News

30km/h limits set to spread in 2021

30km/h limits set to spread in 2021

The city of Paris will extend 30 km/h limits to cover the entire city from 2021, and has launched a public consultation on the measure.  The move puts into effect an election promise of the mayor Anne Hidalgo.  Paris has had 30 km/h limits covering a wide area for several years, but it will now be the default speed everywhere except the ring road and pedestrianised areas.  Grenoble, Lille and Nantes have made similar moves to 30 km/h default limits in recent years. In […]

Euro NCAP launches ratings for advanced driver assistance systems

Euro NCAP launches ratings for advanced driver assistance systems

Euro NCAP has launched a new rating scheme for driver assistance systems fitted to the latest generation of vehicles, including advanced cruise control and lane keeping assistance.  Some manufacturers have been criticised for using inappropriate marketing, weak driver monitoring or poor safety backup. For its 2020 assessment of so-called “highway assist” systems, Euro NCAP developed a dedicated test and assessment protocol, divided into two main areas: Assistance Competence, based on the balance between Driver Engagement and Vehicle Assistance, and Safety Backup. The systems score […]

Insurers warn over risks of hands-off automated driving on UK roads

Insurers warn over risks of hands-off automated driving on UK roads

Thatcham Research and the Association of British Insurers (ABI) are urging the UK government to revise its plans to introduce Automated Lane Keeping Systems (ALKS) onto UK roads in early 2021 because “it will put road users’ lives at risk”. The organisations say the government should undertake further work to ensure road safety is fully considered before introducing Automated Lane Keeping Systems. The concerns are raised as both the functionality of ALKS technology and the regulations under which they will operate will mean that […]

In memory: Professor Péter Holló

In memory: Professor Péter Holló

The ETSC team was sorry to hear of the passing of Professor Péter Holló, a towering figure in road safety in Hungary, and a long-time collaborator of ETSC. Professor Holló’s career spanned almost five decades, rising to the position of head of road  safety and traffic engineering at the Hungarian Institute for Transport Sciences.  He led the development of Hungary’s first National Traffic Safety Programme and was an expert on road safety performance indicators and the economics of road safety. He served as ETSC’s […]

UK to close loophole and prevent all handheld phone use while driving

UK to close loophole and prevent all handheld phone use while driving

The UK government will change the law next year to ensure all handheld use of a mobile phone while driving is banned.  Under current law, making phone calls and sending text messages while holding a phone are prohibited, but many of the other functions carried out on modern smartphones are not.  The new legal change, expected next year, will close the loophole, but will still allow hands-free use of phones.   Research has shown that hands-free use of phones can be as distracting as using […]

AEB systems cut rear-end collisions by 45%

AEB systems cut rear-end collisions by 45%

A study carried out for ETSC’s Italian member ACI by the Filippo Caracciolo Foundation in collaboration with the Polytechnic of Turin has investigated the real world effectiveness of automated emergency braking (AEB) systems in preventing rear-end collisions. The authors cross-referenced data including: information from event data recorders in a sample of 1.5 million vehicles in 2017 and 1.8 million in 2018; information on the nature of collisions extracted from the ACI-ISTAT database and model information for cars on the road (the Public Automobile Register). […]

Consumer test of e-scooters leads to “get a bike” recommendation

Consumer test of e-scooters leads to “get a bike” recommendation

A consumer association’s test of the best-selling e-scooters in Belgium failed to lead to a recommended best buy, and instead the organisation suggested people buy bikes instead. The damning report by Test-Achats / Test Aankoop, based on specially designed laboratory tests as well as an on-road test route, found numerous problems with the devices.  One particular problem was battery failure or braking problems in wet conditions.  The organisation described the wet weather braking distances as “abominable”. A spokesman told Belgian media, “we advise against […]

Spain to reduce drink-driving limits further

Spain to reduce drink-driving limits further

The Spanish government is planning to lower the drink-driving limit for professional and novice drivers to 0.2 g/l – down from 0.3 g/l. The move would bring Spain into line with several other countries – as it is currently the only country with a 0.3 g/l limit for any class of driver.  In Europe, novice and professional drivers are often subject to lower limits than other drivers – and many countries have zero tolerance for these groups, or for all drivers.   https://etsc.eu/blood-alcohol-content-bac-drink-driving-limits-across-europe/

Austria and Germany set to increase speeding fines

Austria and Germany set to increase speeding fines

Both Austria and Germany are in the process of changing traffic laws to increase penalties for speeding. The Austrian transport minister said last month that fines for speeders could be doubled and confiscation of vehicles could become an option in extreme cases, such as when those sanctioned continue driving after a ban.  Driving bans will also be doubled in length in some cases. The announcement was welcomed by ETSC’s Austrian member KFV. Meanwhile political negotiations over reforms to traffic laws in Germany are ongoing […]

Concerns raised over draft technical specifications for mandatory Intelligent Speed Assistance (ISA) systems

Concerns raised over draft technical specifications for mandatory Intelligent Speed Assistance (ISA) systems

ETSC and a coalition of organisations have written to EU Member States raising serious concerns about draft technical specifications for Intelligent Speed Assistance (ISA), a mandatory new safety technology for new vehicles due to be introduced from 2022. Excessive speed is still one of the biggest killers on our roads, as the latest data from Germany confirm. Around a third of fatal collisions involve at least one party driving at an inappropriate speed, with cyclists and pedestrians being particularly susceptible. Intelligent Speed Assistance (ISA) […]

