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German state plans to trial 120km motorway limit

German state plans to trial 120km motorway limit

The German state of Baden-Württemberg, home of Daimler and Porsche, has announced plans to trial a 120km/h speed limit on sections of the A81 and A96 motorways. The four-year trial, set to begin in May, aims to assess the impact on collisions and noise. The move has put the state transport minister Winfried Hermann at loggerheads with federal transport minister Alexander Dobrindt. In a letter earlier this month, Dobrindt said motorway speed limits are a federal responsibility. ETSC’s German member DVR has said that […]

Uber trials system for monitoring driver speed, acceleration and braking

Uber trials system for monitoring driver speed, acceleration and braking

The taxi service Uber has announced it is trialling technology to track the speed, acceleration and braking of its drivers using smartphone sensors. The company describes the process as designed to help verify complaints from passengers of poor driving but says it has broader plans to ensure drivers maintain appropriate speeds and are not distracted. The US-based company announced in November that it would create a permanent global safety advisory board to oversee the safety and personal security issues related to the service. ETSC […]

Two-thirds of UK drivers happy with Intelligent Speed Assistance tech

Two-thirds of UK drivers happy with Intelligent Speed Assistance tech

A survey for the UK road safety campaigners Brake has shown that 63% of drivers would be happy for Intelligent Speed Assistance (ISA) technology to help prevent them speeding while driving. The survey found 32% of drivers are willing to have a mandatory ISA system that cannot be overridden, while a further 31% would be interested in an overridable form of the system. Several vehicles already on the market, including the Ford S-Max and Volvo XC-90, already have such a feature. Trials have predicted […]

Ireland considers higher fines for wealthier speeders

Ireland considers higher fines for wealthier speeders

Ireland’s Road Safety Authority (RSA) wants the government to consider graduated fines for speeding motorists based on ability to pay. Moyagh Murdock, the RSA’s chief executive said last month that the agency plans to submit a proposal on graduated fines to the Department of Transport as part of a wider series of measures designed to combat drivers who repeatedly breach road traffic laws. Part of the reason for seeking higher fines for wealthier drivers was research carried out on behalf of the authority which […]

Grenoble is first French 30km/h city

Grenoble is first French 30km/h city

Grenoble in France is the first large French city to introduce a blanket 30km/h zone across the city – reduced from 50km/h. The measures, which came into force on 1 January, follow a large expansion of 30km/h zones in Paris and a similar scale change in Valencia in neighbouring Spain last year. Paris is expected to extend 30km/h zones across the city by 2020, and the Spanish government has also announced plans for 30km/h to be the default limit on urban roads. ETSC has […]

Rest of UK urged to follow Scotland on drink drive limits as offences fall

Rest of UK urged to follow Scotland on drink drive limits as offences fall

A new report for the UK’s Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety (PACTS) and the RAC Foundation has found that deaths and serious injuries on English and Welsh roads would be prevented if  drink drive limits were reduced following Scotland’s reduction from 0.8 g/l to 0.5 last year. The research by Professor Richard Allsop, a board member of ETSC, presents a ‘cautious’ estimate that a similar move in England and Wales would lead to 25 fewer deaths and 95 serious injuries. In Northern Ireland, […]

Belgium announces lower drink drive limit for young drivers, alcohol interlocks on buses

Belgium announces lower drink drive limit for young drivers, alcohol interlocks on buses

The Belgian government is to follow France with the introduction of a 0.2 g/l blood alcohol limit for young and novice drivers as well requiring alcohol interlocks for vehicles used in public transport. France’s lower BAC limit came into force in July and the country’s alcohol interlock requirements were extended to all coaches from September. Previously they were only required on coaches carrying school children.  Urban buses are excluded from the measure. The new Belgian measures are part of a 15-point road safety plan […]

Estonia targets repeat drink driving offenders

Estonia targets repeat drink driving offenders

The Estonian ministry of justice presented new proposals in October aimed at reducing repeat drink driving offences. The measures, including tougher penalties, also include provisions for banned drivers to follow rehabilitation programmes and install alcohol interlocks. The government is also considering extending responsibility for drink driving offences to passengers in the car, if proven that they knew the driver was over the limit.

EU health ministers call for new alcohol strategy

EU health ministers call for new alcohol strategy

EU health ministers have formally called on the European Commission to launch a comprehensive EU strategy dedicated to the reduction of alcohol-related harm by the end of 2016, following a similar request from the European Parliament in April. The last EU-wide alcohol programme officially ended in 2012 and has not been replaced. Ministers said the strategy should tackle the health, social and economic consequences of the harmful use of alcohol and focus on initiatives with a cross-border dimension. The Council also called upon member […]

Disqualified drivers in Ireland to be named and shamed

Disqualified drivers in Ireland to be named and shamed

The Irish Road Safety Authority (RSA) intends to start “naming and shaming” disqualified motorists on its website from early next year, after consultation with the national Data Protection Commissioner indicated there is “no obstacle” to doing so. Moyagh Murdock, chief executive of the RSA, said the plans for printing the names of disqualified drivers would act as a deterrent. “We want to see a societal change, a cultural change in people’s attitudes,” she said. The Irish parliament’s joint committee on transport and communications was […]

