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European Commission outlines new road safety policies for the next decade

European Commission outlines new road safety policies for the next decade

The European Commission has published its Road Safety Policy Framework for the period 2021 – 2030.  The new framework was announced by the European Commissioner for Transport, Violeta Bulc, at the ETSC Road Safety Performance Index Conference, held today in Brussels. The publication, which is a non-binding “staff working document”, is a follow-up to an action plan published in May 2018 as part of the package of new road safety legislation that included new vehicle and infrastructure safety standards. One key area where the […]

Ireland’s leadership on road safety is “a model for the European Union”

Ireland takes home 2019 ETSC Road Safety Performance Index (PIN) Award New European figures show numbers killed on EU roads last year fell by just 1% Call for new European Parliament and Commission to step up progress on road safety Ireland is the winner of this year’s European Transport Safety Council Road Safety Performance Index (PIN) award.  The annual award is presented to a European country that has demonstrated continued progress on road safety combined with a strategic approach to tackling the problem across […]

70% of road deaths in European cities are pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists

70% of road deaths in European cities are pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists

Tackling urban road safety must be a key priority for the European Union and European countries over the next decade, according to the European Transport Safety Council, authors of a new report. **SCROLL DOWN FOR FRENCH AND GERMAN VERSIONS According to the data revealed today, road deaths on urban roads decreased at around half the rate of those on rural roads over the period 2010-2017. (1) Pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists – the three most vulnerable road user groups – represent 70% of those killed […]

France backtracks on 80km/h speed limit despite positive results

France backtracks on 80km/h speed limit despite positive results

French départements will soon be able to revert to a 90km/h speed limit on roads without separation barriers, in a reversal of a decision by the government to set a lower default limit of 80km/h across France last summer. The u-turn, which followed nationwide protests by the yellow vest movement, as well as widespread vandalism of speed cameras, came despite official statistics that showed a drop in deaths linked to the new speed limit. The French research institute Cerema and the French Road Safety […]

Germany and France to regulate e-scooters

Germany and France to regulate e-scooters

Germany and France are the latest EU countries to regulate the use of e-scooters on public roads. Germany’s rules, which are set to come into force next month, set a minimum age of 14 and a maximum speed of 20 km/h for e-scooters. The vehicles will be permitted on roads and cycle paths, but not on the pavement.  E-scooters will also have to be insured in a similar way to mopeds and high-speed (45 km/h) electric bikes through purchase of an annual insurance sticker […]

Tougher penalties for distracted driving in Italy

Tougher penalties for distracted driving in Italy

The Italian parliament is close to agreeing on a range of changes to the highway code including higher penalties and license suspensions for using a phone at the wheel, and a new road classification for school streets with a 30 km/h limit. The code changes also allow for the creation of advanced stopping lanes for bicycles at junctions with traffic lights and for electric scooters and skateboards to be used on pavements. The rules were approved by the Parliament’s transport committee earlier this month, […]

US consumer organisation raises concerns over latest Tesla “autopilot” features

US consumer organisation raises concerns over latest Tesla “autopilot” features

A new feature which enables Tesla vehicles to change lane without the driver’s intervention has been criticised by the American consumer organisation Consumer Reports. The organisation, which carried out its own tests on the feature, and interviewed drivers and law enforcement officials, says the system is less competent than a human driver. The tests found that the car would cut off other drivers without leaving enough space, didn’t respond well to fast-moving vehicles coming from the rear and appeared not to react to stop […]

Welsh government supports a 20 mph default speed limit in residential areas

Welsh government supports a 20 mph default speed limit in residential areas

The Welsh government has said it supports a default 20 mph (32 km/h) speed limit on residential streets, following positive results from pilot schemes in the cities of Swansea and Cardiff. Wales has had the power to set speed limits in the country since last year, they were previously set by the UK government in London. 20 mph limits are in place in many towns and cities across the UK.  The Mayor of London announced a default 20 mph limit for London as part […]

27% of killed UK car occupants were not wearing a seatbelt

27% of killed UK car occupants were not wearing a seatbelt

A new report from PACTS, ETSC’s UK member, has found that more than a quarter of people who died in cars in 2017, were not wearing a seatbelt. “Seat Belts: The Forgotten Road Safety Priority” shows that despite wearing rates of 98.6% for British car drivers, 27% of those who died in cars on the roads in 2017 were not wearing a seatbelt. This amounts to more than 200 deaths; an additional 1,000 people were seriously injured. Seatbelt non-wearing has not received the focus […]

EP elections 2019: Where do the main political groups stand on road safety?

EP elections 2019: Where do the main political groups stand on road safety?

