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2013: A good year for riders

Reduction of killed PTW riders in EU

2013 is the second year in a row that saw an impressive decrease in the number of people killed on Europe’s roads.

According to preliminary figures, the number of road fatalities has decreased by 8% compared to 2012, following the 9% decrease between 2011 and 2012. This means that the EU is now in a good position for reaching the strategic target of halving road deaths between 2010 and 2020. Road safety is one of the big success stories of Europe. The 17% decrease since 2010 means that some 9000 lives have been saved.

But these statistics are not the same for all road users. The number of pedestrians killed is decreasing to a lesser extent than expected and the number of cyclists killed has recently even been increasing. This is partly due to the fact that more and more people cycle; the challenge for Member States is to encourage people to use their bicycles rather than their cars more often, but to make sure that the shift from car to bicycle is a safe one.

Nevertheless, moped and motorcycle riders have seen their fatalities decreased.

Evolution over time: per road user group 2010-2012
Road user groupChange 2010-2012
Pedestrians -8%
Cyclists +6%
Moped riders -15%
Motorcycle riders -13%
Car occupants -13%
Heavy goods vehicle drivers -10%
All road deaths -11%

Motorcycle fatalities have been an issue of great concern the last years, considering the large overrepresentation of motorcyclists among road fatalities. Most fatalities of motorcyclists and moped drivers occur on rural or urban roads.

To some degree, the trend has now turned and also the number of motorcyclist road deaths decreased more than average from 2010-2012, thanks to an increased focus on the safety of this road user group.

According to the European Commission this decrease can be the results of several countermeasures during the last years, as a legislative change in the EU driving licence directive to ensure a gradual access to the heaviest motorbikes for young people; the development and increased use of protective clothing and protective devices.
From 2016, the European Commission expects that the next EU type approval requirements for motorcycles, which will include the more advanced braking systems such as ABS, will approve this numbers.