News

European Parliament demands higher safety standards for new cars, vans and lorries

European Parliament demands higher safety standards for new cars, vans and lorries

The European Parliament says all new cars sold in Europe should be fitted as standard with a range of life-saving technologies including automated emergency braking, intelligent speed assistance and seatbelt reminders in all seats. Safety campaigners say the technologies could be as important as the seat belt, but action is needed now because it will take years before the majority of cars on the roads have the technology. Some 26,000 people died on EU roads last year, a figure that has hardly changed in […]

Global NCAP looks to boost take-up of speed assistance systems worldwide

Global NCAP looks to boost take-up of speed assistance systems worldwide

The Australasian New Car Assessment Programme (ANCAP) will start to award additional safety points for cars fitted with Speed Assistance Systems (SAS) from next year and Euro NCAP will start to require regular digital map updates in the near future to improve reliability of the systems over time.  Euro NCAP has been awarding safety points to carmakers for installation of Speed Assistance Systems since 2013.  Several car manufacturers now offer cars fitted with Intelligent Speed Assistance (ISA) systems, the version of the technology preferred by ETSC. Overiddable ISA, which ETSC would like to see made mandatory […]

Pressure grows for wider use of 30km/h limits in urban areas

Pressure grows for wider use of 30km/h limits in urban areas

Policymakers in Germany, Ireland and Scotland are being asked to support the wider roll out of 30km/h speed limits, especially in urban areas where cars interact with pedestrians, cyclists and other vulnerable road users.  At a high-level event organised by ETSC’s Irish member the Road Safety Authority (RSA) earlier this month, the organisations’s chief executive Moyagh Murdock said despite Dublin’s pioneering rollout of 30km/h limits, the rest of the country was ‘falling behind’ and called for more local authorities to follow the capital’s lead.   ETSC’s German member DVR is also backing […]

London will require ISA on buses following successful trial

London will require ISA on buses following successful trial

Transport for London will require Intelligent Speed Assistance (ISA) to be fitted on public buses in the city from later this year following a successful trial.  TfL tested an after-market mandatory ISA system on a small number of buses. The system proved to be effective, and was found to be particularly useful at preventing speeding in 20mph zones.  The trial found that despite the system used being mandatory, i.e not overridable by the driver – there were a few occasions when buses exceeded the speed limit on […]

Finland to double number of safety cameras as groups in Spain and the Netherlands call for more enforcement

Finland to double number of safety cameras as groups in Spain and the Netherlands call for more enforcement

Finnish police plan to install an additional 150 safety cameras over the next three years. Municipal officials are currently working with police to determine where to place the devices.  The addition of the new cameras will more than double the current stock of 130. Police also have plans to introduce 25 mobile safety camera vehicles.   The Finnish Transport Agency is preparing a list of proposed sites, the final locations will be based on road safety data.  New data for the first half of 2017 has shown that Finnish motorists are slowing down as a result of increased automated enforcement.   […]

Rise of e-bikes and speed pedelecs prompt safety questions in Germany and the Netherlands

Rise of e-bikes and speed pedelecs prompt safety questions in Germany and the Netherlands

Bicycles that offer electric assistance and faster models that can travel at speeds of up to 45km/h are prompting policy changes in EU member states including Germany and the Netherlands.  One in four bikes sold in the Netherlands is either electrically assisted or is a so-called ‘speed pedelec’, now subject to similar legislation to mopeds. According to official data, there are now around 1.4 million electric bikes in the Netherlands.  Dutch research carried out by the SWOV Institute for Road Safety Research has found that while electric bicycles are […]

ETSC announces 2017 work-related road safety award winners

ETSC announces 2017 work-related road safety award winners

The European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) has announced the 2017 winners of the PRAISE awards, in recognition of outstanding efforts taken by companies to improve road safety at work. The large company award goes to National Vehicle Distribution (NVD), a family-owned vehicle transportation and storage company in Ireland.  The small and medium-sized enterprise award goes to ATF, a Belgian road construction company. Jacobs, one of the world’s largest construction services firms, has been highly commended by the award judges. The winners will be honoured […]

Belgian study says lower, variable speed limits will speed up commuting

Belgian study says lower, variable speed limits will speed up commuting

Reducing the speed limit on Belgian motorways, particularly during periods of high congestion, would increase average speed and reduce journey times according to research by ETSC’s Belgian member VIAS institute.   Simulations showed that a reduction of the speed limit at peak times, together with a ban on changing lanes would lead to an increase in the actual speed.   “Now the average speed during rush hour is only 44 km/h. The lower limit would see an increase to 57 km/h,” said Wouter Van den Berghe of VIAS Institute. With dynamic limits, traffic flow would improve because everyone drives at a similar speed […]

Drivers in France take more risks when driving for work

Drivers in France take more risks when driving for work

Drivers on work-related journeys in France are more likely to engage in risky behaviours than those on private trips according to a report by Axa, an insurer.   The research found that 88% of drivers speed on work business, compared to 82% on private trips. Similar differences were found for driving while fatigued, distracted driving and driving under the influence of alcohol.   The study was carried out before legal changes that now require companies in France to reveal who was driving a company vehicle in the case […]

Video campaign puts speeders face to face with the families of victims

Video campaign puts speeders face to face with the families of victims

A powerful new video created by the Belgian police and a traffic victims organisation has been viewed more than half a million times on Facebook.  The short film shows speeding drivers pulled over by the police and then invited to step into the back of a car where they meet a stranger who has lost a loved one due to speeding.  The campaign, which uses the hashtag #SpeedTalk, uses the slogan “There are conversations that you never forget.”  Watch the film on YouTube or Facebook.  

