News

Overhaul of EU rules on driver medical fitness needed

Overhaul of EU rules on driver medical fitness needed

The current EU approach to assessing whether drivers are medically fit to hold a licence needs substantial revision, according to a new report by ETSC. The report examines the current state of play in European countries regarding the assessment of medical fitness to drive, with reference to current EU rules. The EU is currently reviewing the Directive on driver licensing and a revised legal proposal is expected in 2022. The report shows that the starting point for many EU countries is still age-based assessment […]

Parliament wants all motorcycles to be subject to regular technical checks

Parliament wants all motorcycles to be subject to regular technical checks

The European Parliament is urging the European Commission to consider mandating regular technical inspections for all motorcycles in all EU Member States when vehicle roadworthiness rules are revised in 2023.  Only motorcycles above 125cc are required to be checked under rules on regular technical inspections today, though many EU member states require checks on such vehicles anyway. In a report approved by the Parliament’s online plenary session on 3 March, parliamentarians set out a number of changes they would like to see that would […]

Berlin, Paris and London demand safer trucks

Berlin, Paris and London demand safer trucks

A group of European cities, including Berlin, Paris and London, have called on their national governments to address truck blind spots that put pedestrians and cyclists’ lives at risk. The cities call for an ambitious direct vision standard for trucks which would greatly improve road safety, particularly for vulnerable road users. This year national governments are due to pass a direct vision standard for trucks at the UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) which should be applied across the European Union from 2026 thanks […]

Greek government launches new road safety action plan

Greek government launches new road safety action plan

The Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis launched an ambitious new national road safety action plan earlier this month.  At the heart of the proposals are a target to reduce deaths by 50% by 2030 and the development of a National Road Safety Strategic Plan 2021-2030 by the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport. Greece saw the biggest reductions in annual road deaths in the EU over the decade to 2019, with a drop of 43% compared to an EU average of 19%.  Though, as the […]

European Parliament to set out road safety vision for next decade

European Parliament to set out road safety vision for next decade

MEPs will have their say on the EU’s road safety strategy for the next ten years in a report expected to be published next month, with formal approval later this year.  ETSC is calling for strong backing for EU and global targets to halve deaths and injuries by 2030, and an increase in EU institutional capacity to tackle road safety issues such as slow improvements in vulnerable road user safety and better oversight of automated driving. The Parliament’s report follows the publication of the […]

MEPs urged to prevent weakening of Intelligent Speed Assistance requirements

MEPs urged to prevent weakening of Intelligent Speed Assistance requirements

ETSC, together with a coalition of organisations, has written to members of the European Parliament’s Committee on Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO) with a call to prevent the weakening of the minimum requirements for Intelligent Speed Assistance technology. The European Union agreed last year that all new cars, vans, lorries and buses should be fitted as standard with a range of new vehicle safety technologies, starting in 2022.  The measures are predicted to prevent 25,000 road deaths within fifteen years, according to analysis […]

Mercedes recalling more than a million cars in the US due to potential eCall fault

Mercedes recalling more than a million cars in the US due to potential eCall fault

A software bug that can result in a crashed car sending incorrect location information to emergency services has led to a recall of 1.3 million vehicles by Mercedes-Benz in the USA. The recall came to light in a report published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Agency (NHTSA) earlier this month, which references “a case in the European market” where a car was found to have sent incorrect location data following a collision. There is no central agency for vehicle recalls in the EU.  […]

Average speed down 9% in Brussels since launch of city-wide 30 km/h limit

Average speed down 9% in Brussels since launch of city-wide 30 km/h limit

The first data on speed and journey times since Brussels introduced its city-wide 30 km/h limit are promising. The city of Brussels introduced Europe’s largest 30 km/h zone on 1 January.  30 km/h became the default with a few exceptions on major roads that remain at 50 km/h. The city described the first results as “very promising” – though acknowledged that a longer period will be needed to assess the full results. Brussels Mobility compared speeds captured by LIDAR detectors at 12 locations during […]

UK will allow automated driving on motorways this year

UK will allow automated driving on motorways this year

The UK is set to be the first European country to permit vehicles to be operated using a form of automated driving made possible by so-called automated lane keeping systems (ALKS), following an agreement on the specifications for ALKS at the UNECE in Geneva last summer. ALKS systems can be operated at up to 60 km/h on separated highways where pedestrians and cyclists are prohibited (e.g. motorways).  The systems have been designed as a comfort feature for driving in heavy traffic where vehicles are […]

Is car no longer king in Berlin?

Is car no longer king in Berlin?

