News - Page 2

Award-winning Switzerland u-turns on alcohol interlocks

Award-winning Switzerland u-turns on alcohol interlocks

Switzerland has announced plans to cancel implementation of an alcohol interlock programme for convicted drink drivers one week after receiving ETSC’s PIN Award for long-term efforts to reduce road safety. In a report published on 28 June, the Swiss government published a report showing its Via Secura programme had been successful in cutting collisions. At the same the government announced that it was cancelling plans to introduce an alcohol interlock programme for drink driving offenders in 2019 citing cost concerns. The announcement came just […]

Alcohol interlock programmes finally get a boost in France

Alcohol interlock programmes finally get a boost in France

Three French départements are trialling wider use of alcohol interlocks in the fight against drink driving offences. Drivers who have had their license suspended for a drink driving offence will be able to get back behind the wheel if they agree to install an alcohol interlock at their own expense and to accept medical and psychological check-ups. The programme, which requires authorisation of a doctor and the local administrator responsible for driving licenses, should lead to more drivers using the devices. Judges in criminal […]

Up to 40% of road deaths in Europe are work-related

Up to 40% of road deaths in Europe are work-related

As EU road death figures stagnate, employers are essential to tackling road risk according to new report. Switzerland recognised with European award for long term progress on improving road safety. As new figures show road deaths in the European Union have not decreased in three years, a report from the European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) says employers, national governments and the European Union must step-up efforts to tackle the problem of work-related road risk. 25,671 lives were lost on the road in the European […]

New calls for a lower drink driving limit in England and Wales

New calls for a lower drink driving limit in England and Wales

The legal drink drive limit should be lowered in England and Wales to help cut alcohol-related collisions according to an association of English local councils and fire and rescue authorities. The Local Government Association (LGA), which represents more than 370 councils and all fire and rescue authorities in England and Wales, is calling on the Government to drop the current Blood Alcohol Limit (BAC) from 0.8 to 0.5g/l. England and Wales have one of the highest drink drive limits in the world and the […]

Irish drink driving law delayed after pressure from pub owners

Irish drink driving law delayed after pressure from pub owners

The Irish transport minister Shane Ross has criticised pub owners for pressure which has led to delays in the passing of a new drink driving law in the Irish parliament. The new proposals, announced earlier this year, would see drivers caught with a blood alcohol level between the legal limit of 0.5g/l and 0.8g/l receiving an automatic three month ban. Under current laws such drivers receive only penalty points and a fine, with bans only automatically issued for drivers found with higher BAC levels.  […]

EU sets new target to cut serious road injuries

EU sets new target to cut serious road injuries

European Union transport ministers have formally agreed to set a target of halving the number of serious injuries on roads in the EU by 2030 from their 2020 level. In ‘council conclusions‘ adopted today, ministers formally endorsed the Valletta declaration on improving road safety, issued at an informal meeting organised by the Maltese presidency on 29 March 2017. Ministers also called on the European Commission to come forward with a new road safety strategy for the decade 2020-2030. Antonio Avenoso, Executive Director of ETSC, […]

Spain looking to apply zero tolerance alcohol limits for novice and professional drivers

Spain looking to apply zero tolerance alcohol limits for novice and professional drivers

The Spanish Director General of Traffic has announced new measures targeted at reducing drink driving. The plans, announced following a meeting of the government’s road safety committee in May, include cutting the drink drive limit for professional and novice drivers to zero and suspending the driving licenses of anyone caught drink driving twice in two years. Traffic victims groups said the measures do not go far enough, and that drivers ‘don’t care’ if they lose their driving license. They recommend confiscating vehicles from repeat […]

83% of drink drivers are men

83% of drink drivers are men

New figures from Belgium confirm that drink driving remains an overwhelmingly male problem representing 83% of those caught drink driving. The data, revealed by interior minister Jan Jambon in March, showed men made up an even higher proportion of drug drivers (94%). Data from across Europe has shown that men in general are more prone to risky behaviour on the roads.   But exposure also plays a role, as men are more likely to drive and drive more than women, on average. Research by ETSC […]

Industry, NGOs and cities call for urgent action on vehicle safety standards

Industry, NGOs and cities call for urgent action on vehicle safety standards

A coalition of industry, NGOs, consumer groups and cities are calling on the European Commission to urgently bring forward new minimum safety standards for new cars, vans and trucks, after years of delays. The European Commission is expected to announce a new package of transport legislation next week, the groups are calling for an announcement on updates to vehicle safety regulations to be included. The letter from groups including the European Association of Automotive Suppliers (CLEPA), the European Cyclists Federation (ECF), POLIS, the European […]

