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Cyprus records highest EU increase in road deaths for 2017

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Cyprus had the highest increase in road deaths for 2017 out of 23 EU member states, the Road Safety PIN Report, published by the European Transport Safety Council, said on Tuesday.

According to the report, the island recorded a 15 per cent increase in 2017, with 53 road deaths, seven more than in 2016.

In 2016, Cyprus had recorded its largest decrease in road deaths, at 19.3 per cent, while in 2015 there was another increase of 26.7 per cent.

Mortality rates are calculated in deaths per million inhabitants, with the report noting that annual deaths in Cyprus, and Estonia, are also relatively small, meaning they may be subject to annual fluctuations.

Due to the increase in 2017, Cyprus is now in 19th place on the scale of 23 countries, while in 2016 the island was in 13th following the decrease.

Although there was an increase in deaths, Cyprus did note a decrease in serious injuries from traffic accidents, according to the report. The definition of seriously injured provided by the island for the report is those requiring hospitalisation of more than one night. Cyprus was able to decrease the rate of seriously injured by 34 per cent for 2017.

The EU body has set a goal of reaching a reduction of 50 per cent of road deaths by 2020. Based on this year’s figures, the report said there was “no breakthrough on road deaths for the fourth consecutive year.”

The report noted that 2017 was a bad year for the EU as a whole, with only a two per cent decrease seen in road deaths.

According to the report, only two countries have been able to reach the 2010-2017 target of reducing road deaths by 34 per cent, in an effort to achieve the 2020 goal of a 50 per cent reduction. They are Estonia and Greece, with a 41.4 per cent and 39.2 per cent decrease, respectively.

The member states participating in the programme, the report recommended, should seek to reach current targets by all available means, including “applying proven enforcement strategies.”

The report also noted that countries should: “Provide sufficient government funds that allow the target-oriented setting of measures and set up financing and incentive models for the regional and local level.”

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