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Opinion: 100 issues later, what’s changed since the first edition of ETSC’s Safety Monitor?

Opinion: 100 issues later, what’s changed since the first edition of ETSC’s Safety Monitor?

Antonio Avenoso, Executive Director There was no email version, not even an email address to write to or website to check for updates. None of the articles were tweeted or shared on facebook as Mark Zuckerberg was only ten years old. Google was not yet a verb. Browsing through the first edition of ETSC’s Safety Monitor newsletter this week felt like examining a document from another age. It was published in December 1994, around eighteen months after ETSC was founded ‘in response to the […]

Italian senate passes ‘road murder’ law

Italian senate passes ‘road murder’ law

All road collisions that result in death or serious injury will be treated by police as an indictable offence, and those convicted will be subject to much tougher sentencing after a new ‘road murder’ law was passed by the Italian Senate last month. The new law, which has taken several years to pass all the necessary legal hurdles, could mean 12 years in prison for drivers found guilty of killing while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The first arrest under the new […]

Euro NCAP says no progress on quadricycles

Euro NCAP says no progress on quadricycles

Small city cars classified as heavy quadricycles still have ‘fundamental’ safety problems according to Euro NCAP. The organisation says safety equipment is sparsely fitted to these vehicles and the results show little improvement since the last tests performed in 2014. The crash test results of the selected vehicles – Aixam Crossover GTR, Bajaj Qute, Chatenet CH30 and Microcar M.GO Family – show the standard of protection offered to the driver is still generally very low, leading to serious risks in collisions with other vehicles […]

Germany makes it easier to introduce 30km/h limits near schools

Germany makes it easier to introduce 30km/h limits near schools

German state transport ministers have approved legal changes that will allow for easier application of 30km/h limits near schools and hospitals. The change, announced one year ago by transport minister Alexander Dobrindt, means local authorities no longer need to show that the road in question is already a hotspot for collisions. Meanwhile, in Ireland, Moyagh Murdock, head of the Road Safety Authority, an ETSC member, has said 30km/h should become the default speed limit in Irish towns and cities.

Mobile use at the wheel doubles crash risk – US study

Mobile use at the wheel doubles crash risk – US study

Drivers more than double their crash risk when they choose to engage in distracting activities that require them to take their eyes off the road, such as using a mobile phone, reading or writing, or using touchscreen menus on a vehicle instrument panel, according to new American research. The authors of the study say drivers engage in some type of distracting activity more than 50 percent of the time they are driving. “These findings are important because we see a younger population of drivers, […]

Urgent action needed on road safety as new figures show increase in deaths

Urgent action needed on road safety as new figures show increase in deaths

ETSC says the European Commission must stop delaying new road safety policy measures if it is to help reverse an increase in deaths on EU roads. Within the last year, the European Commission was expected to come forward with revisions to vehicle safety, pedestrian protection and infrastructure safety rules as well as a new target and measures to reduce serious road injuries.  Proposals on all four have been delayed, and it is not clear when they will see the light of day. Antonio Avenoso, […]

Europe’s car safety framework needs ‘overhaul’

Europe’s car safety framework needs ‘overhaul’

Vehicle safety innovations are still benefitting too few road users in Europe due to an over-reliance on a voluntary testing programme rather than regulatory standards, according to a new report by ETSC. For almost twenty years, increases in levels of car safety in Europe have been driven mainly by the voluntary Euro NCAP programme which awards the safest cars with a 5-star rating. But according to new data, only around half of new vehicles sold in 2013 had been awarded 5 stars by Euro […]

Germany – calls for better speed enforcement as deaths rise again

Germany – calls for better speed enforcement as deaths rise again

The German Federal Statistics Office has published preliminary figures showing road deaths increased by 2.9% on German roads last year. Dr. Walter Eichendorf, president of the German Road Safety Council (DVR) – an ETSC member – said: “We need to move up a gear. As before, nine people are killed every day on our roads and around 1,000 are injured. The development shows that steadily decreasing number of accidents are not automatic, but continuous and major efforts are needed.” DVR says the speed limit […]

Experts underline importance of Seat Belt Reminder systems in new video

A new film from ETSC calls on the European Commission to require the fitting of Seat Belt Reminder Systems in all passenger seats in new cars when it reviews vehicle safety regulations later this year. The short video highlights the critical importance of seat belt wearing to prevent serious injury and death and cites research showing that up to a quarter of rear seat passengers are still failing to belt up. Seat Belt Reminder systems are already required on drivers’ seats thanks to the […]

US police data analysis confirms effectiveness of automated emergency braking

US police data analysis confirms effectiveness of automated emergency braking

Vehicles equipped with automated emergency braking are much less likely to crash into the rear of other vehicles, the US-based Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has found in a study of the feature’s effectiveness using police-reported crash data. Systems with automatic braking reduce rear-end crashes by about 40 percent on average. The autobrake systems also greatly reduce injury crashes. “The success of front crash prevention represents a big step toward safer roads,” said David Zuby, IIHS chief research officer. “As this technology becomes more […]

