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London to make 20mph the default speed limit

London to make 20mph the default speed limit

The mayor of London has announced plans to make 20mph (+/- 30 km/h) the default speed limit in the city as part of a new Vision Zero road safety action plan. The speed limits will be accompanied by redesigned streets, speed cameras and on-street enforcement as part of a Safe System approach. As well as the work on speed limits, the mayor has set a target of reducing the numbers killed or seriously injured on London’s roads by 65% by 2022, based on the […]

Road traffic bill passed by Irish Senate

Road traffic bill passed by Irish Senate

Stricter penalties for drink driving in Ireland are set to come into force after a new law was passed by the lower and upper houses of parliament. The Road Traffic Bill includes provisions for an automatic three-month driving ban for first-time offenders if caught with blood-alcohol levels of between 0.5 g/l and 0.8 g/l.  Drivers currently caught at these levels receive three penalty points and no driving ban. The bill had almost reached its final stage in its passage through the lower house of […]

Aldi Germany will buy new lorries with turning assistant from 2019

Aldi Germany will buy new lorries with turning assistant from 2019

The German supermarket chain Aldi, has said all new lorries added to its fleet from 2019 will be fitted with turning assistant systems. The announcement came following a meeting organised by the German transport minister Andreas Scheuer with industry figures to discuss the issue of collisions caused by lorry drivers failing to see vulnerable road users in their blind spot when turning. The fitting of vulnerable road user detection and warning systems is one of the measures (see below) proposed by the European Commission in […]

UK insurers announce grading scheme for driver assistance systems

UK insurers announce grading scheme for driver assistance systems

Thatcham Research and the ABI (Association of British Insurers) have called on carmakers and legislators for greater clarity around the capability of vehicles sold with driver assistance and automated driving technologies. The call comes in the wake of growing reports of people crashing whilst over-relying on technology which is not yet designed to drive the car independently. The risks to drivers have been outlined in the new ‘Assisted and Automated Driving Definition and Assessment’ paper, which has identified dangerous grey areas associated with some […]

France introduces 80km/h limit on 400,000km of road

France introduces 80km/h limit on 400,000km of road

Two-lane roads with no separating guard rail in France have had their default speed limit reduced from 90 to 80 km/h since 1 July, fulfilling a commitment made by the Prime Minister in January. The change applies on 40% of the French road network; some 400,000 km of roads are affected by the lower limit. The government says that 350-400 deaths a year could be prevented by the measure. 55% of French road deaths occur on two-lane roads with no separating guard rail. A […]

Latest UN child seat standard agreed for 2019

Latest UN child seat standard agreed for 2019

The third phase of new UN regulations covering the safety of child car seats has been agreed and will come into force next year. The new additions to the R129 standard cover baby and toddler seats held in position by a seatbelt, i.e. not attached to Isofix mounting points found on newer cars.   Child seats built to this new standard would be a safer option for parents with older cars without Isofix points. Phase 1 of the R129 standard, which has been in place […]

Alcohol interlocks now mandatory in Belgium for high-level and repeat offenders

Alcohol interlocks now mandatory in Belgium for high-level and repeat offenders

Judges in Belgium will have to oblige high level or repeat drink-driving offenders to follow an alcohol interlock rehabilitation programme after new legal changes come into force on 1 July 2018. Previously the alcohol interlock requirement was a little-used legal option, but it will now become mandatory in most cases. According to research by VIAS, ETSC’s Belgian member, recidivism is reduced by 75% for those that install an alcohol interlock and follow the accompanying rehabilitation programme. Under the existing rules, only 67 drivers have […]

EU vehicle safety proposals to require standardised alcohol interlock interface

EU vehicle safety proposals to require standardised alcohol interlock interface

All new vehicles sold in the EU will feature a standardised interface to enable the fitment of aftermarket alcohol interlock devices, according to new EU vehicle safety standards proposed last month. The proposed requirement, part of a package of new vehicle safety standards, should make it simpler and cheaper to fit an alcohol interlock when a driver is required to do so by law.  Several EU countries have rehabilitation programmes for recidivist drink drivers that require installation of an interlock before a driver is […]

Ireland drink-driving law changes face filibuster

Ireland drink-driving law changes face filibuster

Stricter limits on drink-driving are being blocked in the Irish parliament by a small group of MPs opposed to the changes. The Road Traffic Bill includes provisions for an automatic three-month driving ban for first-time offenders if caught with blood-alcohol levels of between 0.5 g/l and 0.8 g/l.  Drivers currently caught at these levels receive three penalty points and no driving ban. The bill had almost reached its final stage in its passage through the lower house of the Irish parliament when a small […]

“Two passenger planes crash, killing everyone on board…” – This is how many people die on EU roads every week

“Two passenger planes crash, killing everyone on board…” – This is how many people die on EU roads every week

A new report by the European Transport Safety Council shows that road safety progress in the European Union has stagnated for the last four years. The organisation says governments need strong political will, urgent measures and substantial investments in safe infrastructure to reduce the 500 deaths that occur on EU roads every single week. The weekly number of road deaths in the EU is equivalent to two typical passenger airliners crashing and killing everyone on board. The latest Road Safety Performance Index (PIN) report […]