Remembering Marita

It was with great sadness that we learnt this week of the passing of Marita Löytty, a dear friend and colleague of ETSC. Marita worked for the Finnish Transport Safety Agency (Trafi) as a Special Adviser on driver licensing. Part of her responsibility was managing Trafi’s role in Finland’s nationwide programme for rehabilitating repeat drink driving offenders through the use of alcohol interlocks.  She was a leading European expert in this life-saving area of policy and a regular speaker at ETSC events around Europe. […]

MEPs call for new car safety tech to be fitted as standard

MEPs call for new car safety tech to be fitted as standard

The European Parliament’s Transport Committee has called for new cars to be fitted as standard with a range of life-saving technologies including automated emergency braking, intelligent speed assistance and intelligent seatbelt reminders in all seats. In a non-binding resolution responding to a report by the European Commission, “Saving Lives: Boosting Car Safety in the EU”, adopted today in Brussels, the committee said “more effective measures” are needed, in order to reach a goal of “no fatalities”. Mandatory safety standards for new cars sold on the European […]

Statement from ETSC on the proposed revision to the Irish Drink Driving Law

Statement from ETSC on the proposed revision to the Irish Drink Driving Law

ETSC supports the Irish government’s proposal to strengthen the drink driving law. The negative effect of alcohol use on road safety is undisputed. Driving under the influence of alcohol is responsible for approximately a quarter of all road fatalities in the European Union. Some voices in the public debate in Ireland have questioned the impact of drinking one or two alcoholic drinks before driving.  The scientific evidence is unequivocal on this: any amount of alcohol has a negative impact on driving ability. Why do […]

Weakened road safety law proposal criticised in Finland

Weakened road safety law proposal criticised in Finland

ETSC’s Finnish member organisation Liikenneturva has criticised a government proposal to weaken a number of key aspects of road safety. The proposals include a revision to Finland’s world-renowned system of linking fines for traffic offences to income known as the ‘day fine’. The government’s proposal is in future to only apply the system in cases where the speed limit has been exceeded by 30 km/h or more. Likkenneturva has pointed out that this change could have serious consequences in particular for urban areas, where […]

Scotland to introduce road-side saliva tests for drug driving

Scotland to introduce road-side saliva tests for drug driving

Drug-driving limits and roadside testing will be introduced in Scotland, the Scottish Government has announced. It is illegal to drive in Scotland while impaired by drugs and this offence will continue to operate, but the Scottish Government plans to introduce new drug-driving limits that will allow prosecutions where different drug types above specified levels are detected. This should mean it is easier to hold drug-drivers to account as there will be no requirement to prove that someone was driving in an impaired manner. England […]

Benefits of joint tunnel /open road safety operations outlined as European Commission consults on infrastructure safety

Benefits of joint tunnel /open road safety operations outlined as European Commission consults on infrastructure safety

Joint safety operations involving tunnel and open road safety experts are possible, useful and their costs could be low if well planned, according to the final report of ECOROADS, a pan-European project looking at possible synergies between tunnel and open road safety regimes. The EU-funded ECOROADS (Effective and Coordinated Road Infrastructure Safety Operations) project aimed to overcome the barrier established by interpretation of two separate sets of European rules on road infrastructure safety management and tunnel safety inspections.  The current rules do not require […]

Apple to offer a built-in iPhone ‘car mode’ as new data suggest widespread distracted driving

Apple to offer a built-in iPhone ‘car mode’ as new data suggest widespread distracted driving

The next version of the standard software included on Apple’s iPhones will include a feature that detects driving and then blocks distracting notifications including calls and messages. The overridable feature, known as ‘Do Not Disturb While Driving’, will operate automatically once the phone’s owner has opted-in to the feature the first time the phone detects driving. Passengers, and indeed drivers who click the passenger button, will be able to override the mode at all times. The US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) requested […]

ETSC on the lookout for fleet road safety champions

ETSC on the lookout for fleet road safety champions

If your organisation has a road safety programme, and results to prove it, you have until 1 September to apply for ETSC’s annual PRAISE Awards for work-related road safety. The competition is divided into three separate categories: SME (Small-Medium Enterprise), large company and public authority. ETSC is especially keen to promote the award to small organisations, who often struggle to balance the issue with other priorities. A survey by a French insurer recently showed that 80% of small and medium enterprises have no specific […]

EU consults on new drone safety measures

EU consults on new drone safety measures

The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has published a proposal to regulate the operation of small drones in Europe. The proposed regulation defines the technical and operational requirements for the drones. Technical requirements refer for example to the remote identification of drones. Operational requirements refer among others to geofencing, a system that ensures drones do not enter a prohibited zone. The proposal also addresses the pilots’ qualifications. Furthermore, drone operators will have to register themselves, except when they operate drones lighter than 250g. The […]

New German campaign focuses on the people affected by a single road death

New German campaign focuses on the people affected by a single road death

The German Road Safety Council (DVR), an ETSC member, has launched a new national communications campaign with three key messages: slow down; keep your distance and hands off your phone. For the first time the campaign also looks at the numbers of people affected by every road death including family and friends, colleagues as well as the emergency workers that have to deal with the carnage. An average of 113 people is the figure used for the new approach. https://www.runtervomgas.de/

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