Latvian roads speed to EU’s highest traffic death rate

Latvia’s rate of 105 traffic fatalities per million residents is the highest among EU member-states, according to European Commission (EC) data released in Brussels Tuesday.

Last year in all of the EU 25,700 people lost their lives, which averages to about 70 each day, on the Union’s roads, a miniscule 1% drop not at all in line with established goals for reducing the number of traffic accident victims. The EC called the short-of-target results “disappointing.”

Violeta Bulc, EU Commissioner for Transport said: "It's sad and hard to accept that almost 70 Europeans die on our roads every day, with many more being seriously injured. The figures published today should be a wake-up call. Behind the figures and statistics there are grieving spouses, parents, children, siblings, colleagues and friends. They also remind us that road safety requires constant attention and further efforts."

Latvia’s rate of pedestrian-vehicle traffic fatalities is the second-highest in the EU, with 39% of last year’s deaths being people walking along the side of the road and struck by cars.

Latvia’s traffic accident data shows a favorable safety record on the nation’s roads for bicycle and motorcycle riders, however, who came in under the EU average, at 7% and 6%, respectively.

Still, the report laments Bulgaria, Latvia, Lithuania and Romania reporting in excess of 90 dead per million inhabitants.

Malta, the Netherlands, Sweden and the United Kingdom reported the lowest traffic fatality rates among EU member-states, fewer than 30 per million.

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