In 2011, Slovakia was ranked as the second worst country in the European Union in terms of pedestrian safety, with pedestrians involved in 55 percent of fatal traffic accidents in urban zones, reads the European Commission report published on the occasion of European Safety on the Roads Day.
According to the chart comparing the percentage of pedestrian fatalities in traffic accidents in 25 EU countries (Malta and Lithuania failed to provide the required data), the list was topped by Ireland (57 percent), with Slovakia winding up a close second. The EU average was 37 percent, the TASR newswire wrote.
"In comparison with the rest of the world, the EU enjoys outstanding results in the field of road traffic safety. However, even a single lost life is too much. It's pedestrians and bicyclists who face the greatest safety risks in cities – and with the traffic volume in our growing cities continuously swelling, this risk is only bound to increase," the European Commission vice-chair responsible for transport, Siim Kallas, said at a conference held on the issue on Monday in Brussels. Out of 30,000 deaths on European roads on an annual basis (the figure was 28,000 in 2012), 21 percent on average were pedestrians, seven percent were cyclists and 18 percent rode motorcycles or motor scooters. The reasons behind the urban dangers to pedestrians and bicyclists specified by the European Commission are an insufficient number of dedicated lanes, speeding motorists and general carelessness on the roads.
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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