Cyprus recorded the second lowest rate of road deaths of children in proportion to population among the countries monitored by the European Transport Safety Council’s (ETSC) Road Safety Performance Index (PIN) programme.
Calculated at 2 per cent during a three-year period spanning from 2019 to 2021, Cyprus, along with Greece, also recorded the highest annual rate of reduction in serious child road injuries over the last decade, according to the report. The reduction was 14 per cent.
However, the PIN programme report also found that 390 children were killed on the EU’s roads in 2020, while more than 6000 had been killed over the last 10 years. Child road deaths represented 2 per cent of all road deaths in 2020.
That said, “child road mortality (deaths per million child inhabitants) went down by 46 per cent compared to 36 per cent for all other age groups over the period 2010–20,” the report added.
“A relatively steep reduction can be seen at the beginning of the decade during the economic recession that followed the financial crisis in 2008.
“Another steep reduction can be seen at the end of the decade when measures aimed at controlling the Covid-19 pandemic severely restricted people’s movement, including children, who at times were not allowed to go to school.”
The report also added that the child road mortality rate in Romania was calculated at ten times higher than in Norway, Cyprus or Sweden.
“Children do not benefit from the same level of safety everywhere in Europe. Where child road mortality is relatively low, road mortality for the rest of the population also tends to be relatively low and vice versa,” the report said and added:
“Where child mortality is relatively low and mortality for the rest of the population is relatively high, it could be because children in those countries tend to be driven to school and activities rather than being allowed to travel there alone by bike or on foot.”
The report added that the government in Cyprus was working to encourage more children to walk and cycle “by making road safety engineering changes around schools and in residential areas and creating 20 and 30km/h zones and expanding the pavement and cycle path network, especially around schools.”
The government was also praised for carrying out road safety education classes in schools, for donating cycle helmets and child restraint systems, for a reduced rate of VAT on child restraint systems and for running public awareness campaigns.