EU member states are not doing enough to reduce the number of deaths caused on their roads as latest figures show they are way off 2010 targets, according to a European Transport Safety Council report.

The number of deaths on EU roads was 39,000 in 2008; 12,000 more than the 2010 target.

A safety target to reduce road accidents by 2010 involves reducing the rate of road deaths by 7.4% annually.

Last year’s figure was down 15,400 from the 2001 toll but it was nowhere near the set 2010 target.

The report also said that Ireland is set to miss the EU target, despite a major reduction in fatalities on Irish roads last year.

The Eastern European and Baltic states of Estonia and Lithuania each cut their death tolls by 33% while Slovenia’s figure was down by 27% and Latvia by 25%.

The reduction in deaths during 2008 can be partly due to reduced traffic volume following the recent economic recession and relatively high petrol prices.