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EU transport ministers back ‘ambitious’ vehicle safety improvements

EU transport ministers back ‘ambitious’ vehicle safety improvements

Eight EU transport ministers have called on the European Commission to ‘speed up’ plans to upgrade vehicle safety standards saying road safety should be ‘top priority’. In a letter to the European Commissioner for industry Elżbieta Bieńkowska, the transport ministers of Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg and The Netherlands said ‘ambitious’ new vehicle safety standards are needed ‘to help Member States halve the number of road deaths by 2020’. 26,000 people die on European Union roads annually, with at least 135,000 suffering life-changing […]

Safety fears over reduced fines in Greece

Safety fears over reduced fines in Greece

ETSC’s Greek member organisation RSI Panos Mylonas has strongly rejected a government proposal to cut fines for traffic offences including speeding and use of mobile phones at the wheel. The plans came to light in a Sunday newspaper interview with deputy minister Nikolaos Toskas. Mr Toskas commented that the current fines are too high for Greek people facing difficult economic circumstances. While sympathetic to the harsh financial pressures many Greeks are facing, RSI Panos Mylonas and ETSC commented that the move would be a […]

Cross border follow-up of traffic offences not being used at ‘full potential’

Cross border follow-up of traffic offences not being used at ‘full potential’

New EU rules have had a positive impact on tackling road traffic offences committed abroad according to a European Commission report. The number of investigated offences committed by non-residents increased by four times to approximately 2 million between 2013 and 2015 in the Member States which have implemented the rules. The “Cross-Border Enforcement Directive” allows Member States, with the help of an electronic information system, to identify EU drivers who commit traffic offences abroad including four “main killers” that cause 75% of road deaths: […]

Targeted safety measures needed to prevent road deaths among young drivers

Targeted safety measures needed to prevent road deaths among young drivers

Zero tolerance on drink driving, additional hazard perception training and graduated driver licensing schemes should become the norm in order to help tackle the disproportionate risks faced by young drivers and motorcycle riders in Europe, according to a new report. Over 3800 young people (aged 18-24) are killed each year on EU roads, the biggest single cause of death for this age group.  According to the report by the European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) and the UK Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety (PACTS), […]

In memory: Professor Ryszard Krystek

In memory: Professor Ryszard Krystek

The ETSC team was saddened to hear of the passing of Professor Ryszard Krystek, who died on 20 January, aged 75. Professor Krystek rose to be one of Poland’s leading experts on road safety. He held the posts of Director of the Institute of Transportation Engineering at the Technical University of Gdansk and Undersecretary of State for Transport Policy at the Polish Ministry of Infrastructure.  He led two major strategic national road safety programmes in Poland, known as GAMBIT 96 and GAMBIT 2005. Latterly he was […]

Tesla autopilot updates change rules on speeding

Tesla autopilot updates change rules on speeding

Tesla’s latest software update has reversed an earlier change that capped the speed of its Autopilot driver assistance system at the posted speed limit on undivided roads. Tesla’s Model S cars received an initial software update just before Christmas that introduced the new restriction.  That update was linked to a crash earlier in the year of a Tesla vehicle in Florida that was operating in Autopilot mode, and travelling at 74 mph in a 65 mph zone. But earlier this month, a new update […]

Dublin is the latest 30 km/h city

Dublin is the latest 30 km/h city

Plans to cut speed limits to 30 km/h on residential streets throughout Dublin were approved in December. The lower limits will be introduced on a step-by-step basis from March 2017 and will apply on almost all roads in Dublin and its surrounding suburbs. The council’s head of traffic and transport Dick Brady said the overriding principle in relation to a 30km/h default speed limit was road safety: “It’s in the interest of road safety we would be recommending these new speed limits. We are talking about […]

Bulc says EU serious injury target will be set in 2017

Bulc says EU serious injury target will be set in 2017

Violetta Bulc, the European Commissioner for Transport, has renewed a promise to introduce a target to reduce serious road injuries across the EU. Speaking to MEPs on the European Parliament’s Transport Committee on 5 December, Bulc described the figure of 135,000 serious injuries per year as “serious numbers”, and described the current situation as “frustrating…we are not moving forward”. Bulc said a target will be announced in 2017, based on the Commission’s recent report on serious injuries. She also noted that 16 member states […]

Flanders reduces out of town speed limits

Flanders reduces out of town speed limits

The Northern Belgian region of Flanders has reduced the default speed limit on roads outside built-up areas to 70km/h from 90km/h previously. The new limit, which doesn’t apply to motorways or separated highways, is designed to improve road safety but also to standardise the proliferation of lower limits already in place on many inter urban roads across the region.  Instead of 70km/h being a signposted exception, it now becomes the default – with 90km/h only permitted under specific conditions such as separated bicycle paths […]

Commission outlines plans for safer cars, vans and lorries

Commission outlines plans for safer cars, vans and lorries

The European Commission has published a list of 19 lifesaving safety technologies that could be made mandatory on new vehicles in the next update of EU vehicle safety rules expected next year.  The European Transport Safety Council welcomes the announcement but says several critical areas for action are missing, and the proposed timescale is far too long considering that most of the technologies are already available today. 26,000 people die on European Union roads annually, with at least 135,000 suffering life-changing injuries.  Progress on […]

