Too Many People Still Dying on Roads, Warns the Supreme Audit Office (NKÚ)

Despite a 35.8% reduction in car accident fatalities and a 43.9% decrease in severe injuries between 2011 and 2022, the set targets are still not being met, warned the Supreme Audit Office (NKÚ). One of the goals is to halve the number of victims compared to the previous period.

In 2020, the number of people who died in connection with traffic accidents was not supposed to exceed 333. However, 460 people died on Czech roads that year. This happened despite a lower intensity of traffic and accident rate due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The current main strategic goal is to reduce the number of killed people by half by 2030 compared to the average figures between 2017 and 2019, specifically under 269 people per year. However, the NKÚ pointed out that the current development does not contribute to achieving this goal.

In addition, there were no fewer road deaths in the first quarter of this year; in fact, there were the most since 2015. According to the auditors, it is unlikely that the 2030 goals will be met.

Between 2011 and 2022, 6,803 people died in accidents, and another 28,821 people were seriously injured. In 2022, 454 people were killed in accidents, and 1,734 suffered severe injuries. The economic losses for the Czech Republic resulting from accidents in 2022 were estimated at 135 billion crowns, representing approximately 2.2% of the domestic GDP.

The NKÚ also discussed partial measures being considered – introducing mandatory helmet-wearing for cyclists and the introduction of an alcolock. This device prevents drunk drivers from starting a vehicle. The Ministry of Transport dropped both proposals, although according to its calculations, helmets could reduce fatal injuries on a bicycle by up to 65% and severe injuries by up to 69%. However, 184 cyclists without helmets died in traffic accidents between 2017 and 2022.