Improving road death data collection in the EU

Improving road death data collection in the EU

A new report from ETSC looks at the state of the art of road death data collection across the EU.  The authors include recommendations for improving the accuracy and scope of the data in order to better target road safety policy measures in the coming years. The report says Member States that use a single source of data, usually police records, should consider cross-checking with other sources such as hospital data and coroners’ records. Research in countries that do use more than one source, […]

Spain: bus alcohol interlock plan proposed as data show drink-driving checks down by a third

Spain: bus alcohol interlock plan proposed as data show drink-driving checks down by a third

The committee on sustainable mobility of the Spanish parliament has proposed legal changes to require the installation of alcohol interlocks in all passenger vehicles with more than nine seats. The legal proposal agreed in May is similar to one already passed in France.  It was an initiative of the PSOE party which took over the leadership of a minority government in June when Mariano Rajoy’s People’s Party lost a vote of no-confidence. Earlier this year, Spanish media reported that police enforcement checks for drink-driving […]

UK: PACTS fund will help develop more efficient roadside breath testing for UK police

UK: PACTS fund will help develop more efficient roadside breath testing for UK police

The Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety (PACTS) has been awarded a grant by the UK transport minister to run a competition to encourage the development of mobile evidential breath testing instruments for use by UK police. Up to £350,000 (EUR 400,000) will be available to encourage manufacturers in the sector to invest in devices which meet the UK standard. Currently, when a UK driver provides a positive alcohol screening test by the roadside, the police are required to take the driver back to […]

EU should act against mileage tampering on second-hand cars

EU should act against mileage tampering on second-hand cars

The European Parliament’s Transport Committee called last month for action from the European Commission against mileage fraud in Europe. Research on cross-border second-hand car sales has shows that up to 50% of odometers were tampered with, with an economic cost for buyers and businesses running into billions of Euros every year. Georges Bach MEP said: “It is unacceptable that many car buyers all over Europe are still victims of mileage fraud. Considering that the solution only costs a fraction of the economic damage incurred, […]

ETSC raises questions over driver understanding of lane change systems

ETSC raises questions over driver understanding of lane change systems

ETSC has written to the European Commission for the second time this year regarding concerns over the safety and approval process for new driver assist systems including lane change systems. Earlier this year, new rules on the functionality of lane change assist systems were agreed at the UNECE in Geneva.  The rules could be integrated within EU law within a few months, meaning car manufacturers will be able to “type approve” vehicles fitted with such a system for sale across the EU. Such systems […]

OECD report on automation challenges belief that self-driving vehicles will wipe out 90% of road crashes

OECD report on automation challenges belief that self-driving vehicles will wipe out 90% of road crashes

A new report by the International Transport Forum of the OECD examines how increasing automation of cars and trucks could affect road safety, and which security vulnerabilities will need to be addressed with the rise of self-driving vehicles. It applies the principles of the Safe System approach and relevance of Vision Zero for road safety to the wider discussion on vehicle automation. The report addresses a critical misunderstanding of road safety crash data that has led to an oft-repeated myth about automated cars – […]

New approach to safety of small passenger ships

The European Commission has adopted a proposal to coordinate safety rules for small passenger ships (less than 24 meters in length). It is the first time a common safety framework for all small passenger ships has been presented at EU level. 555 accidents were recorded between 2011 and 2017 in the European Marine Casualty Information Platform (EMCIP) for this class of ships, with 165 injured people and 11 deaths. The proposal recommends Member States to follow common safety goals and functional requirements for small […]

New EU vehicle safety standards could prevent 25,000 deaths within 15 years

New EU vehicle safety standards could prevent 25,000 deaths within 15 years

European Commission announces major package of road safety measures including new targets to cut road deaths and serious injuries in half by 2030; World’s most advanced new car safety standards will make life-saving technologies such as Automated Emergency Braking and overridable Intelligent Speed Assistance a standard feature on all new vehicles; currently these features are only available as an option on some models; Race on for proposals to be approved by 28 EU Member States and the European Parliament. Veuillez trouver ci-dessous la version […]

Speed awareness courses more effective than fines

Speed awareness courses more effective than fines

The findings of a study by Ipsos MORI and the Institute for Transport Studies at the University of Leeds have shown that participation in National Speed Awareness Courses in England and Wales has a larger effect in reducing speed reoffending than penalty points and fines. Reoffending rates were estimated to be reduced by up to 23% for those that completed a course, during the six months following their participation.  After three years, the reduction in reoffending rates was up to 18%. Speed Awareness Courses […]

Belgium: New drivers to get mandatory first aid training

Belgium: New drivers to get mandatory first aid training

The Brussels Capital region will introduce mandatory first aid training for all new drivers from November this year.  20,000 places on courses organised by the Red Cross will be available on an annual basis.  But the requirements only apply in Brussels, one of the three main administrative regions of Belgium.  The costs of the courses will be paid, not by drivers, but by the Brussels authorities. ETSC says first aid training could be useful, and in any case, can prove helpful in a wide […]

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