“Portugal, despite being among the EU countries that most reduced the number of deaths on the roads between 2010 and 2019, still remains with worse numbers than the EU average”, says the Portuguese Road Prevention (PRP), after a report published by the European Transport Safety Council (ETSC).

An ETSC report on progress made in reducing road deaths in Europe since 2010 indicates that Portugal, together with Greece and the Baltic States, were the best performing countries in the EU.

The PRP considers that the Portuguese reality "still remains worrying" due to the number of fatalities being above the European average.

"With regard to Portugal, the situation is particularly serious with regard to accident rates within the localities, so the priorities should be focused on policies to be implemented aimed at reducing risk in urban areas. Protection of the most vulnerable users and management of speeds appropriate to urban areas are decisive conditions for the sustainable reduction of accidents", says the president of the PRP, José Miguel Trigoso, mentioned in the statement.

The PRP stresses that combating driving under the influence of alcohol and other drugs, as well as the distraction caused by the use of smartphones, must be "equally priority".

The PRP also highlights that the goal set by the European Union and its member states to halve road deaths by 2020 "will certainly not be achieved", despite the significant drop in the number of fatalities that has occurred in several countries in the past months due to confinement to face covid-19.

The report by the European Transport Safety Council shows that two of Europe's traditional leaders in road safety, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom, while remaining relatively safe compared to road mortality, had more road deaths in 2019 than in 2010.

In this year's edition, the European Transport Safety Council rewarded Estonia for “remarkable progress”.

According to Portuguese Road Prevention, the ETSC calls on EU member states to accelerate the new targets for 2030, although the recent response to the covid-19 epidemic may indicate a way forward, namely a shift towards walking and cycling in urban areas, combined with changes in infrastructure and reductions in speed limits.

However, the ETSC stresses that if the EU returns to normal after the crisis, the results could be even worse than before.

ETSC is an independent non-profit organisation based in Brussels, dedicated to reducing the number of deaths and injuries in transport in Europe.

In 2019, the number of road fatalities decreased by 7 percent last year compared to 2018, totalling 472, but road accidents and serious injuries increased, according to the National Road Safety Authority (ANSR).

According to ANSR, 2,288 people were seriously injured last year, 147 more than in 2018 (plus 3 percent), with a 2 percent increase (plus 2,664) in the number of road accidents, totalling 135,063.