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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, […]

Asking The Pope to support action on road deaths and serious injuries

Asking The Pope to support action on road deaths and serious injuries

ETSC Executive Director Antonio Avenoso and Project Manager Francesca Podda met His Holiness Pope Francis at the Vatican today. Mr Avenoso expressed to His Holiness the scale of the impact of road deaths and serious injuries on millions of families in Europe and around the world and stressed the importance of continued efforts to improve road safety. Mr Avenoso said: “It was a great honour to meet His Holiness Pope Francis. Road deaths and serious injuries devastate the lives of millions in Europe and […]

Germany to Tesla: “Stop using the name Autopilot”

Germany to Tesla: “Stop using the name Autopilot”

The German Transport Minister Alexander Dobrindt has written to Tesla calling on the company to stop using the ‘misleading’ term ‘Autopilot’ in its advertising. According to Reuters, the letter was sent last month and was followed by a letter from the KBA – The German Federal Motor Transport Authority – to all Tesla owners warning that their cars could not be operated without their ‘constant attention’. Tesla has apparently rejected the request to change the name of its system – the German version of […]

HGVs: Widespread tachograph manipulation detected in Germany; Belgium fights overloading

HGVs: Widespread tachograph manipulation detected in Germany; Belgium fights overloading

One in four lorries checked on German roads last year showed signs of tachograph manipulation according to a report published by the German transport ministry in September. 22,000 trucks were checked specifically for the tachograph records, with issues detected on 5533 vehicles. Experts cited by DPA, the German news agency, suggested that tachograph software could be hacked. But the Federal Office of Goods Transport (BAG) did not specify how the devices had been altered. In Belgium’s Wallonia region, new dynamic weighing systems are helping […]

Commission consults on maritime safety legislation

Commission consults on maritime safety legislation

The European Commission has opened a public consultation on maritime safety as part of its ‘refit’ deregulation exercise. The consultation exercise will cover areas of legislation including investigation of accidents, vessel traffic monitoring and minimum training for ship crew. The Commission says the ‘Fitness Check’ of EU maritime legislation will ‘identify any excessive burdens, inconsistencies and obsolete or (cost) ineffective measures in the policy area being considered’. The deadline for submissions is 8 January. https://ec.europa.eu/transport/modes/maritime/consultations/2016-refit_en

Belgium takes action on speeding

Belgium takes action on speeding

New technology and legal changes are the latest weapons in the fight against speeding in Belgium, with new safety cameras being trialled in the Northern region of Flanders and a change to the legal status of speeding fines in French-speaking Wallonia. Four police zones in Flanders have installed safety cameras with an invisible infra-red flash system, reports DHnet.be. The system is designed to reduce the numbers contesting fines and help prevent dangerous braking near the cameras. At one site, the system was reported to have […]

Speed limit displays on new car models ‘not enough’

Speed limit displays on new car models ‘not enough’

Several new car models launched in recent months come with speed limit information systems fitted as standard, but more needs to be done to encourage installation of full Intelligent Speed Assistance (ISA) which actively helps prevent the driver from speeding, according to ETSC. Both Ford and Volvo launched full ISA systems last year that automatically limit the speed to the local limit using speed sign recognition and GPS data. Ford’s Galaxy and S-Max and Volvo’s XC90 offer the system as standard. But according to […]

Public health groups call for EU target and action on serious road injuries

Public health groups call for EU target and action on serious road injuries

The European Union should urgently come forward with a new target and measures to cut serious road injuries, according to public health and medical experts from across Europe in a letter sent today to the president of the European Commission Jean Claude Juncker. The European Commission published the first official European statistics on the number of people seriously injured in road collisions in the European Union earlier this year. The groups, led by the European Public Health Alliance, say that the figure of 135,000 […]

Let’s go for a European target to reduce serious road injuries

Let’s go for a European target to reduce serious road injuries

ETSC is calling on the European Commission to come forward with a long-awaited target to reduce serious road injuries. The European Commission, for the first time, published a figure in April for the number of people seriously injured on Europe’s roads : 135,000 in 2014. According to ETSC data, the numbers have declined much more slowly than the number of deaths in recent years. ETSC has long argued for the need for a separate pan-European target to reduce serious road injuries, to complement the […]

Awards highlight the companies driving down road collisions at work

Awards highlight the companies driving down road collisions at work

The European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) has announced the 2016 winners of the PRAISE awards, recognising organisations that have taken outstanding measures to improve the safety of their vehicle fleets. The winners will be honoured at a conference and award ceremony to be held in Brussels today Wednesday 19 October. Using the road for business is the leading cause of work-related deaths and injuries.  It is estimated that in Europe six out of ten work accidents resulting in death are road crashes, including both […]

France cracks down on company car speeding

France cracks down on company car speeding

A legal loophole in France that has let many fleet car drivers avoid speeding fines and penalty points is set to be closed. Companies had been able to pay fines on an employee’s behalf without ever identifying the driver.  But that should change following the approval of a new legal text in the National Assembly earlier this month. Around 15% of the French vehicle fleet is thought to be company owned. And the government estimates that 2 million penalty points a year were not […]

German motorway speed limit trial scrapped

German motorway speed limit trial scrapped

Plans to trial a 120km/h speed limit on sections of the A81 and A96 motorways in the German state of Baden-Württemberg have been dropped due to ‘legal concerns’. The trial, announced in January by the Green party transport minister Winfried Hermann, was set to start in the Summer but was cancelled in August following legal advice that resulted in the opposition of the CDU party – who form part of the governing coalition in the state.  Hermann said he now plans to try out […]

#Ireland: Motorists can now be tested for driving under the influence of drugs https://t.co/egAfbBkJj7 #DrugDriving #Enforcement17 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/3cbiUj4h7i18 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/8rrvS46EVn2 days ago
France and Ireland step up roadside drug testing. #drugdriving @RSAIreland @Preventionrout https://t.co/MyEDGbwrQC https://t.co/26h2kvbYkX2 days ago
#Ireland: #Cyclists demand action over number of road deaths https://t.co/2DXmbxSKMK #RoadSafety2 days ago
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