Estonia misses road death reduction target

Car crash in Saaremaa.
Car crash in Saaremaa. Source: PPA

The three-year (2017-2019) goals of the traffic safety program in regards to traffic deaths were not fulfilled. Looking at the data available currently, goals for the next period can also be marked a failure.

Although there were less pedestrian and cyclist deaths on Estonian roads in 2017-2019, the number of deaths of bikers and drivers ended up being more than prescribed in the traffic safety program.

Alo Kirsimäe, head of the Road Administration's (Maanteeamet) strategic planning department told ERR that the limit for traffic deaths over the last three years was set to be 55 persons per year. The actual amount of road traffic deaths over that period was 56 persons per year.

The goal set for 2018-2020 was that no more than an average of 50 people a year die in traffic. For that goal to be reached, no more than 31 people could die in traffic related accidents in 2020. That number was reached by mid-July.

Kirsimäe said reasons for deaths are related to drivers' risk behavior: speeding, driving while under the influence of alcohol, not focusing on the road and not using the necessary safety equipment while driving. The prevention of this behavior could greatly decrease the amount of deaths.

The Ministry of Justice has collected different actions to prevent drunk driving. The Road Administration conducted an assessment on the participation of repeat offenders in traffic accidents. Based on the results of the assessment, an intervention program was created for driving schools to raise awareness of the inherent risks of impulsive behavior while operating a vehicle.

A working group established to develop an accountability and warning system will present their error point system directed at repeat offenders in October 2020.


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Editor: Kristjan Kallaste

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