News - Page 13

Drug-driving rules come into effect in England and Wales as Denmark extends rehabilitation programme

Drug-driving rules come into effect in England and Wales as Denmark extends rehabilitation programme

New rules aimed at stopping people driving while on drugs came into force in England and Wales last month. Police will be able to use “drugalyser” devices at the roadside with drivers facing prosecution if they exceed limits set for the presence of eight illegal drugs, including cannabis and cocaine, and eight prescription drugs. The new rules supplement an existing law, under which it is illegal to drive when impaired by any drug. Drug drivers face a fine of up to £5,000, up to […]

Time-over-distance cameras improve safety in Belgium and Scotland

Time-over-distance cameras improve safety in Belgium and Scotland

Two separate studies of the impact of time-over-distance cameras (also known as ‘section control’) in Belgium and Scotland have shown considerable safety benefits. According to the Scottish data from a system installed on the busy A9 highway, excessive speeding – where drivers were tracked travelling at more than 10mph above the speed limit – has fallen by 97%. In Belgium an impact assessment by TM Leuven of a system installed on the E40 motorway found that collisions were reduced by some 15%. The researchers […]

Retrofitting reflective strips on older lorries could save 400 lives – report

Retrofitting reflective strips on older lorries could save 400 lives – report

A report by the Dutch Institute for Road Safety Research (SWOV) for 3M says retrofitting ‘contour markings’ – reflective strips on the edges of lorries – could prevent some 67,000 crashes, 2200 serious injuries and 420 deaths in Europe and the benefits would outweigh the costs overall. New and newly-licensed lorries must already be fitted with the markings in the EU. But the study investigated the benefits of retrofitting to existing older vehicles. See report (with summary in English) Disclosure: 3M is one of […]

EU road safety progress grinding to a halt

EU road safety progress grinding to a halt

Road deaths fell by a negligible 1% in the EU last year according to new data released today by the European Commission. The drastic slowdown in progress puts at risk the region’s target of halving road deaths by 2020. Commenting on the figures, Antonio Avenoso, Executive Director of the European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) said: “While there is no single factor that explains today’s deeply worrying figures there is no doubt that in recent years, the EU and many member states have shifted road […]

‘Dummy’ police can cut speeding

‘Dummy’ police can cut speeding

A pilot project in the Belgian town of Zaventem has found that life-sized, two-dimensional dummies of police officers or police vehicles had a significant positive effect on cutting speeding, and also reduced average speeds. The experiment, run by local police, but assessed by ETSC’s member the Belgian Road Safety Institute (BIVV-IBSR), found that the number of speeding violations were cut in half during the time that a dummy had been placed at a high-risk site but went up again when the dummy was removed. […]

New vehicle technologies and extension of EU infrastructure safety rules could prevent thousands of collisions on motorways

New vehicle technologies and extension of EU infrastructure safety rules could prevent thousands of collisions on motorways

New safety technologies could play a major role in bringing the numbers killed on European motorways down, according to the European Transport Safety Council (ETSC), authors of a new report published today. The new analysis of developments in motorway safety shows that, despite recent progress, around 1900 were killed on motorways in the EU in 2013. The report cites figures from several countries showing that up to 60% of those killed in motorway collisions were not wearing a seatbelt. The authors call on the […]

Road safety videos reflect diverging trends in campaigning

New road safety campaigns from France and Finland take vastly different approaches to getting road safety messages across. The new French video, launched in February, shows in bleak, close-up images the impact of road collisions on several individuals who suffered life changing injuries, and their families. It follows a number of increasingly shocking films released in recent months that have included a class of primary school children wiped out by a car, a fake ‘funeral’ for speeding motorists and a film released by police […]

Aviation safety threatened by ‘race to the bottom’ in crew contracts

Aviation safety threatened by ‘race to the bottom’ in crew contracts

A report by researchers at the University of Ghent into current labour practices in the European aviation industry warns that safety is being compromised by a ‘race to the bottom’ in employment practices. The researchers say pilots, particularly those entering the labour market, are increasingly hired on insecure ‘zero hours’ contracts, are working longer hours in order to pay off large debts accrued during training, and are disinclined to call in sick, report fatigue or even report safety concerns. A patchwork of national rules […]

European Parliament lifts road block on cross border traffic penalties

European Parliament lifts road block on cross border traffic penalties

ETSC and TISPOL – the European Traffic Police Network welcome today’s European Parliament vote to approve a new law enabling police to enforce penalties on foreign motorists who break traffic rules. Non-resident drivers account for approximately 5% of road traffic in the EU but are responsible for 15% of speeding offences, according to European Commission figures. The law is expected to save at least 400 lives a year. The new rules cover offences including speeding, drink driving, using a mobile phone at the wheel […]

Self-driving car zero death claim ‘not realistic’

Self-driving car zero death claim ‘not realistic’

