UK

Scotland to introduce road-side saliva tests for drug driving

Scotland to introduce road-side saliva tests for drug driving

Drug-driving limits and roadside testing will be introduced in Scotland, the Scottish Government has announced. It is illegal to drive in Scotland while impaired by drugs and this offence will continue to operate, but the Scottish Government plans to introduce new drug-driving limits that will allow prosecutions where different drug types above specified levels are detected. This should mean it is easier to hold drug-drivers to account as there will be no requirement to prove that someone was driving in an impaired manner. England […]

4 July 2017 – Alcohol Interlocks: Towards a European Approach for the fight against drink driving, Edinburgh

4 July 2017 – Alcohol Interlocks: Towards a European Approach for the fight against drink driving, Edinburgh

Traffic Control Centre, 21 Ferrymuir Gait South Queensferry, Edinburgh 4th of July 2017, 9:00 – 13:00 The European Transport Safety Council, together with the Road Safety Scotland and the UK Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety (PACTS) have the pleasure of inviting you to a round-table event  to raise awareness amongst policy makers, the private sector and key opinion leaders on how to develop a systematic approach to reduce alcohol misuse in road transport. Measures to tackle drink driving such as the use of […]

Apple to offer a built-in iPhone ‘car mode’ as new data suggest widespread distracted driving

Apple to offer a built-in iPhone ‘car mode’ as new data suggest widespread distracted driving

The next version of the standard software included on Apple’s iPhones will include a feature that detects driving and then blocks distracting notifications including calls and messages. The overridable feature, known as ‘Do Not Disturb While Driving’, will operate automatically once the phone’s owner has opted-in to the feature the first time the phone detects driving. Passengers, and indeed drivers who click the passenger button, will be able to override the mode at all times. The US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) requested […]

New calls for a lower drink driving limit in England and Wales

New calls for a lower drink driving limit in England and Wales

The legal drink drive limit should be lowered in England and Wales to help cut alcohol-related collisions according to an association of English local councils and fire and rescue authorities. The Local Government Association (LGA), which represents more than 370 councils and all fire and rescue authorities in England and Wales, is calling on the Government to drop the current Blood Alcohol Limit (BAC) from 0.8 to 0.5g/l. England and Wales have one of the highest drink drive limits in the world and the […]

UK survey reveals many drivers exceeding 20 mph limits

UK survey reveals many drivers exceeding 20 mph limits

A survey commissioned by road safety charity Brake has found that more than half (52%) of UK drivers admit to speeding in 20 mph zones. The survey of 2,000 drivers also showed that 8 in 10 (78%) think traffic is too fast in their neighbourhood for the safety of children on foot or bike. According to Brake, research has found that children cannot judge the speed of approaching vehicles travelling faster than 20mph, so may believe it is safe to cross when it is […]

Ireland considers linking speeding fines to income

Ireland considers linking speeding fines to income

Ireland’s Road Safety Authority (RSA), an ETSC member, says it is seriously considering making proposals to link speeding fines to income. The announcement follows changes to the structure of speeding fines in the UK that came into force last month. The UK has had income-linked speeding fines for some time, but the levels were increased last month for the most serious offences.  Drivers can now be fined up to 175% of their weekly income, for example for driving at 101 mph on the motorway […]

UK House of Lords reality check on self-driving cars

UK House of Lords reality check on self-driving cars

A new report published by the UK’s upper house of parliament has warned that the safety and economic benefits of automated vehicles are unproven and urges the government to “not lose sight” of other possibilities to reduce road casualties. The sixty page report for the House of Lords Science and Technology Select Committee says the government needs to implement a ‘joined-up’, wider transport strategy that puts the development of autonomous vehicles within the context of broader goals. The current approach, focussing on autonomous passenger […]

UK: New drivers caught using phones to lose license

UK: New drivers caught using phones to lose license

Drivers in England, Scotland and Wales caught using their phones at the wheel within two years of passing their test will have their driving license taken away under a new law that came into force on 1 March. Penalties for other drivers have also been doubled to GBP 200 and six penalty points. Responding to the new British law, the Irish transport minister Shane Ross said he is open to imposing similar measures in Ireland. ETSC’s German member DVR called in January for fines […]

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 […]

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 […]

France and Ireland step up roadside drug testing

France and Ireland step up roadside drug testing

France and Ireland are increasing their use of road-side saliva testing technology in a bid to boost enforcement of drug driving. France previously required police to accompany drivers to a clinical blood test if they were suspected of drug driving based on a saliva test.  Following a trial to determine the accuracy of roadside testing equipment the blood test will now be replaced by a second saliva test.  Both of the samples taken will still need to be verified at a laboratory, but the […]

Safety groups back tougher UK penalties for causing a road death

Safety groups back tougher UK penalties for causing a road death

More than 9,000 people responded to a recent UK Ministry of Justice consultation on proposals to increase prison sentences for people that cause death by dangerous driving or driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The government said the response was one of the largest of any recent consultation and included responses from victims’ groups, bereaved families, road safety organisations and charities. The proposals include an increase in the maximum sentence for causing death by dangerous driving or driving under the influence of […]

English back lower drink drive limits

English back lower drink drive limits

There have been renewed calls for a lower drink drive limit in England after a survey found that more than three quarters of people would support such a move. Drink driving deaths in Great Britain have remained static since 2010 at 240 deaths a year, despite an overall reduction in fatalities. Scotland reduced its drink driving limit from 0.8 g/l to 0.5g/l two years ago. Northern Ireland is set to follow soon. David Davies, Executive Director of PACTS said: “The number of deaths involving […]

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 […]

Governments race to outline future plans for self-driving cars

Governments race to outline future plans for self-driving cars

The United States, China, Germany, Australia and the UK are among the countries to have made major announcements on rules governing self-driving cars in recent months, while the EU’s transport commissioner has promised a ‘master plan’ by the end of the year. ETSC says many safety questions remain unanswered. The US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) published a set of guidelines in September that called for voluntary reporting from carmakers on how their systems were tested, how they work and what happens if […]

London plans to phase-out lorries with poor direct-vision

London plans to phase-out lorries with poor direct-vision

In a move designed to boost the safety of cyclists and pedestrians, the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan has announced a new star rating scheme for lorries that could see vehicles with severe blind spots refused access to the city centre. The proposals state that the most dangerous, zero star-rated ‘off-road’ HGVs will be banned from London’s streets entirely by January 2020, and only HGVs meeting the new London Direct Vision Standard of 3 stars or above will be allowed by 2024. Lorries will […]

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, […]

Data show how car brand affects speeding

Data show how car brand affects speeding

New research by Admiral, a British insurer, based on data from some 300,000 event data recorders (EDRs) has revealed differences in the likelihood of speeding between drivers of different brands of car. BMW and Audi models featured prominently high up on the list of speeders, while at the other end of the spectrum, Skoda cars were found most frequently in the bottom 10%. Several UK insurers offer a discount to drivers who are willing to have an EDR fitted in their car. Drivers can […]

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 […]

ETSC statement: Transport safety implications of the UK referendum on EU membership

ETSC statement: Transport safety implications of the UK referendum on EU membership

In a referendum held on 23 June, a majority of citizens of the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union.  The decision, if carried through with the commencement of the Article 50 procedure of the treaty of the EU, may have far-reaching consequences for the areas of policy covered by European Union law, including transport safety. There is currently a great deal of uncertainty about the kind of relationship the UK will have with the remaining member states, and the legal framework that […]

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