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EU health ministers call for new alcohol strategy

EU health ministers call for new alcohol strategy

EU health ministers have formally called on the European Commission to launch a comprehensive EU strategy dedicated to the reduction of alcohol-related harm by the end of 2016, following a similar request from the European Parliament in April. The last EU-wide alcohol programme officially ended in 2012 and has not been replaced. Ministers said the strategy should tackle the health, social and economic consequences of the harmful use of alcohol and focus on initiatives with a cross-border dimension. The Council also called upon member […]

Disqualified drivers in Ireland to be named and shamed

Disqualified drivers in Ireland to be named and shamed

The Irish Road Safety Authority (RSA) intends to start “naming and shaming” disqualified motorists on its website from early next year, after consultation with the national Data Protection Commissioner indicated there is “no obstacle” to doing so. Moyagh Murdock, chief executive of the RSA, said the plans for printing the names of disqualified drivers would act as a deterrent. “We want to see a societal change, a cultural change in people’s attitudes,” she said. The Irish parliament’s joint committee on transport and communications was […]

Two studies warn on implications of in-vehicle distraction

Two studies warn on implications of in-vehicle distraction

Better data collection on the role of distraction in collisions across the EU and a standardised interface to fix and connect mobile devices to the car dashboard are two of the recommendations of a new report on countermeasures for in-vehicle distraction for the European Commission. The study, by TRL, TNO and Rapp-Trans, published last month says data on how many collisions involve distraction is poor but experts estimate that it plays a role in 10-30% of them. The authors suggest promoting ‘Distracted by device’ […]

New safety reporting rules for airline staff

New safety reporting rules for airline staff

Pilots and other airline professionals should be more inclined to report safety concerns to their airline or national civil aviation body thanks to new EU rules on the reporting of safety ‘occurrences’ which came into force earlier this month. The new Occurrence Reporting Regulation (EU Reg. 376/2014) is a comprehensive framework and a set of standards for reporting, collecting, storing, protecting and disseminating the relevant safety information. It also introduces requirements on information analysis and adoption of follow-up safety actions at national level. According […]

Five member states fail on driving license rules

Five member states fail on driving license rules

The European Commission has decided to refer the Czech Republic, Estonia, Italy, Portugal and Slovenia to the Court of Justice of the European Union for failing to correctly transpose European rules on driving licences. In particular, the Czech Republic failed to ensure in the period 2004-2011 that driving licences were only issued to people residing in the Czech Republic. This is crucial to combat so-called “driving licence tourism”. Driving licences issued in the past in contradiction with the Directive 2006/126/EC which are still valid […]

World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims 2015

World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims 2015

The World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims (WDR) is commemorated on the third Sunday of November each year – to remember the many millions killed and injured on the world’s roads, together with their families and the many others also affected. This Sunday 15 November, we celebrate the 20th anniversary of the World Day being observed internationally and the 10th anniversary since its recognition by the United Nations. Professor Herman De Croo, Belgian Minister of State and president of ETSC said: “Today […]

WHO urges governments to require minimum vehicle safety standards

WHO urges governments to require minimum vehicle safety standards

The World Health Organisation (WHO) is calling on governments around the world to apply the UN’s most important vehicle safety regulations. In its 2015 Global Status Report on Road Safety (published 19 October) the WHO reveals “worrying data showing that less than half of countries implement minimum standards” and warns that “Governments have a responsibility to take the steps needed to ensure their citizens have access to safe vehicles”. Using seven priority vehicle safety standards recommended by Global NCAP, the WHO has carried out […]

Death of minister’s police outrider causes outrage in Romania

Death of minister’s police outrider causes outrage in Romania

Romania’s president advised the country’s interior minister to resign earlier this week amid widespread public anger over the death of a police officer who was escorting the minister’s motorcade. According to a report by the Associated Press, President Klaus Iohannis told reporters he summoned for talks and advised him to resign. The government’s communication about the case had been “catastrophic”, he added. The 28 year-old policeman Bogdan Gigina died after riding his motorbike into a hole at road works on 20 October while in […]

Opinion: Has ISA’s time finally come?

Opinion: Has ISA’s time finally come?

Antonio Avenoso, Executive Director For years, speed has been recognised as one of the three main contributing factors to deaths on our roads. And for more than a decade, ETSC has been advocating the benefits of Intelligent Speed Assistance (ISA), a driver assistance system that a 2014 Norwegian study found to be the ‘most effective’ in saving lives. We are optimistic that 2016 could prove to be a turning point in wide adoption of the technology. ISA uses a speed sign-recognition video camera and/or […]

Volkswagen announces third party audit of US safety compliance

Volkswagen announces third party audit of US safety compliance

The Volkswagen Group has said it will commission an outside audit of its compliance with US safety reporting laws following allegations by Bloomberg that it failed to report lawsuits involving safety issues to the US regulator. Bloomberg reviewed 13 random lawsuits filed against Volkswagen in the last 11 years. Volkswagen had reported nine of them to the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Four couldn’t be found in the database. They involved one death and three injuries described in lawsuits filed in 2007, […]

