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Opinion: Free mobile roaming shows the EU can be a consumer champion; safer cars should be next

Opinion: Free mobile roaming shows the EU can be a consumer champion; safer cars should be next

By Antonio Avenoso, ETSC Executive Director It’s done. A defining moment in the history of the European Union took place earlier this month. No, not the UK’s Article 50 letter, nor Emmanuel Macron’s victory in the first round of the French presidential election.  On 25 April, EU member states approved a final deal to end mobile phone roaming charges from June this year.  Could this small victory for consumers signal the start of a new chapter for the EU? So often seen as technocratic […]

Fatigue risk from new driver hours rules

Fatigue risk from new driver hours rules

More than a thousand bus, coach, truck drivers and their union representatives gathered outside the European Commission’s HQ in Brussels earlier this week in protest over fears that new EU rules will lead to shorter rest times and increased fatigue. The European Transport Workers Federation, a trade union, says the European Commission’s new Road Initiative , expected to be launched on 31 May, contains a bundle of measures meant to shorten weekly rest periods for drivers and extend their driving time. The ETF says […]

France: Call for presidential candidates to back mobile phone driving ban for employees

France: Call for presidential candidates to back mobile phone driving ban for employees

Association Prévention Routière, ETSC’s French member organisation, has published a list of road safety priorities for the Presidential election candidates. The proposals include a ban on use of mobile phones while driving by all company employees and a target of zero children killed on French roads. Some major corporations have already banned their employees from using mobile phone (including hands free kits) at the wheel, including Unilever, the multinational consumer goods company. The manifesto was sent to all presidential candidates. Eight out of eleven […]

Netherlands and Spain advance autonomous vehicle plans

Netherlands and Spain advance autonomous vehicle plans

The Netherlands may soon allow testing of autonomous vehicles without a driver on board and the Spanish government is working on a strategic plan for driverless and connected vehicles. Autonomous car tests have been possible in the Netherlands since 2015, though a driver was required to be in the driving seat at all times. The new proposal from transport minister Melanie Schultz van Haegen is for cars to operate with a “remote driver”. Companies will have to apply for a special license which will […]

Nominations now open for European road safety at work awards

Nominations now open for European road safety at work awards

ETSC has launched nominations for this year’s PRAISE awards in recognition of organisations that have made an outstanding commitment to improving work-related road safety. The competition is divided into three separate categories according to the size and type of the applicant organisations: SME (Small-Medium Enterprise), large company and public authority. The winners will be chosen by an independent panel of experts appointed by ETSC. Prioritising road safety can help the bottom line, improve working conditions for staff, and boost customer satisfaction. Winners are invited to a high-profile event in Brussels, which […]

UK House of Lords reality check on self-driving cars

UK House of Lords reality check on self-driving cars

A new report published by the UK’s upper house of parliament has warned that the safety and economic benefits of automated vehicles are unproven and urges the government to “not lose sight” of other possibilities to reduce road casualties. The sixty page report for the House of Lords Science and Technology Select Committee says the government needs to implement a ‘joined-up’, wider transport strategy that puts the development of autonomous vehicles within the context of broader goals. The current approach, focussing on autonomous passenger […]

Tunnel named in memory of Panos Mylonas

Tunnel named in memory of Panos Mylonas

A major new highway was inaugurated in Greece earlier this month running between Corinth and Patra. One of the tunnels along the route has been named in memory of Panos Mylonas, whose death in 2004 in a road crash inspired the creation of the road safety organisation RSI Panos Mylonas, ETSC’s long-standing member organisation in Greece. Vassiliki Danelli-Mylona, Panos’s mother and the organisation’s founder told Greek media: “It’s a special moment, very emotional for us and a vindication that strengthens us and gives us […]

ETSC outlines ways of reducing deaths in single motor vehicle collisions

ETSC outlines ways of reducing deaths in single motor vehicle collisions

A third of road deaths in the EU happen in collisions that involve a single motorised vehicle where the driver/rider and/or passengers are killed but no other road users are involved. These Single Vehicle Collisions (SVCs), and how to prevent them occurring, are the subject of a new report from ETSC, published today. Nearly 7300 road users lost their lives in 2015 in SVCs in the EU with around 100,000 such deaths occurring over the last ten years according to the data revealed in […]

32 Dutch organisations call for increased enforcement on road safety

32 Dutch organisations call for increased enforcement on road safety

Road safety experts including the Institute for Road Safety Research (SWOV), drivers groups, insurers, cities and other stakeholders including the public prosecutor’s office have published a road safety manifesto for The Netherlands in response to poor recent performance by the country in cutting road deaths. Road deaths in The Netherlands increased by 9% in 2015, and declined by just 3% over the five years 2010-15. The coalition is calling for better enforcement of drink driving offences, improvements to infrastructure – especially for cyclists, 30km […]

New Spanish safety cameras to detect seat belt use

New Spanish safety cameras to detect seat belt use

Spain has installed 225 new safety cameras this month that can detect whether or not drivers are wearing a seat belt. The cameras are being installed at high-risk sites and areas with high traffic concentration. For the first two months after the launch, drivers pictured without a seat belt will be sent a warning letter. After that, fines of EUR 200 will be issued along with the loss of three driving license points. According to official figures for 2015, 22% of deaths on inter-urban […]

Mandatory helmets for under-12s in France

Mandatory helmets for under-12s in France

Children under twelve are now required to wear a cycle helmet in France under legal changes that came into force on 22 March. Spain began requiring helmets for under-16s in 2014, and a number of other EU member states have had bicycle helmet laws for youngsters for several years including Sweden, Slovenia and the Czech Republic. In Malta, all riders are required to wear a helmet.

