New analysis published by the European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) shows that in the past year 2023 there were 20,418 deaths on EU roads. These figures show that deaths on European roads have fallen by just 1% compared to 2022. To meet the EU’s target of a 50% reduction in road deaths by 2030, an annual drop of at least 6.1 is needed %.

Bulgaria reports progress for 2023 with a nearly 16% reduction in deaths compared to 2019, which should not reassure us, because unfortunately the “black statistics” in Bulgaria continue to be at high levels. The systematic efforts of the Bulgarian institutions to increase the safety of road traffic must be continued and even increased in order to achieve the European goal of zero road deaths in 2050.

Following last week’s European elections, the ETSC is calling for the creation of an EU road safety agency with specific powers, including the investigation of road accidents. At the moment, there is no body at the European level that is specialized in such investigations of road accidents, unlike the other main types of transport – air, sea and rail, for which there are established agencies.

The ETSC also calls on the European Commission to start work on a new review of vehicle safety regulations to take account of advancing safety technologies and to continue reforming periodic roadworthiness tests for vehicles. This will ensure that new technologies are supported throughout the life of the vehicle.

Antonio Avenoso, Director of the European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) comments on the next five-year mandate of the European Parliament and the Commission: “Road safety must become a priority again. 100,000 people have died on EU roads in the last five years and another 100,000 will lose their lives in the next five if nothing changes. The newly elected MEPs and appointed commissioners must get to work.”