A new “pedestrian law” has been passed in Berlin, with the aim of shifting the priority away from cars, and further towards vulnerable road users. At the end of January, Berlin’s state parliament passed a so-called pedestrian law — an amendment to a 2018 law that focused on improving traffic safety for cyclists. Both were the first of their kind in Germany, according to DW – a German news broadcaster. The new requirements include: longer green lights for pedestrians, safer routes to school, more […]

US study says vehicle choice and crash differences help explain greater injury risks for women

US study says vehicle choice and crash differences help explain greater injury risks for women

Women are much more likely than men to suffer a serious injury when they are involved in a crash, but much of the heightened risk is related to the types of vehicles women drive and the circumstances of their crashes, rather than physical differences. That is the conclusion of new research carried out by the US Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Though men are involved in more fatal crashes than women, on a per-crash basis women are 20-28 percent more likely than men […]

Spain increases section control by 50%

Spain increases section control by 50%

Spain’s Directorate General of Traffic (DGT) will install 45 new time-over-distance cameras throughout 2021, a 50% increase on the currently installed number. Spain currently has 750 fixed speed cameras, 543 mobile units as well as aerial enforcement by helicopter and drone. In addition, there are 82 time-over-distance cameras (also known as average-speed cameras), but this year they will increase to 127.

How will the future UK-EU relationship impact road safety?

How will the future UK-EU relationship impact road safety?

The transition period is over and a deal has been done.  What will the implications be for road safety regulation and cooperation now that the UK has left the EU and a new trade deal has been signed? The biggest changes are where no agreement was reached and/or EU rules no longer apply to the UK. The EU legislation on cross-border enforcement of traffic offences no longer applies, meaning the UK is not able to easily follow-up on traffic penalties such as speeding tickets […]

Millions of children missed out on road safety education during Covid-19 lockdowns

Millions of children missed out on road safety education during Covid-19 lockdowns

Children across Europe missed out on road safety lessons and tests for cycling and walking safely amid Covid-19 lockdowns and school closures, according to a new report by the European Transport Safety Council (ETSC), the Flemish Foundation for Traffic Knowledge (VSV) and Fundación MAPFRE.  However, several education experts consulted for the report found that lockdown boosted innovation in delivery methods, tools and working practices which could lead to improved outcomes in the future. The report has been published to coincide with the third UNESCO […]

Israel cracks down on remote e-scooter unlocking for unauthorised and underage riders

Israel cracks down on remote e-scooter unlocking for unauthorised and underage riders

Israel’s National Road Safety Authority is demanding changes to the way e-scooter hire apps verify users and rider age following investigations of fatal collisions that revealed several gaps.  In a press release issued in December the NRSA said it had written to Lime, Wind and Bird, the main operators in Israel, calling for changes – and the companies had responded positively. The authority told ETSC that post-collision investigations had revealed several flaws with e-scooter sharing apps, notably: As a new subscriber, it was easy […]

Level 2 driver assistance systems need review

Level 2 driver assistance systems need review

ETSC has reiterated calls for regulators to look again at the safety of vehicles with Level 2 assistance systems as carmakers increase pressure to allow such systems to be operated “hands off”. In a letter to the Financial Times, published in January, ETSC wrote that it is not clear what effect these new technologies are having on road death and injury numbers because crash investigations almost never take into account if such systems were functional at the time of a collision. However, forensic investigations […]

Belgian-UK study: positive messages encourage safer driver behaviour more than fear tactics

Belgian-UK study: positive messages encourage safer driver behaviour more than fear tactics

A new study has shown that films demonstrating responsible behaviour could lead to young drivers taking fewer risks on the road than if they only saw videos aimed at provoking fear of accidents. Over one million people are killed in road accidents each year and drivers below the age of 25 account for nearly half of road deaths. Dr Yaniv Hanoch, Associate Professor of Risk Management at the University of Southampton, said: “Governments around the world have adopted a plethora of interventions aimed at […]

Drink-driving enforcement in the UK cut by almost two-thirds since 2009

Drink-driving enforcement in the UK cut by almost two-thirds since 2009

The UK’s system of preventing drink-driving is no longer adequate, according to a report by ETSC’s member the Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety (PACTS), which calls for a comprehensive review. The report, which combines data analysis with in-depth interviews with drink-drivers, found:  Drink driving is still one of the biggest causes of road deaths; In the last decade 240 people have been killed each year where a driver was over the limit; Nearly one in five (17%) drink-drive offences is committed by a […]

Euro NCAP calls for bigger focus on van safety with launch of new rating programme

Euro NCAP calls for bigger focus on van safety with launch of new rating programme

Euro NCAP, the consumer car safety rating organisation, says businesses should avoid buying several models of new vans including the FIAT Talento, Opel/Vauxhall Movano, Nissan NV400, Renault Master and Renault Trafic, due to poor safety ratings in its newly launched van rating scheme. Fourteen commercial vans qualified for an award by Euro NCAP under new criteria that prioritise crash avoidance and driver assistance systems.  Nineteen vans, covering 98 percent of European sales last year, were tested in accordance with Euro NCAP 2018 Safety Assist […]

UK government will only buy five star Euro NCAP-rated cars

UK government will only buy five star Euro NCAP-rated cars

New mandatory public procurement guidelines issued by the UK government require central government departments and their related organisations to purchase vehicles with a minimum of a valid five star Euro NCAP safety rating. The welcome move is the first European national government-wide procurement policy that ETSC is aware of that requires the five star rating.  A 2017 ETSC report on work-related road safety highlighted the examples of the Finnish Transport Safety Agency and the Swedish Transport Administration who both set the five-star standard for […]

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