A new report by the University of Michigan warns that self-driving cars will not be a panacea for road deaths, and could even worsen road safety for other drivers during the long transition period. ETSC says policymakers should focus on driver assistance technologies that could save lives today, rather than just looking at technology which is still years away from mass deployment. Technology companies are rushing to invest in autonomous vehicle projects with Apple, Sony and Uber all reportedly establishing significant research efforts in […]

Rise in UK deaths linked to decline in traffic police numbers

Rise in UK deaths linked to decline in traffic police numbers

Cuts in traffic police numbers have been blamed for a rise in those killed and seriously injured on UK roads. Figures revealed in February show that overall deaths in the year to September 2014 rose by 1% with the total number for those killed or serious injured up by 4%. The UK Police Federation told the Independent on Sunday newspaper that cuts in the number of specially trained traffic officers and the merger of traffic units has robbed senior officers of a “vital deterrent” in […]

London announces new lorry safety restrictions

London announces new lorry safety restrictions

Older HGVs will have to be retrofitted with sideguards and improved mirrors, or face being banned from London streets from September it has been announced. All roads in Greater London (except motorways) will be covered by the scheme. It will require vehicles of more than 3.5 tonnes to 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 giving the driver a better view of cyclists and […]

Spanish road death figures flat in 2014

Spanish road death figures flat in 2014

Deaths on Spanish roads declined by just 3 in 2014, with 1131 deaths compared to 1134 in 2013. The government pointed to several explanations for the slow-down in progress including a rise in distracted driving with more people using applications such as Whatsapp at the wheel. An ageing fleet, linked to Spain’s ongoing economic woes, was also blamed. Jesus Monclús, director of ETSC member Fundación Mapfre told the El País newspaper that some measures “lose effectiveness over time” such as the penalty points system introduced […]

Antwerp’s ‘selfie’ speeding signs

Antwerp’s ‘selfie’ speeding signs

In a creative bid to cut urban speeding, the Belgian city of Antwerp has developed digital signs featuring happy and sad ‘selfies’ of city residents.  Members of the public can upload two portrait photos to a special website, which are then used on warning signs. Drivers get a smiley face to say thank you for not speeding, or an angry face if they have exceeded the limit. See: BBC

France announces new road safety measures as deaths rise

France announces new road safety measures as deaths rise

The French government has announced more than twenty new road safety measures following the first national rise in road deaths in over a decade. The number of deaths on French roads rose by 3.7 percent – to a total of 3,388 people – in 2014, according to figures released by the Interior Ministry. Vulnerable road users were disproportionately affected with pedestrian deaths rising by 8 percent and cyclists by 7 percent. The measures announced include a plan to reduce the speed limit on some […]

Italian campaign backs ISA

Italian campaign backs ISA

A coalition of scientists, safety campaigners and environmental groups in Italy is calling for national and European action to introduce Intelligent Speed Assistance (ISA). The group warns that Italy has a higher share of urban road deaths than the EU average and that half of those killed are pedestrians and cyclists. The appeal also says that the necessary technologies, notably GPS and electronic engine control have become so widespread as to make the barriers to introduction ‘obsolete’. Appeal website (website in Italian, appeal text […]

30 km/h limits gaining rapid acceptance across Europe

30 km/h limits gaining rapid acceptance across Europe

Milan is the latest European city to announce plans to introduce 30 km/h zones. The new limits will start to be introduced by March according to an announcement last month. The city’s move reflects growing acceptance of the lower urban speed limits in cities and countries across Europe. The changes follow a decision by the city council of Edinburgh, the Scottish capital, to extend 20 mph (32 km/h) zones to cover some 80% of the city’s streets, including the entire city centre.  Paris also […]

“Worst possible time” to increase Spanish motorway speed limits

“Worst possible time” to increase Spanish motorway speed limits

Spain’s highest government advisory body, the Council of State, has asked the Spanish government to reconsider plans to increase the speed limit on some parts of the motorway network to 130 km/h, saying that it could lead to a higher rate of collisions. The Council also criticised the proposal for failing to take into account the cost of changing speed limit signs, and said the move would lead to a decrease in risk awareness among drivers. The Spanish association of road accident victims also […]

German minister rules out end to unlimited motorway speeds

German minister rules out end to unlimited motorway speeds

Alexander Dobrindt, the federal transport minister, has ruled out putting an end to unlimited speeds on some parts of the German motorway network despite evidence that death rates are higher on sections without limits. In an interview published in Bild – accompanied by a picture of the minister reclining on the bonnet of his BMW – Dobrindt said, “German highways are among the safest in the world.” But ETSC’s German member DVR said last year that deaths are 25% higher on stretches of Germany […]

Study recommends EU action on tyre safety

Study recommends EU action on tyre safety

Requiring in-vehicle Tyre Pressure Monitoring Systems (TPMS) that can react to quick deflation in seconds rather than minutes is among the recommendations on improving tyre-related safety made to the European Commission in a study by Dutch researchers TNO. The researchers said the major safety concern of inflation pressure is “quick deflation that can lead to tyre blowout failure or vehicle instabilities. Tyre Pressure Monitoring Systems can detect such events, however the current regulation prescribes a detection time of 10 minutes while a safety critical […]

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