By the beginning of this week, on Monday 17 October, the European Commission hosted the annual Excellence in Road Safety Awards that recognise the contributions of the European Road Safety Charter’s community of members towards the common goal of improved road safety across Europe.

Over 100 initiatives were nominated for this prestigious accolade, with 15 projects being shortlisted. Find out who they are here.

The awards will be granted to the best project in each of the four award categories: best examples of the “safe system approach; best road safety project targeting young people; best road safety technology initiative; and best road safety project for professional drivers, plus the “Jacques Barrot” audience choice award. More information on the shortlisted projects.

Final 2021 statistics on road fatalities

The Commission is today publishing the final figures on road fatalities for 2021, following the publication of the preliminary data in March 2022. These figures show that an estimated 19 900 people were killed on EU roads last year, a 6% increase in relation to 2020. This followed an unprecedented annual fall of 17% between 2019 and 2020. The picture over the last two years has been strongly influenced by the traffic levels in each country which were considerably lower during the pandemic. For some Member States, the post-lockdown increase in road fatalities is so significant that it calls for deeper analysis and urgent action.

EU-wide, there were 45 road deaths per million inhabitants in 2021. The fatality rate ranges from 20/million in Sweden and 22/million in Denmark to 81/million in Bulgaria and 92/million in Romania (This ranking excludes countries with fewer than 100 fatalities per year).

Estimates for 2022

Preliminary figures for the first seven months of 2022 indicate the number of road deaths has increased again, by more than 10% on average, compared with 2021. Some Member States have seen significantly larger rises. The EU-wide estimate for road deaths in 2022 to date is still below that of the pre-pandemic year 2019, though monthly fluctuations make an accurate prediction for the entire year difficult. The current pace of change is insufficient to meet the EU’s target of halving the number of deaths by 2030.

To this end, the Commission is working closely with Member States to ensure that they implement a holistic safe-system approach – widely accepted as the best means to tackling road safety – as part of their national road safety strategies for the decade to 2030.

The Commission has also published a series of reports as part of its European Road Safety Observatory, providing detailed data and analysis on a range of road safety topics such as children, seniors, novice drivers, cyclists, drink-driving, personal mobility devices, driver distraction and seat-belt wearing.


The European Road Safety Charter, initiated in 2004 by the European Commission, is the largest civil society platform on road safety. More than 3 500 public and private entities (companies of all types and sizes, automobile clubs, associations, schools, local authorities and others) have committed to the Charter. The Charter invites members to make a commitment, pledging to take a specific measurable action within their area of responsibilities. Since 2006, the Excellence in Road Safety Awards have been presented to organisations that have carried out a particularly interesting and effective road safety initiative.

The European Commission is working to deliver its EU Road Safety Policy Framework 2021-2030Search for available translations of the preceding link to halve the number of fatalities and serious injuries on European roads by 2030, as a milestone on the way to ‘Vision Zero’ – zero fatalities and serious injuries by 2050.

Source: European Commission

Image: European Commission