Lithuania, which reduced the number of road deaths by 22.3% last year, has achieved the best result among 32 countries participating in the Road Safety Performance Index (PIN) programme. It was announced by Antonio Avenoso, Executive Director of the European Transport Safety Council (ETSC), at the 2017 Road Safety Performance Index conference in Brussels, where he presented an annual PIN report.
In 2010, the European Union renewed its commitment to improve road safety by setting a target of reducing road deaths by 50% by 2020, compared to 2010 levels. This target followed an earlier target set in 2001 to halve road deaths by 2010.
The High Level Group on Road Safety representing all EU member states identified three main ways member states can choose to collect the data in accordance with
the MAIS3+ definition:
1. continue to use police data but apply a correction coefficient;
2. report the number of injured based on data from hospitals;
3. create a link between police and hospital data.
ETSC recommends the third option but, as matching police and hospital data is not straightforward, member states that have not yet started this process should make use of option 1 or 2. Germany is applying a unique method which consists in calculating a projection based on data from the in-depth database GIDAS. Within the framework of the SafetyCube project financed by the European Commission, a study was published on serious road traffic injury data reporting practices. The study provides guidelines and recommendations for each of the three main ways to estimate the number of serious road traffic injuries in order to assist member states in MAIS3+ data collection.
In addition to MAIS3+ data, member states should also continue collecting data based on their previous definitions so as to be able to monitor rates of progress in the same way as prior to 2014 at least until these rates of progress can be compared with those under the new definition.
The PIN programme which is implemented by the European Transport Safety Council covers 28 EU member states together with Norway, Serbia, Switzerland and Israel. According to the annual PIN report, 15 of 32 countries participating in the PIN programme saw a drop in the number of road deaths last year. Lithuania, which achieved the biggest progress in reducing the number of road deaths in 2016, is followed by Cyprus (19%), the Czech Republic (17%), Latvia (16%) and Switzerland (15%).
In terms of the reduction of road deaths between 2010 and 2016, Lithuania ranks second. The top five countries that achieved the biggest reduction include: Portugal (40%), Lithuania (37%), Greece and Norway (36%), and Switzerland (34%). ETSC Executive Director Antonio Avenoso pointed out that only the four mentioned EU countries achieved a sufficient progress towards the EU target to halve the overall number of road deaths between 2010 and 2020.
The 2017 ETSC PIN award was presented to Switzerland, which like Norway had the lowest road mortality in 2016 (26 deaths per million inhabitants). Lithuania is still lagging behind the EU average in terms of this indicator (51 deaths per million inhabitants). However, in the last six years Lithuania made a significant progress by reducing the number of road fatalities per million inhabitants from 95 in 2010 to 65 in 2016.
The annual PIN report draws attention to the fact that Lithuania, which cut down road fatalities by an outstanding 73% in the period 2001–2016, has achieved the biggest progress since 2001, when the EU for the first time had set a target to reduce the number of road deaths. Lithuania was presented with the 2011 Road Safety PIN award for achievements in improving road safety.