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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 […]

Deaths on European railways continue to decline

Deaths on European railways continue to decline

Deaths on European railways dropped by 9% last year, according to new data released by the International Union of Railways. Deaths have fallen by 26% since 2010, while train kilometres have increased slightly over the same period. 80% of deaths last year were caused by what the UIC calls ‘external factors’, mainly trespassing on railways and collisions at level crossings.

Belgium and The Netherlands introduce new rules for fast electric bikes

Belgium and The Netherlands introduce new rules for fast electric bikes

Fast electric bikes that can travel up to 45km/h will be treated the same as mopeds according to new rules in place in Belgium from last month, and in The Netherlands from next year. The new rules for ‘speed pedelecs’ in Belgium require riders to be over 16 years of age, have a valid driving license for a moped and wear a helmet.  The vehicle must also be registered and insured. The rules for so-called ‘pedelecs’, electric bikes offering pedal assistance up to a […]

Report supports calls for an EU target to reduce serious road injuries

Report supports calls for an EU target to reduce serious road injuries

Newly-published research carried out for the European Commission recommends that the EU should set a target to reduce the number of people seriously injured in road collisions. 135,000 people were seriously injured on European roads in 2014, according to figures published by the European Commission for the first time in April. While the number of deaths on European roads has fallen dramatically over the last decade, serious injuries have declined at a much slower rate.  Official targets to reduce road deaths have been in […]

Berlin hails police cycling patrols

Berlin hails police cycling patrols

A pilot project involving specialist police cycling patrols in central Berlin has been hailed as a success as figures showed a reduction in severe injuries of around 30%. Twenty police officers on bikes are involved in the project which launched in Summer 2014. They focus on enforcement such as ensuring drivers do not block cycle paths and cyclists do not jump red lights. The project is due to end next year, but supporters of the scheme are calling on the city government to extend […]

The US government wants a mobile phone ‘Driver Mode’ to reduce distraction

The US government wants a mobile phone ‘Driver Mode’ to reduce distraction

The US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has issued new guidelines aimed at encouraging phone manufacturers to introduce an automatic ‘Driver Mode’ to cut down on distracting apps and messages while driving. The proposals, announced earlier this month, are voluntary. They envisage a simplified display, and a block on distracting apps, both of which could be activated automatically while driving.  Samsung’s popular Galaxy series of phones offer a drive mode already but it must be activated manually. Apple’s ubiquitous iPhone has no such feature, […]

REVIVE: ETSC launches a new programme focused on post-collision care

REVIVE: ETSC launches a new programme focused on post-collision care

World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims – Sunday 20 November 2016 ETSC is launching a new three-year initiative aimed at improving emergency response time to road collisions, and post-collision care for victims. The announcement has been made ahead of the World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims, taking place on 20 November. The theme of this year’s World Day is promoting the vital post-crash actions of medical care, investigation and justice. Around 135,000 people suffered a life-changing, serious injury on Europe’s […]

Stockholm, Vienna, Berlin and Dublin top European capital city safety ranking

Stockholm, Vienna, Berlin and Dublin top European capital city safety ranking

A new analysis of road deaths rates in European capitals has found a wide range of safety levels.  Stockholm (0.7) and Vienna (1.1) lead the ranking in terms of deaths per 100,000 inhabitants, with Berlin and Dublin (1.2) sharing third place. At the bottom end of the spectrum are Zagreb (6.0)*, Rome (4.8) and Nicosia (4.6).  Rome recently announced a Vision Zero programme to cut road deaths. The European Capital Brussels lies in the bottom half of the ranking with 2.6 deaths per 100,000, […]

#Spain: 7 in 10 drivers don't respect speed limits around schools, parks and residential areas https://t.co/r8aI1ljjFG @fmapfre2 months ago
Great to see @WHO endorsing Intelligent Speed Assistance as a key technology for tackling road deaths.… https://t.co/VMp8YwqOQQ2 months ago
It's UN Road Safety Week @UNGRSW. Pledge to #SlowDown and Save Lives. Here's a technology that can help.… https://t.co/0HPxbgyqNz2 months ago
RT @4roadsafety: Lord Robertson welcomes the launch of the Global Network for #roadsafety Legislators & the Manifesto #4RoadSafety https://…2 months ago
RT @WHO_Europe: Road traffic injuries are the leading killer among children and young people aged 5–29 years #SlowDown2 months ago
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