ZAGREB, April 17, 2018 – Croatia ranks seventh in the European Union in terms of a decrease in the number of road fatalities, Minister of the Interior Davor Božinović said at a conference on road safety in Zagreb on Tuesday.
Božinović noted that the decrease in the number of road deaths had been achieved while the number of vehicles and drivers had been increasing. He added that since 1994 the number of vehicles had increased by 1.3 million or 154 percent, and the number of drivers by 900,000 or 61 percent, while the use of public transport was on the decline. “This is making the roads busier and more dangerous,” the minister said.
Božinović said that the relatively good results were not satisfactory and that the Ministry of the Interior was exploring new ways, especially those offered by modern technology, to reduce the number of road accidents and deaths. In this context he stressed the importance of prevention and awareness raising.
Božinović said that more than 300 people were killed in road accidents annually, while 2,700 were seriously injured and nearly 12,000 slightly. The damage caused by traffic accidents is estimated at 8 billion kuna or 2.7 percent of GDP.
The Ministry of the Interior said that the main goal of the national road safety programme was to halve the number of road fatalities by 2020. It said that the four main “road killers” were drunk driving, speeding, not wearing a seatbelt, and distraction, including using mobile phones while driving.
Assistant Transport Minister Mario Madunić said that 300 million kuna would be invested this year to make the Croatian motorways safer. He said that the number of road deaths could be reduced by 50 percent by 2020 by eliminating accident black spots, improving pedestrian and cycle paths, and installing more road signs.