In 2009, 35 000 people died in road accidents across the EU – 36% less than in 2001, when the Commission first set its target of cutting the  annual death rate by 50%. Young people and motorcyclists are among those most at risk. The UK, the Netherlands and Sweden had the lowest death tolls in 2009. Greece and Romania had the highest.

Speeding, driving after drinking alcohol and not wearing a seatbelt are some of the leading causes of road deaths. The new EU programme states that over the next 10 years, among other things, the EU will work with national authorities to devise a common education and training strategy for road users and more effort will be made to make motorcyclists safer.