Most of the main political groups fielding candidates in the upcoming European Parliamentary elections support an expanded role for the EU in road safety issues over the next five years, according to a survey by ETSC.  However, there are differences between the groups as to what extent European as opposed to national action is the preferred approach. MEPs were surveyed on priorities for the new mandate published in ETSC’s own election briefing. All of the groups that replied were supportive of the introduction of […]

Video on “emergency corridors” reaches 500,000 on Facebook

Video on “emergency corridors” reaches 500,000 on Facebook

A short animated film by ETSC explaining the “emergency corridor” system used by several European countries has been shared by thousands of people and seen by around half a million users on the Facebook social media platform. The emergency corridor system, which enables emergency vehicles to reach collision sites faster, requires vehicles to separate in a systematic, organised way during periods of traffic congestion, in order to make a clear path wide enough for a fire engine to pass.  The measure is in place […]

New connected vehicle rules could boost road safety

New connected vehicle rules could boost road safety

The European Commission has agreed on the first wave of requirements for electronic communications both between road infrastructure and vehicles, as well as between vehicles.  ETSC has warmly welcomed the inclusion of safety-enhancing features in the list of priority services for so-called Cooperative Intelligent Transport Systems (C-ITS) set out in the legal text, notably the ‘dynamic speed limit information’ service. This technology will enable, for example, variable speed limit information signs to communicate directly to compatible vehicles.  This could further enhance the accuracy of […]

Help for authorities and private sector to access EU road safety funding and loans

Help for authorities and private sector to access EU road safety funding and loans

The European Commission and the European Investment Bank have launched a new initiative to help public authorities and the private sector access funding and loans for road safety. The “Safer Transport Platform – Road Safety Advisory” provides a single access point to the full range of existing EIB and EC advisory services and financial products. It guides potential applicants to the appropriate funding and financing instruments. The service is supported by the European Investment Advisory Hub (EIAH) and includes a web site with a contact form, […]

OECD city report recommends shift to cycling in urban areas to improve road safety

OECD city report recommends shift to cycling in urban areas to improve road safety

Modal shift away from private motor vehicles could significantly improve road safety in dense urban areas, according to a new report on urban road safety by the International Transport Forum of the OECD.  Such a shift would also bring public health benefits associated with increased physical activity and improved air quality, according to the authors. The report benchmarked road safety performance in 72 urban areas, mostly in Europe, and illustrates governance solutions to improve urban road safety with case studies conducted in Lisbon (Portugal) […]

European Parliament backs new vehicle safety standards

European Parliament backs new vehicle safety standards

The European Parliament has given the green light to new minimum EU vehicle safety requirements that will come into force from 2022.  The vote by the full parliament, at its last session of this mandate, follows a provisional deal reached by the EU institutions last month. According to the final deal on the legislation, new cars, vans, lorries and buses sold in Europe will be fitted as standard with a range of new vehicle safety features such as Automated Emergency Braking which can detect […]

Seatbelt reminders in every seating position from September

Seatbelt reminders in every seating position from September

The EU has formally agreed updated UNECE regulations on seatbelts that will require seatbelt reminder systems in all front and rear seats on new cars from September 2019. Existing EU vehicle safety rules agreed in 2009 only require seatbelt reminder systems on the driver’s seat.  The updated requirements also include the front and rear passenger seats. In the front seats, the systems will need to be able to detect a passenger sitting and make an audible warning at the start of the journey if the belt is not […]

Coordinated speed checks reach 26 countries

Coordinated speed checks reach 26 countries

Police officers across Europe ran a week of coordinated actions to reduce speeding earlier this month including a 24-hour ‘Speed Marathon’. Figures from last year’s action showed that of 3,244,397 vehicles checked during the 24-hour operation, 92 per cent were driving within the legal speed limit. However, 257,639 speeding offences were detected, either by police officers or by technical means. The ‘Speed Marathon’ concept was devised six years ago in Germany. The concept, which involves inviting members of the public to identify locations where […]

Speed camera vandalism in France puts up to 75% of devices out of action

Speed camera vandalism in France puts up to 75% of devices out of action

The French government has announced the installation of 400 new-generation speed cameras, following a spate of attacks on existing devices in recent months. The interior minister Christophe Castaner announced last month that up to 75% of speed cameras across the country had been vandalised and put out of action.  Attacks on speed camera equipment in France have increased dramatically since the reduction of the rural road speed limit to 80km/h last summer and the rise of the Yellow Vest protest movement. The new French-made […]

ETSC comments on publication of 2018 EU road death figures

ETSC comments on publication of 2018 EU road death figures

The European Commission has published the 2018 figures for road deaths and serious injuries in the European Union. Commenting on the new figures, Antonio Avenoso, Executive Director of the European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) said: “It’s very disappointing that road deaths in the EU hardly declined in 2018.  This is now the fifth year in a row that hardly any progress has been made.  However there are reasons to be optimistic for the future. “In recent weeks, the EU has finalised two important pieces […]

ETSC welcomes provisional deal on new vehicle safety standards

ETSC welcomes provisional deal on new vehicle safety standards

New cars, vans, lorries and buses sold in Europe will be fitted as standard with a range of new vehicle safety features, starting in 2022, according to a provisional EU deal on the legislation reached last night in Strasbourg. The new rules include requirements for new technologies, such as Automated Emergency Braking which can detect pedestrians and cyclists, as well as overridable Intelligent Speed Assistance, to be fitted as standard for the first time.  New lorries will be required to have improved levels of […]

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