Zagreb - Members of parliament on Friday decided unanimously that October 21 should be marked as a national, awareness-raising road safety day and that more work was necessary on accident prevention.
The MPs thus supported a joint proposal put forward by the parliamentary committees on internal policy and maritime affairs which had originally asked that the day in question be marked as a national day without mobile phones in traffic but which accepted the government's suggestion that the day should be observed as a national road safety day.
The government agreed that the use of mobile phones in traffic was a major problem but noted that their use was only one of four factors affecting road safety, the other three being speed, alcohol and the non-use of the seat belt.
During a debate on the matter, MPs warned that the number of victims of road accidents in Croatia was much higher than the EU average. In the EU, the rate is 49 per one million inhabitants, while in Croatia it is 80, and only Bulgaria and Romania have worse statistics, said Social Democrat Željko Jovanović, noting that in 2018, 331 people were killed in road accidents.
In the first six months of 2019, six children were killed and 54 were seriously injured in traffic accidents, an increase of 150% from the same period of 2018, said Pero Ćosic of the ruling HDZ party.