Belgium strengthens alcohol interlock programme

Belgium strengthens alcohol interlock programme

The Belgian Minister of Mobility François Bellot is planning to strengthen drink driving laws to require judges to impose alcohol interlocks on recidivist and high level first time offenders and in cases of drunkenness. Belgium’s alcohol interlock programme began in September 2013, but judges have only imposed the requirement in 42 cases. By far the most common sanction since then was a temporary driving ban, imposed on 19,510 individuals. Mr Bellot is preparing legal changes that would require judges to impose alcohol interlocks to […]

In memory of our friend Will

In memory of our friend Will

The ETSC team learned this week of the untimely passing of our friend and colleague Dr Will Murray. Dr Murray was a leading light in the field of road safety for more than 20 years. As a researcher, advisor on fleet safety and as founder of the UK road safety charity Brake. Over the last seven years he worked with ETSC – generously volunteering his time and expertise – as a key contributor to our PRAISE project on preventing death and serious injury in […]

English back lower drink drive limits

English back lower drink drive limits

There have been renewed calls for a lower drink drive limit in England after a survey found that more than three quarters of people would support such a move. Drink driving deaths in Great Britain have remained static since 2010 at 240 deaths a year, despite an overall reduction in fatalities. Scotland reduced its drink driving limit from 0.8 g/l to 0.5g/l two years ago. Northern Ireland is set to follow soon. David Davies, Executive Director of PACTS said: “The number of deaths involving […]

Dutch attempt to unblock alcohol interlock programme

Dutch attempt to unblock alcohol interlock programme

A six-party coalition in the Netherlands is asking the government to find a solution to reopen the Dutch alcohol interlock programme to new participants after legal challenges put the scheme on hold last year. The Dutch programme began in 2011, and had more than 5000 participants by 2014. But a legal challenge last year resulted in the suspension of the programme after the Supreme Court concluded that the costs of participation, borne by the participants, came in addition to fines – an effective double […]

Austria prepares legal basis for alcohol interlocks

Austria prepares legal basis for alcohol interlocks

The Austrian government is updating its driver licensing laws in preparation for the launch of its alcohol interlock programme next year. Austria is the eighth EU member state to introduce the measure. The programme, which will run initially for a five-year period, was announced last summer, following successful trials. The legal changes also include separate measures targeted at young and novice drivers.  The driving license probationary period will be extended to three years from the current two.  In addition, moped riders will only be […]

Study confirms importance of coupling interlock programmes with rehabilitation courses

Study confirms importance of coupling interlock programmes with rehabilitation courses

A new report has confirmed that alcohol interlock programmes are most effective at reducing recidivism when combined with rehabilitation programmes. The study, published in Alcoholism: clinical & experimental research, found that in the 12-48 months following the removal of an alcohol interlock, recidivism by those drivers who had also followed an alcohol use disorder programme was 32% lower than those that had only used the interlock device. The research was based on data from the U.S. state of Florida’s alcohol interlock programme.  The Florida […]

Lithuania moves towards zero tolerance on alcohol for all drivers

Lithuania moves towards zero tolerance on alcohol for all drivers

Lithuania is considering extending its zero BAC limit to all drivers. The proposal is one of the measures announced by the leader of the political party that won the general election in October. Commercial and novice drivers are already subject to a zero BAC limit. Other drivers are permitted a maximum level of 0.4 g/l. The Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania and Slovakia are the only other European countries that apply a zero-tolerance policy across the board. No timetable has been given for when the […]

Young men targeted in Christmas drink drive campaigns

Young men targeted in Christmas drink drive campaigns

Official drink driving campaigns are increasingly using social media to reach target groups. The UK government’s Think! campaign is using events such as major football games and video game launches to point out to young males what they could miss out on if they have one extra pint.  The social media images use messages written on the side of beer glasses to get the message across. The campaign specifically targets young males, as figures show they account for almost two thirds of drink drivers […]

Governments race to outline future plans for self-driving cars

Governments race to outline future plans for self-driving cars

The United States, China, Germany, Australia and the UK are among the countries to have made major announcements on rules governing self-driving cars in recent months, while the EU’s transport commissioner has promised a ‘master plan’ by the end of the year. ETSC says many safety questions remain unanswered. The US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) published a set of guidelines in September that called for voluntary reporting from carmakers on how their systems were tested, how they work and what happens if […]

London plans to phase-out lorries with poor direct-vision

London plans to phase-out lorries with poor direct-vision

In a move designed to boost the safety of cyclists and pedestrians, the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan has announced a new star rating scheme for lorries that could see vehicles with severe blind spots refused access to the city centre. The proposals state that the most dangerous, zero star-rated ‘off-road’ HGVs will be banned from London’s streets entirely by January 2020, and only HGVs meeting the new London Direct Vision Standard of 3 stars or above will be allowed by 2024. Lorries will […]

New video from #Ireland targeting employer responsibility for road safety https://t.co/zg8uUHjv9D @RSAIreland5 hours ago
RT @UNRSC: Photo contest seeks images of speed management initiatives. To contribute, visit: https://t.co/GF1vMT2sDJ #RoadSafety #SlowDown8 hours ago
RT @Bulc_EU: Dinner to celebrate start of chairmanship of @KarimaDelli -TRAN committee @Europarl_EN.Working together to put transport on to…23 hours ago
#Belgium launches a new awareness #campaign to combat #drowsiness at the wheel https://t.co/vMDRJaLGFi @AWSR_be1 day ago
RT @AWSR_be: Huit pays de l’U.E. veulent plus d’aides à la conduite - Moniteur Automobile https://t.co/EgO8PrmxmL via @MoniteurAutomob1 day ago
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