Finland drops “cars for kids” plan

Finland drops “cars for kids” plan

The entry-into-force of a new law in Finland to permit children as young as 15 to drive regular cars fitted with speed limiters has been withdrawn following drawn-out discussions with the European Commission about the legal and road safety implications of the scheme. The proposals, put forward two years ago by the Finnish government, would have allowed children to drive cars up to 1500 kg at speeds of up to 60 km/h and with only an AM category license – normally reserved for mopeds […]

Italy set to introduce alcohol interlock programmes and update road safety law

Italy set to introduce alcohol interlock programmes and update road safety law

Changes to road safety laws in Italy could lead to the introduction of alcohol interlock programmes for drink driving offenders, as well as updates to numerous road safety rules. The new legal proposal to introduce alcohol interlocks came from the CNEL, a state body with the power to propose new legislation, and has been presented to the two houses of the Italian parliament, marking the first step on the road to adoption. Meanwhile long-running proposals to update an array of other Italian road safety […]

Ethics of automated vehicles: European Commission publishes independent expert report

Ethics of automated vehicles: European Commission publishes independent expert report

The European Commission has published a report by an independent group of experts on the ethics of connected and automated vehicles (CAVs). The report looks at several questions including: who should be responsible in case of a collision when there is no human driver?; how can ethical and responsible data sharing by CAVs be ensured?; and are pedestrians and cyclists more at risk with CAVs in traffic? The expert group outlines twenty recommendations on road safety, privacy, fairness, AI explainability and responsibility for the […]

A new UN Global Road Safety Target – to reduce deaths and serious injuries by 50% by 2030

A new UN Global Road Safety Target – to reduce deaths and serious injuries by 50% by 2030

The UN General Assembly has adopted a new resolution on road safety, co-sponsored by 55 governments. The resolution proclaims the period 2021–2030 as the Second Decade of Action for Road Safety, with a goal of reducing road deaths and serious injuries by at least 50% between 2021 and 2030. The resolution calls for action to reduce road traffic deaths and injuries as a pressing development priority. It also endorses the Stockholm Declaration, approved at the third Global Ministerial Conference on Road Safety, held in […]

New ITF report on urban road safety best practice

New ITF report on urban road safety best practice

A new report from the OECD’s International Transport Forum (ITF) presents seven case studies of cities that are implementing data-driven road safety policies. It highlights relevant experiences aimed at reducing the number of traffic casualties and protecting vulnerable road users in cities. The case studies from Barcelona, Bogota, Buenos Aires, Fortaleza, London, New York and Rotterdam illustrate the diverse approaches to better understand road crashes and to prevent road traffic deaths and serious injuries. https://www.itf-oecd.org/best-practice-urban-road-safety

Polish speed sign shows fines and penalty points

Polish speed sign shows fines and penalty points

A new speed enforcement sign in Poland warns drivers of their current speed as well as the fine and penalty points they could expect to receive if they get caught. The sign has been installed with support from the local police and local authority near a primary school in the district of Lipsko in the province of Mazovia. Od kilku dni nad bezpieczeństwem uczniów PSP w Chotczy Józefów czuwa radarowy wyświetlacz prędkości, który został zainstalowany przy szkole https://t.co/QTlTPNiEnR. Urządzenie to ma charakter prewencyjno-edukacyjny. pic.twitter.com/uYHZfNr4NI […]

Scotland consults on 2030 road safety strategy

Scotland consults on 2030 road safety strategy

The Scottish government is consulting on a new road safety strategy for 2030 to achieve the target of cutting  road deaths by 50% by 2030 in line with UN and EU targets.  The Scottish government says a “step change in road safety delivery” will be needed, and has published a draft framework for consultation. The UK government currently does not have an overall road safety target, although the nations of Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales have set targets, along with cities including London and […]

Opinion: Back to school wearing masks, so how about some more protected bike lanes?

Opinion: Back to school wearing masks, so how about some more protected bike lanes?

Ellen Townsend, Policy Director After the extraordinary period of lockdown, and an unprecedented 36% drop in road deaths in the EU,  extraordinary measures are now being taken to get society and the economy back to normal, or rather, a new kind of normal.   Cinemas and theatres are starting to reopen, with lots of empty seats to maintain social distancing.  In Brussels, as I write this, it is now mandatory to wear a mask when outside, unless you are involved in a sporting activity.  It […]

New app helps rescue workers extricate vehicle occupants

Euro NCAP, the consumer vehicle safety testing organisation, has launched a new app giving rescue workers easier access to “rescue sheets”, detailed information for different car models on how to safely extricate occupants.   After a collision, getting the injured to emergency care quickly and safely is critical.  But knowing where and how to cut vehicles open to safely extricate occupants is challenging for emergency rescue workers.  In recent years devices such as airbags and electrical vehicle batteries have added to the complexity, and the […]

UK position on driving hours and digital tachographs criticised

UK position on driving hours and digital tachographs criticised

The EU Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier has criticised the UK government for refusing to accept EU rules on working time and digital tachographs for UK lorries driving in EU Member States.   He was speaking following the latest Brexit negotiations round earlier this month.  Mr Barnier said allowing UK drivers to follow different rules would undermine the single market and be unfair to EU Member States.  He underlined that the rules were important for road safety.

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