UK: New drivers caught using phones to lose license

UK: New drivers caught using phones to lose license

Drivers in England, Scotland and Wales caught using their phones at the wheel within two years of passing their test will have their driving license taken away under a new law that came into force on 1 March. Penalties for other drivers have also been doubled to GBP 200 and six penalty points. Responding to the new British law, the Irish transport minister Shane Ross said he is open to imposing similar measures in Ireland. ETSC’s German member DVR called in January for fines […]

Transport ministers call for target to reduce serious road injuries

Transport ministers call for target to reduce serious road injuries

Valetta – The European Transport Safety Council has welcomed a call by the 28 EU ministers of transport for a long term target and action to cut serious injuries on European roads by 2030. In a declaration signed in the Maltese capital Valletta today, transport ministers recommitted to an existing EU target to halve roads deaths by 2020 and also promised long term targets for reducing deaths and, for the first time, serious injuries by half by 2030. Yesterday, the European Commission published new […]

EU road death figures: third year of poor results

EU road death figures: third year of poor results

Valletta – The European Commission has published new data showing that deaths on EU roads fell by just 2% last year, following a 1% increase in 2015. According to ETSC analysis, road deaths will now need to fall by 11.5% a year in order to meet the EU target of cutting deaths by half in the decade to 2020. Commenting on the publication of the latest figures, Antonio Avenoso, Executive Director of the European Transport Safety Council said: “With around 500 deaths on EU […]

Governments urged to step up fight against drug driving

Governments urged to step up fight against drug driving

Increased levels of enforcement, specialist rehabilitation programmes and more investment in research and data collection are needed to tackle drug driving in Europe according to the European Transport Safety Council (ETSC), authors of a new report. 500 people a week die on European roads; 26,000 annually. Drug driving is responsible for a significant share of deaths. Psychoactive drugs are detected in around 15% of killed and seriously injured drivers. Between 3 and 16% of drivers say they have driven under the influence of drugs […]

Opinion: Eight-year-old vehicle safety standards need an urgent upgrade

Opinion: Eight-year-old vehicle safety standards need an urgent upgrade

By Antonio Avenoso, ETSC Executive Director After the political turmoil of recent months, 2009, the year of Barack Obama’s inauguration, seems like another age. Back then only a handful of people had heard of Uber, Tesla’s plan for an ‘Autopilot’ feature or Google’s self-driving car project. Technological change, particularly in the car industry, has continued at a dizzying pace since then. But somehow, the European Commission didn’t get the memo. 2009 was also, believe it or not, the year of the last major revision […]

Several countries looking to crack down on mobile phone use at the wheel

Several countries looking to crack down on mobile phone use at the wheel

A ban on mobile phone use while driving, tougher enforcement and a driving mode for devices are some of the options being explored by governments around Europe as data show distracted driving’s deadly impact continues unabated. The Dutch Transport Minister Melanie Schultz van Haegen told the AD newspaper last November that the government was considering several options to reduce the risk of distracted driving, including a full ban or requiring that certain features, such as Pokémon Go, be switched off automatically above a certain […]

Commission reveals country-by-country serious road injury rates

Commission reveals country-by-country serious road injury rates

The European Commission’s latest road safety scorecard reveals, for the first time, estimated figures for rates of serious injury per million inhabitants broken down by country for 16 EU member states. The data act as a further reminder of the scale of the problem, with rates of serious injury dwarfing the numbers killed. The data is based on MAIS3+, a common definition of a serious injury now being used for comparison across the EU. EU transport commissioner Violeta Bulc told the European Parliament in […]

Professional training for truckers should be extended to van drivers

Professional training for truckers should be extended to van drivers

Earlier this month, the European Commission published a proposal to revise qualification and training rules for lorry and bus drivers. ETSC welcomed the initiative but says the rules should be extended to van drivers and include elements on avoiding distraction. Data from 2014 show that 3,863 people were killed in collisions involving HGVs of more than 3.5 tons and 751 in those involving buses and coaches. But ETSC points out that more die in collisions involving vans, than with lorries (nearly 4,000 in 2012).  […]

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 […]

#Ireland: Motorists can now be tested for driving under the influence of drugs https://t.co/egAfbBkJj7 #DrugDriving #Enforcement5 hours ago
A new highway tunnel in Greece has been named after Panos Mylonas, whose death in 2004 led to the creation of a maj… https://t.co/3cbiUj4h7i6 hours ago
Spanish Supreme Court: It's a crime against #RoadSafety to refuse the second breath test if the first was positive https://t.co/8rrvS46EVn1 day ago
France and Ireland step up roadside drug testing. #drugdriving @RSAIreland @Preventionrout https://t.co/MyEDGbwrQC https://t.co/26h2kvbYkX1 day ago
#Ireland: #Cyclists demand action over number of road deaths https://t.co/2DXmbxSKMK #RoadSafety1 day ago
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