According to preliminary information from the EU Commission, 4,000 fewer people died in road accidents in 2020 than in the previous year - nevertheless, the states failed to achieve a common goal (symbol image)
Photo: Julian Stratenschulte / dpa
Last year, according to preliminary data from the EU Commission, 4,000 fewer people were killed in road accidents than in the previous year, and a total of 18,800 people died in road traffic.
This corresponds to a "drastic annual decrease of 17 percent," said the Brussels authority.
The role of the Covid 19 pandemic in this cannot be measured, it said.
The lower volume of traffic because of them had a significant impact on the number of road deaths.
The roads in the EU are still the safest in the world, said EU Transport Commissioner Adina Valean.
"Nevertheless, we are behind our goal for the last decade and need joint measures."
Over a longer period of time, the number of road deaths fell by 36 percent between 2010 and 2020.
The EU target of a 50 percent reduction has thus been missed.
Only Greece managed to exceed this target with a decrease of 54 percent.
This was followed by Croatia, Spain, Portugal, Italy and Slovenia with a reduction of between 44 and 42 percent.
As a result, nine Member States recorded a decrease of 40 percent or more.
Germany stayed well below this mark, in Germany the change was minus 25 percent.
According to the EU Commission, Sweden has the safest roads.
There were 18 traffic fatalities per million inhabitants, a decrease of 29 percent compared to 2010. In Germany the figure was 33 traffic fatalities per million inhabitants.
In cities, so-called weak road users are particularly at risk.
Across the EU, around 70 percent of road deaths in urban areas are pedestrians, motorcyclists, cyclists and other less protected people, said the EU Commission.
But two European capitals in particular have achieved important goals on this issue: In Helsinki and Oslo, not a single pedestrian or cyclist was killed in road traffic in 2019, according to the Commission.
"Both cited speed limits as a key factor in this progress."
ene / dpa