Road deaths down across Europe, though Greece still at fourth place

Road fatalities dropped by 9 percent across the European Union in 2012, a report published by the European Commission on Tuesday said, though Greece still ranks fourth in deaths from traffic accidents, behind Lithuania, Romania and Poland.

The EU’s commissioner for transport, Siim Kallas, said that “2012 was a landmark year for European road safety, with the lowest ever number of road deaths recorded.”

“A 9 percent decrease means that 3,000 lives were saved last year,” Kallas said. “It is hugely encouraging to see these kinds of results. Still 75 people die on Europe’s roads every day, so there is no room for complacency. We have ambitious goals to cut EU road deaths in half by 2020 and we need to keep up this momentum to get there.”

However, the transport commissioner added, “road deaths are only the tip of the iceberg. For every death on Europe’s roads there are 10 serious injuries such as damage to the brain or spinal cord. We need a strategy to bring down the number of serious road injuries everywhere in the EU.”

In Greece, road fatalities dropped 10 percent in 2012, up from a 9 percent decrease the previous year, yet statistics show that it still ranks fourth among its EU peers with 92 deaths per million inhabitants.

The countries with the lowest number of road fatalities remain the UK, Sweden, the Netherlands and Denmark, reporting around 30 deaths per million inhabitants.

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