Israel ranks eighth among 30 European countries for lowest number of traffic accident deaths, traffic watchdog group Or Yarok said in a statement Tuesday. The study was part of the European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) annual Road Safety Performance Index. "It is very important to compare us not only to ourselves, but to Europe, where road safety takes a high priority," Or Yarok CEO Shmuel Abuav told The Jerusalem Post on Wednesday. The study, in which Israel took part for the first time this year, concentrated on six parameters of road safety: number of deaths, seatbelt notification systems in cars, drunk driving, highway safety, motorcycle deaths, and success of awareness campaigns. Traffic accident deaths have fallen significantly this decade, with 430 being killed on the roads las year, according to the statement. However, Abuav noted that Israelis also drive less, with 300 vehicles per 1,000 people, as opposed to 600 per 1,000 people in Western Europe. "As long as there are still people being injured and killed, we cannot be satisfied or rest on our laurels," Abuav said. "We strive to reach zero deaths, and until we reach that goal, we cannot allow a moment of leniency." Also between 2001 and 2006, the number of deaths on highways rose by 1%, placing Israel 10th of 19 countries. Though 87% of Israelis buckle up in the front seat, only 26% of back-seat passengers do, as opposed to 88% in Germany and 84% in Norway. Motorcycle accidents are relatively low, at 50 deaths per billion km. driven. According to Abuav, motorcycles are becoming more popular, but Israel is still far behind Europe with only 80,000 motorcycles on the road. Data for seatbelt notification systems and drunk driving were not available, Abuav said.