European Commission

Deal reached on professional driver training rules with watered down exemption

Deal reached on professional driver training rules with watered down exemption

In positive news for road safety, new EU rules on professional driver training requirements will not include a proposed blanket exemption for lorry and bus drivers on journeys of less than 100km from the company base. That’s according to a legislative deal between the European Parliament and EU Member States agreed earlier this month. A major exemption, proposed by the European Parliament’s transport committee in an October vote, could have had a significant negative impact on road safety according to ETSC.  MEPs had added […]

Intelligent Transport Systems group prioritises in-vehicle speed limit information and harmonised user interfaces

Intelligent Transport Systems group prioritises in-vehicle speed limit information and harmonised user interfaces

The European Commission’s working group on Cooperative Intelligent Transport Systems (the C-ITS platform) has published its Phase II Final Report, which includes a number of recommendations for prioritising road safety. C-ITS encompasses sharing of data from transport infrastructure to vehicles, and from vehicle to vehicle.  The technology can support drivers but will also develop as a complement to automated and autonomous vehicles. The platform’s road safety working group, of which ETSC was a participant, set out a list of priority C-ITS services with higher […]

Benefits of joint tunnel /open road safety operations outlined as European Commission consults on infrastructure safety

Benefits of joint tunnel /open road safety operations outlined as European Commission consults on infrastructure safety

Joint safety operations involving tunnel and open road safety experts are possible, useful and their costs could be low if well planned, according to the final report of ECOROADS, a pan-European project looking at possible synergies between tunnel and open road safety regimes. The EU-funded ECOROADS (Effective and Coordinated Road Infrastructure Safety Operations) project aimed to overcome the barrier established by interpretation of two separate sets of European rules on road infrastructure safety management and tunnel safety inspections.  The current rules do not require […]

EU sets new target to cut serious road injuries

EU sets new target to cut serious road injuries

European Union transport ministers have formally agreed to set a target of halving the number of serious injuries on roads in the EU by 2030 from their 2020 level. In ‘council conclusions‘ adopted today, ministers formally endorsed the Valletta declaration on improving road safety, issued at an informal meeting organised by the Maltese presidency on 29 March 2017. Ministers also called on the European Commission to come forward with a new road safety strategy for the decade 2020-2030. Antonio Avenoso, Executive Director of ETSC, […]

Industry, NGOs and cities call for urgent action on vehicle safety standards

Industry, NGOs and cities call for urgent action on vehicle safety standards

A coalition of industry, NGOs, consumer groups and cities are calling on the European Commission to urgently bring forward new minimum safety standards for new cars, vans and trucks, after years of delays. The European Commission is expected to announce a new package of transport legislation next week, the groups are calling for an announcement on updates to vehicle safety regulations to be included. The letter from groups including the European Association of Automotive Suppliers (CLEPA), the European Cyclists Federation (ECF), POLIS, the European […]

Transport ministers ask European Commission to ‘accelerate’ work on new vehicle safety rules

Transport ministers ask European Commission to ‘accelerate’ work on new vehicle safety rules

Ministers of transport from the 28 EU countries have backed a range of measures to reduce deaths and serious injuries linked to speeding in a declaration issued at an informal meeting in Malta in March. In the ‘Valetta Declaration on Road Safety’, ministers undertake to “expand and integrate reduced speed limits such as 30km/h, into high risk areas” and call on the European Commission to accelerate work on new vehicle safety requirements which were last updated in 2009. The declaration also calls for technologies […]

Opinion: Free mobile roaming shows the EU can be a consumer champion; safer cars should be next

Opinion: Free mobile roaming shows the EU can be a consumer champion; safer cars should be next

By Antonio Avenoso, ETSC Executive Director It’s done. A defining moment in the history of the European Union took place earlier this month. No, not the UK’s Article 50 letter, nor Emmanuel Macron’s victory in the first round of the French presidential election.  On 25 April, EU member states approved a final deal to end mobile phone roaming charges from June this year.  Could this small victory for consumers signal the start of a new chapter for the EU? So often seen as technocratic […]

