UK roads safest, says international survey

Britain tops safety charts in survey of 33 countries

THE DECLINE in the number of deaths on UK roads has been heralded "a record decade for road safety" following a report published by an international transport group.

Data published by the Paris-based International Transport Forum revealed Britain has the lowest road death tally of the 33 countries surveyed, with just 3.8 deaths per 100,000 inhabitants.

The UK joins the Netherlands and Sweden as the countries with the lowest fatality rates, while Malaysia, Argentina and Greece rated highest of the 33 countrys detailed in the survey.

Futher data from the survey revealed motorists are least likely to be killed on Swedish, UK and Swiss roads, while the chances of being involved in a fatal crash were highest in Korea, the Czech Republic and Malaysia.

The report found motorcycle accidents in the UK were down 23 per cent, despite a 45 per cent increase in the number of motorcycles on the road.

Overseas figures for motorcycles, however, figured badly in the survey, with huge rises in fatal crashes in Finland and Slovenia. On the flipside, bike-related deaths dropped significantly in Portugal and Korea.

The report found motorcycle deaths were on the increase in 'many developing countries.'

"These increases are only partly explained by the rise in the number of motorcycles," said Veronique Feypell-de La Beaumelle, road safety expert at the International Transport Forum.

International Transport Forum Secretary General Jack Short hailed the figures as "a record decade for road safety", adding: "Reducing fatalities around the world will be accelerated by rapid and effective transfer of knowledge, good practice and information from the best performing countries."

Road deaths per 100,000 inhabitants in 2009:

Malaysia    - 23.8
Argentina   - 18.4
Greece      - 13.8
Cambodia    - 12.6
Korea       - 12.0
Poland      - 12.0
US          - 11.1
Lithuania   - 11.0
New Zealand - 8.9
Belgium     - 8.9
Czech Rep   - 8.6
Slovenia    - 8.4
Hungary     - 8.2
Portugal    - 7.9
Italy       - 7.9
Austria     - 7.6
Luxembourg  - 7.2
Australia   - 6.9
France      - 6.9
Canada      - 6.3
Spain       - 5.9
Denmark     - 5.5
Ireland     - 5.4
Iceland     - 5.3
Finland     - 5.3
Germany     - 5.1
Japan       - 4.5
Switzerland - 4.5
Norway      - 4.4
Israel      - 4.2
Sweden      - 3.9
Netherlands - 3.9
UK          - 3.8