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The European Union’s Role in Promoting the Safety of Cycling

The European Union’s Role in Promoting the Safety of Cycling

This paper builds on recent calls for the European Commission to come forward with a cycling strategy for the European Union. ETSC also supports the need for co-ordinated European action on cycling and would welcome a pan-European strategy. This paper is designed to serve as inspiration for the safety component of such a strategy. Cyclists represent 8% of all road deaths in the European Union but big disparities exist between countries. Cyclists (like pedestrians) are generally unprotected and are vulnerable in traffic. As active travel […]

26 May 2016 – Together for cycling safety, Brussels

26 May 2016 – Together for cycling safety, Brussels

Renaissance Hotel, Brussels ETSC and the Flemish Foundation for Traffic Knowledge organised a lunch debate on cycling safety in light of the EU’s forthcoming cycling strategy. Cyclists represent 8% of all road deaths and big disparities exist between countries. Moreover, since 2010 the reduction in the number of cyclist deaths has slowed down markedly. The safety of unprotected road users should therefore receive special attention from policymakers at the national and European levels. As active travel is being encouraged for reasons of health and environment, […]

Position Paper: a strategy to reduce the number of people seriously injured on EU roads

Position Paper: a strategy to reduce the number of people seriously injured on EU roads

Since 2010 the number of people seriously injured in the EU has been reduced by just 1.6%, compared to an 18% decrease in the number of road deaths in the same group of countries. The majority of countries have reduced road deaths at a faster pace than seriously injured since 2001. In 2014, more than 203,500 people were recorded by the police as seriously injured on the roads in the EU, representing an increase of almost 3% compared to 2013. There is strong political […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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’ […]

Commission road safety policy review lacks timetable and action on drink driving

Commission road safety policy review lacks timetable and action on drink driving

The European Commission has published its review of the ‘Road Safety Policy Orientations’ (RSPO), a strategy published in 2010 with the objective of reducing road deaths by 50% by 2020. The progress report consists of a set of three documents: a European Commission Staff Working Document, an Interim Evaluation Report and a study commissioned to independent expert Jeanne Breen. ETSC welcomed some of the key priorities of the review including infrastructure safety, vulnerable road users, vehicle safety and traffic law enforcement. However, there a […]

Briefing: European Commission Interim evaluation of the Policy orientations on road safety 2011-2020

Briefing: European Commission Interim evaluation of the Policy orientations on road safety 2011-2020

In June 2015, half way to 2020, the European Commission published its review of the ‘Road Safety Policy Orientations’ (RSPO), a framework with the objective of reducing road deaths by 50% by 2020 published in 2010. The review consists of a set of three documents: a European Commission Staff Working Document, a European Commission Interim Evaluation Report and a study commissioned to independent expert Jeanne Breen. In 2010 the road safety community had hoped for, and expected, a new EU 10-year action programme providing […]

Commission road safety review leaves out serious injury target

Commission road safety review leaves out serious injury target

A long-promised EU strategic target to reduce serious road injuries has been dropped from a major European Commission review of the region’s road safety policy published yesterday. The European Transport Safety Council is calling on ministers at today’s Transport Council meeting in Luxembourg, to ask the Commission to come forward with the target as promised. ETSC’s analysis shows that more than 200,000 people suffered life-changing injuries in road collisions last year – an increase of 3% since 2013. The watered-down language published in a […]

Call for Juncker to reverse decision to drop serious road injury target

Call for Juncker to reverse decision to drop serious road injury target

More than 70 experts and representatives of road safety organisations and victims groups from across Europe together with 12 members of the European Parliament have written to President Jean-Claude Juncker urging him to reverse a decision to drop the announcement of a new EU target to cut serious road injuries. The letter was sent yesterday, ahead of Thursday’s meeting of national transport ministers in Luxembourg where the target was set to be announced.  The European Transport Safety Council has learnt that the announcement of […]

