What does the 2018 Global Status Report on Road Safety mean for the EASST region?


On Friday 7th December the World Health Organisation released the 2018 Global Status Report on Road Safety.

The report shows that globally the number of road traffic death has continued to climb with road traffic injury now the leading cause of death for children and young adults aged 5-29 years, and the 8th leading cause of death for any age group.

However, relative to the world’s rising population and growing vehicle fleet, the situation looks a lot more positive. The comparative rate of road deaths is actually declining and more and more countries are making progress to mitigate road risk at local and national levels.

Of our EASST partner countries, 12 out of 14 have seen a decline in the rate of road deaths since 2013 – with rates in Belarus, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan reducing significantly. On average, the rate of road deaths has decreased from a regional average of 17.9 people per 100,000 population (as per the 2015 Global Status Report) to 15.9. While this is indeed good news for the region, the rate of road deaths in EASST partner countries remain significantly higher than the European average, and those who survive but whose lives are permanently affected by serious injury and disability are higher still.

The report’s legislative review shows progress in child restraint legislation, drink-driving and helmet laws across the EASST region but no progress at all in relation to improving speed laws and vehicle standards. Unfortunately, it would appear that in Azerbaijan and Kyrgyzstan seat-belt laws have changed out of alignment with best practice.

It is clear that the work of our EASST partners is vital and that many lives have been saved as a result of their work. However, there is still a long way to go. Road safety has been neglected as a policy priority for too long and this needs to change. As we approach the Third Global Ministerial Conference on Road Safety in Sweden in February 2020, we will continue to work closely with our local partners to build their technical capacity and expertise to influence the road safety agenda in their respective countries and support them in any way we can to achieve Vision Zero.


Updated on 11th January 2019. Previous version had an error in the regional averages of the rate of road fatalities.


2018 Global Status Report on Road Safety

The 2018 Global Status Report on Road Safety was released by the World Health Organisation in December 2018. It shows that significant progress has been made in key areas but calls for further action as the rate of road deaths and injuries globally remains unacceptable high.