New project targets young road users

New project targets young road users

Reducing the dangers facing younger road users is the focus of a new ETSC project, known as YEARS, which was launched at an event in Brussels in October. The project, in partnership with technical universities across Europe, will work with students to develop projects in their local area aimed at improving the safety of young road users.  The project also aims to encourage policymakers to develop road safety policies that specifically target this group. Divera Twisk, an expert from the SWOV Institute for Road […]

Reducing road deaths and injuries at work – five companies recognised

Reducing road deaths and injuries at work – five companies recognised

The European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) has announced the 2015 winners of its PRAISE awards recognising organisations that have taken outstanding measures to improve road safety at work. The winners, together with highlights of their road safety programmes are as follows: Large company award: OMV Petrom, Romania Sector: Oil and gas Programme highlights: integrated vehicle monitoring system covers 10,000 drivers; road safety requirements for contractors; no road related deaths or serious injuries in last three years. Public authority award: Transport for London, United Kingdom […]

Speed limits on German motorways in the spotlight again

Speed limits on German motorways in the spotlight again

A poll by YouGov has found that the majority of Germans would, for the first time, support a speed limit on those sections of German motorways that are currently unlimited – but only if it was set at 150 km/h, 20 km/h more than the current highest speed limit found in Europe. ETSC’s German member DVR has said that deaths are 25% higher on stretches of Germany motorways that have no speed limit compared to those with limits. 40 percent would support a limit […]

ISA-fitted cars start to hit showrooms

ISA-fitted cars start to hit showrooms

Cars fitted with fully-fledged Intelligent Speed Assistance (ISA) systems are starting to arrive in showrooms. The latest version of Ford’s S-Max and Galaxy, and Volvo’s XC90 can come factory-fitted with camera and GPS-based systems that alert the driver to the current speed limit and help prevent him or her from exceeding it. The systems can be activated and deactivated by the driver using steering wheel controls in a similar way to existing manual speed limiter and cruise control systems. Both vehicles have been awarded […]

Safety camera boost in France, Luxembourg and Portugal

Safety camera boost in France, Luxembourg and Portugal

France and Portugal are increasing the numbers of police speed enforcement cameras and Luxembourg has presented a bill to introduce the technology for the first time. France will add 500 fixed speed cameras over the next three years, taking the total to 4700, according to an announcement made by the Prime Minister Manuel Valls earlier this month. In addition, between 10,000 and 12,000 decoy units will also be installed – with the potential for cameras to be moved between units. The intention is to […]

Lithuania referred to European Court of Justice over rail safety failings

Lithuania referred to European Court of Justice over rail safety failings

The European Commission has decided to refer Lithuania to the Court of Justice of the EU for failure to correctly implement European rules on rail safety. Under EU rules, Member States must establish a safety authority and an independent accident and incident investigation body as well as defining common principles for the management, regulation and supervision of railway safety. Lithuania is accused of not ensuring the independence of the investigation body and, in doing so, preventing the transparent investigation of serious accidents and incidents.

30 km/h zones: the latest from around Europe

30 km/h zones: the latest from around Europe

30 km/h zones are continuing to spread across Europe with developments in recent months in Belgium, Spain and the UK  – but implementation is sometimes hampered by bureaucracy. The Spanish city of Valencia introduced a 30 km/h zone across the entire historic centre district in September. The decision is designed to improve safety, reduce pollution, encourage shoppers to visit the area on foot and discourage transit traffic from crossing the city through the centre. The eventual aim is to limit all traffic to authorised […]

MEPs renew calls for serious road injury reduction target

MEPs renew calls for serious road injury reduction target

The European Parliament has reiterated calls for a pan-European target to cut serious road injuries.  In a vote today on a review of European transport policy since 2011, MEPs called for, “the swift adoption of a 2020 target of a 40 % reduction in the number of people seriously injured, accompanied by a fully fledged EU strategy.” Since 2010 the number of people seriously injured on EU roads has been reduced by just 1.6%, compared to an 18% decrease in the number of road […]

UN to back 2020 goal to halve road deaths and injuries worldwide

UN to back 2020 goal to halve road deaths and injuries worldwide

The United Nations will adopt its first formal target to cut road deaths and injuries when it adopts a far-reaching package of sustainable development goals (SDGs) at its general assembly later this month. The ambitious global target to ‘halve the number of global deaths and injuries from road traffic accidents’ by 2020 will apply to all member states of the United Nations. The baseline year is 2010. The target falls under Goal 3 of the SDGs: ‘Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all […]

London requires lorry side guards and upgraded mirrors to protect cyclists

London requires lorry side guards and upgraded mirrors to protect cyclists

HGVs without safety equipment to protect cyclists and pedestrians were banned throughout London from September under Britain’s first “Safer Lorry Scheme”. Vehicles of more than 3.5 tonnes entering London must now be fitted with sideguards to protect cyclists from being dragged under the wheels in the event of a collision, along with Class V and Class VI mirrors to give the driver a better view of cyclists and pedestrians. Transport for London (TfL) is also planning to require lorries to be fitted with larger […]

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