Close to two thirds of road fatalities in Cyprus happen in urban areas, figures from the road safety performance index showed on Thursday.

According to the 46th Road Safety Performance Index (PIN) report 62 per cent of road deaths happen in urban areas in Cyprus, in sharp contrast with Europe.

The report presents data across 27 EU member states, along with Switzerland, Israel, Norway, Serbia, and the United Kingdom, concerning road safety.

Between 2020 and 2022, more than half of road deaths in the 25 EU member states with available data happened on rural roads (52 per cent). Conversely, 39 per cent of road fatalities occurred on urban roads, and 9 per cent on motorways. In Cyprus during the same period, 28 per cent of road fatalities occurred on rural roads, 62 per cent on urban roads, and 9 per cent on motorways.

Cyprus recorded the lowest percentage of road fatalities on rural roads among participating PIN countries. However, it registered the second-highest percentage of urban road fatalities (62 per cent), following Romania with 63 per cent.

The data clearly indicate that the most pressing road safety issues in the EU focus on rural roads, whereas in Cyprus, the emphasis lies on urban roads.

Moreover, the report indicates a 25 per cent reduction in rural road fatalities across the EU from 2012 to 2022, a higher rate than the 18 per cent reduction on other roads. In Cyprus, the reduction in rural road fatalities was 47 per cent, compared to 17.6 per cent on other roads.

As measures to reduce road fatalities on European rural roads, as it emerged from the report, the ETSC advocates for systematic data collection on road safety levels, infrastructure upgrades, speed limit enforcement, and provisions for safe passage of vulnerable road users.

Technological advancements in vehicles, such as Automated Emergency Braking (AEB) and Intelligent Speed Assistance (ISA), were also deemed crucial. These systems will become mandatory for all vehicles registered in the EU from July 2024.