Belgium

29 September 2017 – ISA on all policy levels, Brussels

29 September 2017 – ISA on all policy levels, Brussels

29 September 2017, 13:00-14:00 ITS.be Congress Bluepoint Conference Centre, Boulevard Auguste Reyers 80, 1030 Brussels The European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) has the pleasure of inviting you to our Knowledge Sharing Session “ISA on all policy levels”, which will be held during the ITS.be Congress on Friday 29 September between 13:00 and 14:00. ISA – Intelligent Speed Assistance – is an overridable system that communicates the current speed limit to the driver using digital maps and speed sign recognition, and helps them to keep […]

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 […]

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. […]

Several countries looking to crack down on mobile phone use at the wheel

Several countries looking to crack down on mobile phone use at the wheel

A ban on mobile phone use while driving, tougher enforcement and a driving mode for devices are some of the options being explored by governments around Europe as data show distracted driving’s deadly impact continues unabated. The Dutch Transport Minister Melanie Schultz van Haegen told the AD newspaper last November that the government was considering several options to reduce the risk of distracted driving, including a full ban or requiring that certain features, such as Pokémon Go, be switched off automatically above a certain […]

EU transport ministers back ‘ambitious’ vehicle safety improvements

EU transport ministers back ‘ambitious’ vehicle safety improvements

Eight EU transport ministers have called on the European Commission to ‘speed up’ plans to upgrade vehicle safety standards saying road safety should be ‘top priority’. In a letter to the European Commissioner for industry Elżbieta Bieńkowska, the transport ministers of Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg and The Netherlands said ‘ambitious’ new vehicle safety standards are needed ‘to help Member States halve the number of road deaths by 2020’. 26,000 people die on European Union roads annually, with at least 135,000 suffering life-changing […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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, […]

17-18 November – European Road Safety Campaigns Conference 2016, Brussels

17-18 November – European Road Safety Campaigns Conference 2016, Brussels

Road safety campaigns have evolved. Organisations across Europe are responding to new risks, changing media consumption patterns and new technologies with innovative, targeted campaigns designed to target hard-to-reach groups and help change behaviour. The European Transport Safety Council (ETSC), the Belgian Road Safety Institute (BRSI), the Flemish Department of Mobility and Public Works (MOW), the Flemish Foundation for Traffic Knowledge (VSV), the Walloon Agency for Road Safety (AWSR) and the Brussels Region organised the second European Road Safety Campaigns Conference on 17 – 18 […]

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 […]

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 […]

More than half of drivers go more than 10km/h too fast in 30 km/h school zones

More than half of drivers go more than 10km/h too fast in 30 km/h school zones

An investigation by the Belgian Road Safety Institute (BRSI) has found that 90% of drivers exceeded 30 km/h speed limits near schools with more than half travelling at 40km/h or more. In areas away from schools, drivers appeared more likely to stick to the limit. The BRSI says the zones need to be accompanied by infrastructure measures such as traffic humps. This is sometimes not the case for schools on main roads where, out of school hours, the limit can be up to 70 […]

13 – 15 September 2016 – Alcohol Interlock Symposium, Brussels

13 – 15 September 2016 – Alcohol Interlock Symposium, Brussels

Radisson Blu Royal Hotel, Brussels The Traffic Injury Research Foundation and ETSC are hosting the 15th annual Alcohol Interlock Symposium on 13-15 September in Brussels. Alcohol interlock programs have expanded greatly in recent decades. Today, programs combine technological advances with more tailored and efficient monitoring strategies to deliver high-quality services. The theme of the 2016 Symposium is “Efficiency Through Automation”. As alcohol interlock technology evolves, it becomes increasingly important to understand how intelligent devices can be embedded in sophisticated vehicles and linked to database […]

22- 26 August 2016 – Road Safety Summer School, Mechelen

22- 26 August 2016 – Road Safety Summer School, Mechelen

The European Road Safety Summer School 2016 is an initiative of the Flemish Foundation for Traffic Knowledge (VSV), the Transportation Research Institute(IMOB) of Hasselt University, the European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) and the Polis network of European cities and regions cooperating for innovative transport solutions. It will take place from 22 to 26 August 2016 in Mechelen (Brussels North area – 15 minutes by train from Brussels Airport and central Brussels). Find out more at the event website.

New figures show numbers speeding on motorways

New figures show numbers speeding on motorways

Data from the UK and Belgium have revealed large numbers of drivers speeding on motorways. The UK figures, released to the BBC following a freedom of information request, found that more than 2000 drivers had been fined for speeding at more than 100 mph (160 km/h) in the last year. In Belgium ETSC’s member the Belgian Road Safety Institute (BRSI) has published results of its annual speed survey showing that 1 in 7 drivers on Belgian motorways exceeds 140 km/h, the speed limit being […]

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 […]

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 […]

30 km/h zones: the latest from around Europe

30 km/h zones: the latest from around Europe

30 km/h zones are continuing to spread across Europe with developments in recent months in Belgium, Spain and the UK  – but implementation is sometimes hampered by bureaucracy. The Spanish city of Valencia introduced a 30 km/h zone across the entire historic centre district in September. The decision is designed to improve safety, reduce pollution, encourage shoppers to visit the area on foot and discourage transit traffic from crossing the city through the centre. The eventual aim is to limit all traffic to authorised […]

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