Road safety of children has improved considerably in the EU over the past decade. Portugal achieved the best annual average reduction in child road mortality of 15%. France, Slovenia, Switzerland, Ireland and Belgium also rank highly with reductions close to 10%. Lithuania, Sweden, Germany, Norway, Slovakia, Finland, Denmark and the Netherlands follow with better than average reductions.
However, Bulgaria, Hungary, Italy, Czech Republic, Greece and Romania performed poorly with average annual reductions of less than 5%. As a result of this uneven rate of improvement, disparities between countries remain strikingly high: children in Lithuania have a 7 times higher probability of being killed in road traffic than children in Sweden, the best performing country in terms of road mortality of children.
“Child casualties have been going down not only because of improved safety but also due to reduced exposure to risk as they are driven to school and spend less time out on the streets playing. Cycling and walking should instead be promoted, but it should be made safe,” said Ellen Townsend, ETSC Policy Director.