Larger range of cars now offering Intelligent Speed Assistance

Larger range of cars now offering Intelligent Speed Assistance

Citroën, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo are the latest brands to launch vehicles with Intelligent Speed Assistance (ISA). The Citroën C3 is the first supermini class car to feature an ISA system that helps drivers keep within speed limits.  The Citroën system shows the current speed limit and then lets the driver choose if they would like to set the speed limiter to the new limit. ETSC says this additional step is unnecessary and could dissuade drivers from engaging the system. Other recent models from the […]

France to restrict smart phone apps from sharing temporary police check locations

France to restrict smart phone apps from sharing temporary police check locations

France has notified the European Commission that it intends to introduce measures to prevent driving apps from sharing the location of temporary police checks and mobile safety cameras. Apps and portable GPS devices that show the location of fixed safety cameras are already prohibited in France. The new measures would enable the police to block zones of 20km across for a period of 24 hours to prevent sharing of the location of temporary controls via apps such as Waze and Coyote. The government says […]

WHO backs ISA

WHO backs ISA

The World Health Organisation has backed in-car technologies including Intelligent Speed Assistance and Autonomous Emergency Braking as key measures for cutting the 1.25 million deaths that occur  on roads across the globe each year. In a new report published to coincide with the Fourth UN Global Road Safety Week in May the organisation also recommended infrastructure changes, appropriate speed limits and automated and manual enforcement. The WHO says excessive or inappropriate speed contributes to one in three road traffic deaths worldwide. “Speed is at […]

Transport ministers ask European Commission to ‘accelerate’ work on new vehicle safety rules

Transport ministers ask European Commission to ‘accelerate’ work on new vehicle safety rules

Ministers of transport from the 28 EU countries have backed a range of measures to reduce deaths and serious injuries linked to speeding in a declaration issued at an informal meeting in Malta in March. In the ‘Valetta Declaration on Road Safety’, ministers undertake to “expand and integrate reduced speed limits such as 30km/h, into high risk areas” and call on the European Commission to accelerate work on new vehicle safety requirements which were last updated in 2009. The declaration also calls for technologies […]

Lithuania plans roll-out of time-over-distance cameras

Lithuania plans roll-out of time-over-distance cameras

The Lithuanian Road Administration has published a draft list of 25 stretches of roads where it plans to install safety cameras that detect average speed. The country has been trialling the system on a dangerous stretch of the Via Baltica motorway since last year – and will now expand the programme. Research carried out in Belgium and Scotland in 2015 has shown that time-over-distance cameras have considerable safety benefits.   An extensive Norwegian study published in 2014 found the introduction of the system reduced […]

UK survey reveals many drivers exceeding 20 mph limits

UK survey reveals many drivers exceeding 20 mph limits

A survey commissioned by road safety charity Brake has found that more than half (52%) of UK drivers admit to speeding in 20 mph zones. The survey of 2,000 drivers also showed that 8 in 10 (78%) think traffic is too fast in their neighbourhood for the safety of children on foot or bike. According to Brake, research has found that children cannot judge the speed of approaching vehicles travelling faster than 20mph, so may believe it is safe to cross when it is […]

Shock or humour? Belgian campaign lets the viewer decide

Shock or humour? Belgian campaign lets the viewer decide

Does graphic imagery and a serious message work better than light-hearted themes when it comes to successful campaigns to change road user behaviour? A new Belgian campaign has been launched with two endings and viewers are being asked to vote for the most effective. The social media campaign begins in a car with a young driver and passengers. The passengers encourage the driver to slow down, but he initially ignores them. To select what happens next, log on to https://www.ralentissezsinon.be/ and pick your ending. […]

Ireland considers linking speeding fines to income

Ireland considers linking speeding fines to income

Ireland’s Road Safety Authority (RSA), an ETSC member, says it is seriously considering making proposals to link speeding fines to income. The announcement follows changes to the structure of speeding fines in the UK that came into force last month. The UK has had income-linked speeding fines for some time, but the levels were increased last month for the most serious offences.  Drivers can now be fined up to 175% of their weekly income, for example for driving at 101 mph on the motorway […]

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 […]

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