Two studies warn on implications of in-vehicle distraction

Two studies warn on implications of in-vehicle distraction

Better data collection on the role of distraction in collisions across the EU and a standardised interface to fix and connect mobile devices to the car dashboard are two of the recommendations of a new report on countermeasures for in-vehicle distraction for the European Commission. The study, by TRL, TNO and Rapp-Trans, published last month says data on how many collisions involve distraction is poor but experts estimate that it plays a role in 10-30% of them. The authors suggest promoting ‘Distracted by device’ […]

New safety reporting rules for airline staff

New safety reporting rules for airline staff

Pilots and other airline professionals should be more inclined to report safety concerns to their airline or national civil aviation body thanks to new EU rules on the reporting of safety ‘occurrences’ which came into force earlier this month. The new Occurrence Reporting Regulation (EU Reg. 376/2014) is a comprehensive framework and a set of standards for reporting, collecting, storing, protecting and disseminating the relevant safety information. It also introduces requirements on information analysis and adoption of follow-up safety actions at national level. According […]

Five member states fail on driving license rules

Five member states fail on driving license rules

The European Commission has decided to refer the Czech Republic, Estonia, Italy, Portugal and Slovenia to the Court of Justice of the European Union for failing to correctly transpose European rules on driving licences. In particular, the Czech Republic failed to ensure in the period 2004-2011 that driving licences were only issued to people residing in the Czech Republic. This is crucial to combat so-called “driving licence tourism”. Driving licences issued in the past in contradiction with the Directive 2006/126/EC which are still valid […]

World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims 2015

World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims 2015

The World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims (WDR) is commemorated on the third Sunday of November each year – to remember the many millions killed and injured on the world’s roads, together with their families and the many others also affected. This Sunday 15 November, we celebrate the 20th anniversary of the World Day being observed internationally and the 10th anniversary since its recognition by the United Nations. Professor Herman De Croo, Belgian Minister of State and president of ETSC said: “Today […]

WHO urges governments to require minimum vehicle safety standards

WHO urges governments to require minimum vehicle safety standards

The World Health Organisation (WHO) is calling on governments around the world to apply the UN’s most important vehicle safety regulations. In its 2015 Global Status Report on Road Safety (published 19 October) the WHO reveals “worrying data showing that less than half of countries implement minimum standards” and warns that “Governments have a responsibility to take the steps needed to ensure their citizens have access to safe vehicles”. Using seven priority vehicle safety standards recommended by Global NCAP, the WHO has carried out […]

Death of minister’s police outrider causes outrage in Romania

Death of minister’s police outrider causes outrage in Romania

Romania’s president advised the country’s interior minister to resign earlier this week amid widespread public anger over the death of a police officer who was escorting the minister’s motorcade. According to a report by the Associated Press, President Klaus Iohannis told reporters he summoned for talks and advised him to resign. The government’s communication about the case had been “catastrophic”, he added. The 28 year-old policeman Bogdan Gigina died after riding his motorbike into a hole at road works on 20 October while in […]

Opinion: Has ISA’s time finally come?

Opinion: Has ISA’s time finally come?

Antonio Avenoso, Executive Director For years, speed has been recognised as one of the three main contributing factors to deaths on our roads. And for more than a decade, ETSC has been advocating the benefits of Intelligent Speed Assistance (ISA), a driver assistance system that a 2014 Norwegian study found to be the ‘most effective’ in saving lives. We are optimistic that 2016 could prove to be a turning point in wide adoption of the technology. ISA uses a speed sign-recognition video camera and/or […]

Volkswagen announces third party audit of US safety compliance

Volkswagen announces third party audit of US safety compliance

The Volkswagen Group has said it will commission an outside audit of its compliance with US safety reporting laws following allegations by Bloomberg that it failed to report lawsuits involving safety issues to the US regulator. Bloomberg reviewed 13 random lawsuits filed against Volkswagen in the last 11 years. Volkswagen had reported nine of them to the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Four couldn’t be found in the database. They involved one death and three injuries described in lawsuits filed in 2007, […]

New project targets young road users

New project targets young road users

Reducing the dangers facing younger road users is the focus of a new ETSC project, known as YEARS, which was launched at an event in Brussels in October. The project, in partnership with technical universities across Europe, will work with students to develop projects in their local area aimed at improving the safety of young road users.  The project also aims to encourage policymakers to develop road safety policies that specifically target this group. Divera Twisk, an expert from the SWOV Institute for Road […]

Reducing road deaths and injuries at work – five companies recognised

Reducing road deaths and injuries at work – five companies recognised

The European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) has announced the 2015 winners of its PRAISE awards recognising organisations that have taken outstanding measures to improve road safety at work. The winners, together with highlights of their road safety programmes are as follows: Large company award: OMV Petrom, Romania Sector: Oil and gas Programme highlights: integrated vehicle monitoring system covers 10,000 drivers; road safety requirements for contractors; no road related deaths or serious injuries in last three years. Public authority award: Transport for London, United Kingdom […]

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