Pressure grows for serious road injury target

Pressure grows for serious road injury target

Around 100 MEPs from across the political spectrum have now backed the call by ETSC and more than 70 road safety organisations for a serious road injury reduction target for Europe. The MEPs, representing some 20 Member States, have signed a European Parliamentary written declaration in support of the target, others have until 18 April to join the call. Earlier this month, ETSC and FEVR – the European Federation of Road Traffic Victims met with Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the European Commission to ask […]

Aviation: Pilots warn on new EU safety rules

Aviation: Pilots warn on new EU safety rules

The European Commission has announced plans to update basic air safety rules as part of a package of aviation-related legislation. The proposals were partly welcomed by the European Cockpit Association, representing pilots. Philip von Schöppenthau, ECA Secretary General said: “The proposed ‘pooling’ of national safety oversight capacities is very welcomed and the mechanisms to deal with weak or ‘failing’ national oversight authorities are an absolute must. However, the proposal to create a European ‘EASA AOC’ [European Aviation Safety Agency Air Operator Certificate] is premature […]

Global NCAP accuses Renault of ‘serious misrepresentation’ of crash tests

Global NCAP accuses Renault of ‘serious misrepresentation’ of crash tests

Global NCAP, the international network of new car safety assessment programmes, has written to Carlos Ghosn, CEO of Renault after the company ran adverts in Uruguay for the Megane III misleadingly accompanied by a Euro NCAP five star rating. Renault sells a local version of the Megane III in Latin America that has not been tested by Euro NCAP or Latin NCAP. The company does not currently sell a vehicle in Latin America that has received a five star rating from Latin NCAP. In […]

US government report highlights risks of increasing use of automation in aviation sector

US government report highlights risks of increasing use of automation in aviation sector

Aircraft automation can improve efficiency and reduce pilot workload, but recent incidents have shown that pilots that typically fly with automation can make errors when confronted with an unexpected event or when transitioning to manual flying, according to a U.S. Department of Transport Inspector General report published last month. The US Federal Aviation Administration estimates that automation is used 90 percent of the time in flight. “Reliance on automation is a growing concern among industry experts, who have also questioned whether pilots are provided […]

Vehicle type approval shake-up announced

Vehicle type approval shake-up announced

In response to the dieselgate scandal, the European Commission last month proposed major changes to the oversight of the technical environmental and safety compliance checks new car models must undergo before being approved for sale on the European market. The proposal designed, in the Commission’s words, ‘to correct the flaws in the system’ has three stated aims: Reinforce the independence and quality of testing that allows a car to be placed on the market; Introduce an effective market surveillance system to control the conformity […]

Extend young driver probation period says KFV

Extend young driver probation period says KFV

The Austrian road safety board, an ETSC member, says the novice driver probation period should be doubled to four years. In an interview with Austrian national radio, KFV’s director Othmar Thann said most collisions occur when the trial period ends. Mr Thann also warned that mobile phone use by young drivers is an increasing problem and should be tackled with training courses for those that are caught – similar to existing programmes for other driving offences. KFV also says the moped license needs revising, […]

Penalty points for Belgian drivers…in France

Penalty points for Belgian drivers…in France

Belgian drivers committing traffic offences in France face losing points on a virtual driving license if French plans to extend its penalty points system to foreign drivers get the go-ahead. Belgium remains a holdout on penalty points, with surrounding France, the UK, the Netherlands, Germany and Luxembourg all using variations on the system as part of enforcement mechanisms. But Belgian drivers could now face being banned from driving in France if they lose all their virtual points there. The Belgian Road Safety Institute welcomed […]

Road safety campaigners meet Juncker to ask for EU serious injury reduction target

Road safety campaigners meet Juncker to ask for EU serious injury reduction target

Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission met earlier today with road safety and road victims groups to discuss the future of European road safety targets. Representatives of the European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) and the European Federation of Road Traffic Victims (FEVR) presented the President with a banner representing the ‘Let’s Go’ campaign, which calls for a new European target to reduce serious road injuries, alongside an existing target to reduce deaths by half by 2020. More than 200,000 people suffer life changing […]

New film highlights life-saving potential of Intelligent Speed Assistance tech for new cars

A new film from ETSC makes the case for making overridable Intelligent Speed Assistance (ISA) a standard feature on all new vehicles in Europe. The five-minute video has been launched as the European Commission continues work on the development of the next generation of vehicle safety standards, expected to be launched later this year. A major study for the Commission published last year by consultants TRL found that Intelligent Speed Assistance (ISA) is one of several new vehicle technologies that are now suitable for […]

France – road deaths increase as speeds creep up

France – road deaths increase as speeds creep up

For the first time in 35 years, road deaths in France have increased for a second year running. The rise in deaths has come as mean speeds have increased by between 1 and 4 km/h, according to analysis by the National Observatory for Road Safety (ONISR). The rise in speeds over the last two years also reverses a ten-year fall that occurred following the introduction of an extensive national safety camera network. ETSC’s member organisation Association Prévention Routière says part of the problem is […]

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