CYPRUS topped the charts for the biggest increase in the number of road deaths in the EU in 2015 according to the 10th Road Safety PIN survey which was published by the European Transport Safety Council.
The survey shows that in 2015 a total of 57 fatal road accidents happened in Cyprus, 12 more than 2014.
There was 26.7 per cent per cent increase in road deaths in Cyprus in 2015 while road injuries were down 19.3 per cent.
In 2010, the European Union renewed its commitment to improve road safety by setting a target of reducing road deaths by 50 per cent by 2020, compared with 2010. This target followed an earlier target set in 2001 to halve road deaths by 2010.
According to the survey, 2015 was the second consecutive bad year for road safety; 26,300 people lost their lives on EU roads in 2015 compared with 25,970 in 2014, representing an increase of 1 per cent.
Out of the 32 countries monitored by the PIN Programme, as many as 22 saw an increase in the number of road deaths between 2014 and 2015 while progress stagnated in one country. Only nine countries registered a drop.
A reduction was recorded in Norway, where the number of road deaths decreased by 20 per cent, followed by Estonia and Ireland with a 14 per cent drop between 2014-2015.
Across the EU28, road deaths were cut by 17 per cent between 2010 and 2015, equivalent to a 3.6 per cent average annual reduction. A 6.7 per cent year-to-year reduction is needed over the 2010-2020 period to reach the target through constant progress in annual percentage terms.
Yet the increase in 2015 means that the number of road deaths has to be reduced at a much faster average pace of about 9.7 per cent each year between 2016 and 2020 for the EU to be on track for the target.
The survey points out that at the EU level, there has also been a distinct lack of action. Within the last year, the European Commission was expected to bring forward revisions of vehicle safety, pedestrian protection and infrastructure safety rules as well as a new target and measures to reduce serious road injuries. But the proposals on all four initiatives have been delayed and it is not clear when they will see the light of day. Measures that can reduce the number of road deaths quickly are known and urgently needed at both national and EU levels.