Fatigue risk from new driver hours rules

Fatigue risk from new driver hours rules

More than a thousand bus, coach, truck drivers and their union representatives gathered outside the European Commission’s HQ in Brussels earlier this week in protest over fears that new EU rules will lead to shorter rest times and increased fatigue. The European Transport Workers Federation, a trade union, says the European Commission’s new Road Initiative , expected to be launched on 31 May, contains a bundle of measures meant to shorten weekly rest periods for drivers and extend their driving time. The ETF says […]

EU road death figures: third year of poor results

EU road death figures: third year of poor results

Valletta – The European Commission has published new data showing that deaths on EU roads fell by just 2% last year, following a 1% increase in 2015. According to ETSC analysis, road deaths will now need to fall by 11.5% a year in order to meet the EU target of cutting deaths by half in the decade to 2020. Commenting on the publication of the latest figures, Antonio Avenoso, Executive Director of the European Transport Safety Council said: “With around 500 deaths on EU […]

Position Paper: Revision of 2003/59/EC on the Initial Qualification and Periodic Training of Drivers of Certain Road Vehicles for the Carriage of Goods or Passengers

Position Paper: Revision of 2003/59/EC on the Initial Qualification and Periodic Training of Drivers of Certain Road Vehicles for the Carriage of Goods or Passengers

The European Commission has published new proposals to revise qualification and training rules for lorry and bus drivers. ETSC welcomed the initiative but says the rules should be extended to van drivers and include elements on avoiding distraction. Data from 2014 show that 3,863 people were killed in collisions involving HGVs of more than 3.5 tons and 751 in those involving buses and coaches. But ETSC points out that more die in collisions involving vans, than with lorries (nearly 4,000 in 2012).  Van use […]

Opinion: Eight-year-old vehicle safety standards need an urgent upgrade

Opinion: Eight-year-old vehicle safety standards need an urgent upgrade

By Antonio Avenoso, ETSC Executive Director After the political turmoil of recent months, 2009, the year of Barack Obama’s inauguration, seems like another age. Back then only a handful of people had heard of Uber, Tesla’s plan for an ‘Autopilot’ feature or Google’s self-driving car project. Technological change, particularly in the car industry, has continued at a dizzying pace since then. But somehow, the European Commission didn’t get the memo. 2009 was also, believe it or not, the year of the last major revision […]

Commission reveals country-by-country serious road injury rates

Commission reveals country-by-country serious road injury rates

The European Commission’s latest road safety scorecard reveals, for the first time, estimated figures for rates of serious injury per million inhabitants broken down by country for 16 EU member states. The data act as a further reminder of the scale of the problem, with rates of serious injury dwarfing the numbers killed. The data is based on MAIS3+, a common definition of a serious injury now being used for comparison across the EU. EU transport commissioner Violeta Bulc told the European Parliament in […]

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 […]

Cross border follow-up of traffic offences not being used at ‘full potential’

Cross border follow-up of traffic offences not being used at ‘full potential’

New EU rules have had a positive impact on tackling road traffic offences committed abroad according to a European Commission report. The number of investigated offences committed by non-residents increased by four times to approximately 2 million between 2013 and 2015 in the Member States which have implemented the rules. The “Cross-Border Enforcement Directive” allows Member States, with the help of an electronic information system, to identify EU drivers who commit traffic offences abroad including four “main killers” that cause 75% of road deaths: […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

21 November 2016 – YEARS country seminar, Barcelona

21 November 2016 – YEARS country seminar, Barcelona

The Catalan Traffic Service and the European Transport Safety Council organised the first YEARS National event in Barcelona to debate on the dangers and policy recommendations for young road users in the European Union. Good practice and effective measures adopted by EU Member States were promoted and disseminated during the national conference in order to raise awareness among stakeholders and spur on national administrations to take action and reduce the number of young people killed on the roads. Download the agenda (in English) Download the agenda (in Spanish) Presentations […]

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

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 […]

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