We need a specific target for reducing serious road traffic injuries – Hayes

-   Brian Hayes MEP

Fine Gael MEP for Dublin, Brian Hayes, today (Tuesday) called for a specific target to reduce serious road traffic injuries. As European targets on road fatalities have been a major factor in reducing deaths on our roads the Dublin MEP believes that a European target on serious road traffic injuries must be introduced. Mr Hayes was speaking after declaring his support for an EU parliament initiative calling for clear and ambitious reduction targets.

“During 2014, 195 people died and 439 people were seriously injured on our roads. At least 200,000 people suffered life-changing consequences resulting from traffic collision in the EU last year alone. Recently the number of serious injuries in traffic accidents is increasing, and rose almost 3% in 2014 compared with 2013. In order to reverse this unacceptable trend, clear and ambitious reduction targets must be set.

“Targets set by Europe on road traffic deaths have been a significant support to the Minister for Transport to tackle road safety. This led to a sea change in our thinking about road safety and a significant reduction in deaths on our roads compared to a decade ago. I believe we must address the issue of serious injuries on our roads.

“The fact that we are now seeing an increase in those seriously injured on our roads is a gravely worrying sign. To the families and survivors of non-fatal road traffic accidents the effects can be just as traumatic as a fatality. We must not forget the unreported road accidents that radically change people lives.

“In 2013 a European Commission working document found that a strategic and realistically ambitious reduction target could complement the current EU road safety strategy , and in its recent road safety interim evaluation, the Commission confirmed that the ‘prerequisites for setting a strategic target are fulfilled’ . I’m calling upon the Commission to meet its own recommendations by setting a specific target for reducing serious road traffic injuries, in order to tackle the number of life-changing accidents on EU roads.”

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