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European Commission

Press release

Brussels, 6 May 2013

European Road Safety Day, dedicated to reducing pedestrian fatalities in urban areas

The European Road Safety Day – May 6 – is the Commission's contribution to the United Nations Global Road Safety Week, whose theme this year is "pedestrian road safety". Today, Commission Vice-President Siim Kallas, responsible for transport, opened the European Road Safety Day conference, followed by public road safety demonstrations and a "long short walk" in Brussels.

Commission Vice-President Siim Kallas said: "The EU has an outstanding road safety record in global comparison. But every death is one too many. Pedestrians and cyclists are facing the biggest risks in urban areas. And these risks are likely to increase rather than decrease with ever rising traffic volumes in our growing cities. This is why we are addressing this issue pro-actively on the occasion of the European Road Safety Day and the UN Global Road Safety Week."

Of the 30 000 people killed on European roads per year (28 000 in 2012), on average 21% are pedestrians, 7% are cyclists and 18% are riders of motorcycles and mopeds. 70% of the pedestrians who die are killed within urban areas. There is cause for concern because, during the past 10 years, the number of pedestrians killed in road accidents has not decreased to the same extent as the total number of road deaths. Almost half of all road deaths in urban areas involve a pedestrian or a cyclist.

Risks for pedestrians and cyclists in urban areas include the lack of separate lanes, high vehicle speed and unsafe road user behaviours. The responsibility is shared: pedestrians, cyclists and car drivers all must contribute to road safety by behaving responsibly and respectfully.

The Commission is working on several measures specifically linked to the safety of vulnerable road users and urban area road safety. Among these measures are:

  1. The new proposed EU rules for the design of truck cabins, including an improved field of vision for the driver, a deflecting shape and a crumple zone in the front of the cabin, which will help to save the lives of 300 to 500 vulnerable road users such as pedestrians or cyclists every year (see IP/13/328)

  2. The up-coming Urban Mobility Package with provisions for planning safe and sustainable urban transport (

  3. The CIVITAS initiative, in which cities test innovative measures for more sustainable urban mobility, including improved safety for vulnerable users (

  4. Work on the further deployment of modern technologies and in-vehicle safety systems such as pedestrian detection/emergency braking systems (

  5. The new initiative on serious road traffic injuries (

  6. Awareness raising actions e.g. via the Road Safety Charter (

More information on pedestrian safety is contained in the yearly Scoreboard leaflet on road safety, which provides more details on the road safety statistics for 2011:

The programme of the European Road Safety Day:

  1. 9:00–16:00: Road Safety Conference at the Borschette conference centre <>

  2. 16:00–16:30: "Long short walk" (organised by the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA): <>

  3. 14:00–20:00: Road safety demonstrations in the Cinquantenaire park (organised by the European Association of Automotive Suppliers (CLEPA): <>

Contacts :

Helen Kearns (+32 2 298 76 38)

Dale Kidd (+32 2 295 74 61)

Percentage of pedestrian fatalities in road accidents in urban areas (2011)

(No data available for Malta and Lithuania)

For more statistics by country see:

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