Each year, the world suffers 1.3 million preventable deaths and an estimated 50 million injuries from road crashes. Without serious action, road crashes will cause an estimated 13–17 million more deaths and 500 million more injuries in the current decade.
UN Member States have adopted a resolution 74/299 Improving Global Road Safety and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (target 3.6) and are therefore mandated to reduce road deaths and injuries by 50% by 2030. We know what works to achieve this target: the actions needed are set out in the Global Plan for the Decade of Action for Road Safety 2021–2030.
Frameworks and targets have been set: it is time to act now.
Although the European region has the lowest regional rates of road traffic deaths (9.3 deaths per 100,000 people) in the world, people are still dying every year on the region’s roads. Across the region, road crashes kill more children and young people aged 5–29 than any other cause. In the European Union (EU), which accounts for 27 of the 53 countries in the region, progress toward reducing road deaths between 2011–2020 fell short of the 50% target. Even if we reach the updated target to reduce road deaths by 50% by 2030, this still means over 9.5 million road deaths over ten years.
Many countries in Europe are working toward their road safety targets with a variety of management systems, such as the Safe System approach and Vision Zero by 2050.The recent EU Mission Climate Neutral & Smart Cities target for 100 carbon neutral cities by 2030 adds further impetus for safe active mobility and public transportation to reduce our carbon footprint and make roads safer.
We must seize this window of opportunity to scale up action on road safety. By doing so, we will not only save lives and empower others to save lives, but also improve public health, stimulate economic growth, and promote environmental sustainability.
Regional systems and policies provide a framework to address road safety; European countries must fully commit to them and turn commitments into concrete actions.
Call to Action
We call on all governments in Europe to commit to act for people’s right to safe mobility and a 50% reduction in road deaths and injuries by 2030 through implementation of evidence-based interventions that put people at the center, protect our children and their right to life and education, safeguard the environment, and promote equality and inclusion.
Safe mobility is our right.
We, as civil society, have a role defined in the Global Plan. We commit to play our part in advocating for and enabling people’s rights to safe mobility and achieve a 50% reduction in road deaths and injuries by 2030.
We empower people and communities. We show the reality of the roads they use and highlight the experiences of road victims and their loved ones who have been affected by crashes. We speak up on decisions that affect road safety.
We amplify data, evidence, and best practices from around the world and we collect ground-level evidence that show the impact of safe and unsafe roads on people and communities.
We keep road safety on the agenda until every person is guaranteed — through commitment and action — their right to safe mobility. We monitor progress and put a spotlight on action and inaction.
We will leverage regional platforms to advocate for region-wide mandates, targets, and KPIs in both EU and non-EU European countries.
 WHO. (2018). Global Status Report on Road Safety 2018. Geneva: World Health Organization. https://www.who.int/publications/i/item/9789241565684
 WHO & UN Regional Commissions. (2021). Global Plan for the Decade of Action for Road Safety 2021–2030. https://www.who.int/publications/m/item/global-plan-for-the-decade-of-action-for-road-safety-2021-2030; Job, RFS. (2019). Development of a Safe System Approach, Transportation Research Board Annual Meeting, 13 January 2019, Washington DC.
 United Nations General Assembly. (2020). Resolution A/74/L86 Improving Global Road Safety. https://documents-dds-ny.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/N20/226/30/PDF/N2022630.pdf?OpenElement
 United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs. (2015). 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. https://sdgs.un.org/goals
WHO & UN Regional Commissions. (2021). Global Plan for the Decade of Action for Road Safety 2021–2030. https://www.who.int/publications/m/item/global-plan-for-the-decade-of-action-for-road-safety-2021-2030
WHO Regional Office for Europe. (Accessed 2022). Health topics>Environment and health>Transport and health>Data and statistics Injuries. https://www.euro.who.int/en/health-topics/environment-and-health/Transport-and-health/data-and-statistics/injuries2
European Commission. (2021). Road safety: 4,000 fewer people lost their lives on EU roads in 2020 as death rate falls to all-time low https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/IP_21_1767