Bulc: “We will and we must continue to take steps to tackle drink driving”

Bulc: “We will and we must continue to take steps to tackle drink driving”

The European Commissioner for Transport Violetta Bulc has spoken in support of further steps to tackle drink driving in Europe. Speaking in a pre-recorded video statement for an event in the European Parliament today she reiterated her earlier promise that road safety would be one of the ‘top priorities’ of her mandate. But while pointing out that across the EU drink driving “is responsible for a quarter of road deaths” she also admitted that Europe is “behind” on use of technology that can tackle […]

Civil society groups form ‘Better Regulation’ Watchdog to protect citizen, worker and consumer rights

Civil society groups form ‘Better Regulation’ Watchdog to protect citizen, worker and consumer rights

More than 50 civil society organisations, including ETSC, have joined forces to create the ‘Better Regulation Watchdog’ – a network to protect citizens’, workers’ and consumers’ rights. The network was launched today in Brussels, one day ahead of the expected announcement of the European Commission’s so-called ‘Better Regulation’ reforms. The network of organisations from around Europe is concerned that the ‘Better Regulation’ agenda aims to weaken or undermine essential regulations and subordinate the public good to corporate interests. The creation of the network is […]

EU driving license changes give a boost for alcohol interlocks

EU driving license changes give a boost for alcohol interlocks

A harmonised EU code on alcohol interlock devices for driving licences comes into force on 15 May in a move that could help boost usage and enforcement of the technology across Europe. Several countries in the EU including Sweden, Finland, France, Belgium and the Netherlands have laws requiring drink driving offenders to install alcohol interlocks in their vehicles. The devices prevent the vehicle from being driven if the driver has been drinking. 6500 deaths could be prevented annually if drink driving was eliminated in […]

Commission report gives ‘green lights’ for mandatory fitting of new safety tech

Commission report gives ‘green lights’ for mandatory fitting of new safety tech

A major new study for the European Commission has identified a range of new vehicle safety technologies that are suitable for mandatory fitting as part of a review of EU vehicle safety legislation.  The report, carried out by consultants TRL, names technologies including Intelligent Speed Assistance (ISA), Automated Emergency Braking (AEB) and seat belt reminder systems in passenger seats as ‘feasible in terms of the technology required’, already available on the market and offering a positive benefit-cost ratio. Plans already agreed by the EU […]

Report positive on impact of EU road infrastructure safety rules

Report positive on impact of EU road infrastructure safety rules

A major review of EU road infrastructure safety management legislation has found that the impact has been positive for road safety in a number of key areas. Extending the legislation to cover national roads as well as the trans-European road network currently covered would also save more lives according to the analysis.  A number of countries are already doing this. The report found that many countries have not encountered difficulties in the application of the directive. Furthermore, evidence suggests that Member States with poorer […]

EU road safety progress grinding to a halt

EU road safety progress grinding to a halt

Road deaths fell by a negligible 1% in the EU last year according to new data released today by the European Commission. The drastic slowdown in progress puts at risk the region’s target of halving road deaths by 2020. Commenting on the figures, Antonio Avenoso, Executive Director of the European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) said: “While there is no single factor that explains today’s deeply worrying figures there is no doubt that in recent years, the EU and many member states have shifted road […]

Briefing: Mid Term Review of the European Commission Transport White Paper 2011-2020

Briefing: Mid Term Review of the European Commission Transport White Paper 2011-2020

In 2011, the European Commission published its Transport White Paper “Roadmap to a Single European Transport Area-Towards a competitive and resource efficient transport system”. This followed the EC’s ‘Road Safety Policy Orientations’ (RSPO), published in July 2010, a framework with the objective of reducing road deaths by 50% by 2020. The 2011 White Paper was welcomed by ETSC, primarily for including a ‘Vision Zero’ complementing the “Road Safety Policy Orientations 2011-2020” target of halving road deaths by 2020. ETSC also welcomed the ambition “to […]

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