Germany: Traffic deaths fall to lowest point since reunification | News | DW | 25.05.2020
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Germany: Traffic deaths fall to lowest point since reunification

Deaths on the road have plunged to the lowest point since 1990 thanks to reduced traffic during the coronavirus lockdown. Accidents have also allen significantly.

Traffic fatalities in Germany fell to their lowest point since reunification, the Federal Statistics Office announced on Monday.

It said 158 people were killed on the road in March, compared to 234 in the same period last year.

Total accidents fell to 166,000 — 23% fewer than March 2019 and the lowest figure since it started recording figures 30 years ago.

The number of people injured in traffic accidents fell by 27% to 20,400. This was not a major record though, with fewer people injured in February 2010.

The coronavirus pandemic and associated lockdowns have led to far fewer cars on the roads. However, environmental group Greenpeace is predicting a surge in cars on the road as more people head back to work.

This will come with an increase in pollution, it warned.

Read more: On your bike! Coronavirus prompts cycling frenzy in Germany 

Watch video 12:05

The virus hits traffic

People in Germany have thus far been encouraged to avoid public transport, and as lockdown restrictions are eased, Greenpeace expects more people to drive. The number of kilometers traveled by car in large cities alone could increase by up to 20 billion, the environmentalist group estimates.

"To prevent coronavirus from creating a traffic surge, cities must now create more space for cyclists and pedestrians," Greenpeace traffic expert Marion Tiemann said.

Berlin is the only major German city that has moved to improve cycle paths and pedestrian walkways in this time, Tiemann said.

Watch video 02:32

Coronavirus helps Berlin cyclists make headway

aw/rt (dpa, AFP)

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