EU road deaths like losing a town the size of Sligo


The EU Road Safety Conference will hear today how progress on a drive to halve road deaths across member states by 2030 has stagnated. Government representatives from the US, Europe and Ireland, transport experts and road crash survivors will all be sharing their insights at the event, which is taking place alongside Transport Research Arena 2024 at Dublin’s RDS.

The conference coincides with rising concern around Ireland’s rate of road incidents and fatal collisions in 2024. More than 60 people have lost their lives in the first few months of the year, a significant jump on the rate from the same period in 2023. Across the EU, figures from the European Commission show around  20,400 people were killed in road crashes last year, a decrease of just 1% on 2022’s total.  Despite some progress since the baseline year of 2019, few EU countries are on track to meet the target of halving the number of road deaths by 2030. 

Minister of State for Transport, Jack Chambers, TD is among those addressing the conference:  Today’s talks are a timely opportunity for us all to listen and learn from our international colleagues on how we can address the tragedies we’re seeing too often on the roads in Ireland, and across Europe. Road safety is a universal concern which requires a wide ranging approach from policymakers, authorities and road users and I’m very happy to see each of these groups represented at today’s conference. It’s clear education, awareness, engineering and innovation are all essential to reducing road fatalities and in particular enforcement of the rules of the road and I’m looking forward to engaging with European colleagues on these areas going forward.”

As well as setting out a plan to halve road deaths and serious injuries by 2030, the EU’s Road Safety Policy Strategy is also aiming to get close to eliminating them by 2050. 

Magda Kopczyńska is the Director General for DG MOVE in the European Commission and one of the main speakers at today’s conference and at TRA2024. She says now is an appropriate time to review progress on the plan: As we reach the midpoint of our 10-year EU Road Safety Policy Framework, aiming to halve road deaths and serious injuries by 2030 and move toward ‘Vision Zero’ by 2050, progress has unfortunately stagnated. With around 20,400 lives lost on EU roads in 2023, barely an improvement from 2022, we’re almost back to pre-COVID levels. This is akin to a town the size of Sligo vanishing yearly. It’s clear we’re off track. Road safety demands constant attention and shared responsibility to pave the way for safer roads and a future without fatalities or serious injuries in Europe.”

Other speakers on today’s programme include:

  • Georges Gilkinet, Minister for Transport, Belgium

  • Dr. Maria Tsavachidis, CEO of EIT Urban Mobility

  • Valentina Orioli, Deputy Mayor of Bologna, Associate Professor of Urban Planning at University of Bologna

  • Giovanni Pintor, Road Safety Association “Adesso Basta”, Italy

  • Méabh White, Road safety campaigner and crash survivor

  • Uroš Brumec, Senior Traffic Safety Expert at Slovenian Infrastructure Agency

  • Sofia Gjerstad, Swedish Transport Administration

  • Véronique Feypell, ITF-OECD

  • Eva Lindström, Swedish Member of the European Court of Auditors

  • Alvaro Gomez, Directorate General for Traffic Spain

  • Kristian Schmidt, Director for Land Transport at the Directorate-General for Mobility and Transport and European Road Safety Coordinator

Full details of the conference, its programme and speaker list are available here and proceedings will be livestreamed from 0930 – 1715 here



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