deaths between 2010 and 2020, fatalities would have to fall an average eight percent each year until then, similar to the falls seen in 2012 and 2013.
roundup: FRANCE. 2,803 drivers were fined €22 for breaking the ‘alternee circulation’ rule introduced yesterday in Paris reports AutorouteInfo.fr. Despite the anti-pollution traffic control measures lasting just one day, again, mayor Anne Hidalgo claims a huge success saying jams in the outskirts were reduced by 25-40%. In future she wants control measures to be introduced automatically after two days of high pollution readings rather than needing permission from the government and police as now. GERMANY. More ‘refinements’ have been made to the ‘foreigner toll’ ahead of the parliamentary vote this week reports the Passauer Neue Presse (via thelocal.de). Ten day vignettes will now range from €5-15, and two month vignettes from €16-30, based on engine size and emissions in an apparent bid to link the vignettes with environmental performance as per EU rules. POLAND. Around 2,000 drivers blockaded the A4/E40 motorway yesterday afternoon, just over the border from Gorlitz, in protest at German rules that all drivers on its territory should be paid minimum wage reports TruckJournalist.nl. Enforcement of the new rules reportedly started last week though the requirement for transit drivers is suspended pending an EU investigation. ITALY. The A3 Naples-Reggio Calabria is closed indefinitely around Laino Borgo reports ADAC after a fatal accident on the Italia Viaduct. The 25km diversion is along tight and twisty local roads with long delays to be expected. Heavy traffic is diverted via the SS18 coast road between Lagonegro and Falerna which is, at least, 40km shorter than the 191km A3 route.