Cyprus Mail

Pedestrian deaths down but still in line with EU average

Cyprus shows a higher decrease in pedestrian deaths from 2003 to 2013, at 8.3 per cent, compared with the EU average, which was measured at 5.5 per cent, according to a European Council Transport Safety report published on Friday.

But the 29th ETSC Performance Index showed that, despite improvements, the number of pedestrian deaths per capita for 2013 in Cyprus was equal to the EU average.

A statement announcing the report conclusions said that 138,400 pedestrian and cyclists lost their lives in the EU over the period from 2003 to 2013.

Pedestrian deaths account for 21 per cent of total road deaths within the EU, while cyclist deaths for 8 per cent.

Rates of decrease in pedestrian and cyclist deaths over the last decade have been lower than the rates of decrease in deaths of vehicle passengers, the report found.

At 69 per cent, most pedestrian deaths in the EU were recorded in city streets, with Cyprus ranking slightly above average at 71 per cent.

In terms of cyclists, Cyprus ranks among the best-performing in the EU, with an annual rate of under two deaths per million of population. However, it is noted that bicycle use in Cyprus is minimal relative to other European countries.

The report urges the EU and member states to reduce in-city maximum speed limits to 30 kilometres per hour in certain residential areas, and 50 kilometres per hour in others.

Other proposals include the physical separation of pedestrian and cyclists from motor vehicles where speed limits are high, the intensification of campaigns against illegal parking on pavements and bicycle lanes, and the adoption of zero-tolerance policies on drug- and alcohol-use for all road users, including cyclists.

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