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PIN report: Lockdowns resulted in an unprecedented 36% drop in road deaths in the EU

PIN report: Lockdowns resulted in an unprecedented 36% drop in road deaths in the EU

Preliminary data from 25 EU Member States show an average 36% drop in road deaths in April 2020 compared to the average of the same month in the previous three years, according to a new report by the European Transport Safety Council. The highest reduction in road deaths was recorded in Italy (84%), followed by Belgium, Spain, France and Greece with decreases of over 59%.  But reductions in traffic did not lead to reductions in deaths in all countries.  In Sweden, Denmark and the […]

This list of countries making the most progress on road safety in Europe might surprise you

This list of countries making the most progress on road safety in Europe might surprise you

Estonia, Greece, Lithuania, Latvia and Portugal have reduced road deaths the most since 2010 Estonia to receive the 2020 European Transport Safety Council Road Safety Performance Index Award Road deaths in Malta, the Netherlands and the UK were higher in 2019 than in 2010 EU “almost certain to miss” 2020 target to halve road deaths 17 June 2020 Brussels – The Baltic States, together with Greece and Portugal, were the best performing countries in the EU according to a new report on the progress […]

Report calls for action on goods vehicle safety

Report calls for action on goods vehicle safety

A quarter (25%) of road deaths in the European Union are the consequence of a collision involving a goods vehicle, according to the European Transport Safety Council, authors of a new report on the safety of goods transport by road. According to the new analysis, 3310 people lost their lives in police-reported road collisions involving a heavy goods vehicle (HGV) of 3.5 tonnes or above in the 27 countries of the EU in 2018. In the same year, 2630 people were killed in collisions […]

Finnish study finds different profiles among drink and drug drivers

Finnish study finds different profiles among drink and drug drivers

Collisions caused by drink-drivers who only use alcohol, and drug drivers differ in terms of timing and types of accidents and it is common for drug users to use several intoxicants at the same time according to new research by the Finnish Crash Data Institute (OTI), an ETSC member. The latest OTI substance abuse report looked at fatal collisions investigated in Finland over the period 2014–2018 and drivers who had been driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs or both. The investigators found […]

UK permits e-scooter rental trials from next month

UK permits e-scooter rental trials from next month

The UK government has brought forward plans to permit trials of e-scooter rental schemes across the country. The schemes had been planned to launch next year after a public consultation on the proposed new rules to legalise the vehicles, but the trials have been brought forward as part of a package of transport measures in response to the covid-19 crisis. Privately-owned e-scooters will remain illegal on public roads for the time being.  A report published in February by the International Transport Forum made a […]

New Euro NCAP tests will look at impact on occupants of other vehicles

New Euro NCAP tests will look at impact on occupants of other vehicles

The consumer vehicle safety rating organisation Euro NCAP has announced major changes to its testing process.  A significant difference in the new 2020 testing regime is the implementation of a new “moving barrier to moving car” frontal crash test. This new test not only evaluates the protection of occupants inside the car being tested, but also assesses how a car’s front-end structure contributes to injuries in the “collision partner” i.e. the other vehicle involved.  This could be important, for example, in judging the safety […]

Pontevedra, Spain, wins the first EU urban road safety award

Pontevedra, Spain, wins the first EU urban road safety award

The European Commission has announced the winners of four sustainable mobility awards including the first ever prize for urban road safety, awarded to Pontevedra in Spain. Pontevedra has reduced road deaths consistently since 1999, impressively achieving zero road deaths between 2011 and 2018. A host of measures ensure that safety and sustainability go hand-in-hand. The city used a clear and careful monitoring strategy to identify which policies are effective and which need to be updated, resulting in increased active mobility, such as walking and […]

1 in 12 plays games behind the wheel – SWOV study on distraction

1 in 12 plays games behind the wheel – SWOV study on distraction

A new survey for SWOV, the Dutch Institute for Road Safety Research, has shown that drivers are increasingly playing games while driving: 8.2 percent admitted to sometimes playing games while driving in 2019, up from 3 percent in a 2017 survey.   70 percent of drivers admitted to using their phone in some way while driving, for example to use navigation or music software. The survey also looked at mobile phone use by cyclists, finding that young people are more likely to use their device […]

Commission launches Covid-19 transport exit plan

Commission launches Covid-19 transport exit plan

The European Commission has published a series of recommendations for transport policy as Member States transition out of lockdown.  The main focus of the “communication” is to advise on ways of ensuring freight and passenger transport services can operate safely, with appropriate protections and social distancing requirements.  However ETSC wrote to Commissioner Valean in early May pointing out important road safety considerations to be taken into account for the exit strategy. In the letter, ETSC stressed that any flexibility or suspension to road safety […]

Insurer: Lockdown accelerates UK young driver speeding by 15%

Insurer: Lockdown accelerates UK young driver speeding by 15%

Co-op Insurance says speeding alerts issued to its UK young driver policyholders have increased by a sixth (15%) in recent weeks. Co-op’s telematics data which monitor drivers’ behaviours such as how fast they take corners, how they brake and whether they are observing the speed limit, show some are driving faster than they legally should be.  The UK has been a leader in car insurance policies linked to telematic devices fitted in the policy holder’s vehicle.  As a means of helping to keep young […]

German Road Safety Council launches campaign for a motorway speed limit

German Road Safety Council launches campaign for a motorway speed limit

The German Road Safety Council, a founding member of ETSC, has launched a call for a generalised speed limit of 130 km/h across the motorway network. In a resolution of the DVR board published yesterday the organisation said: “Speed plays a particularly important role with regard to the distance travelled during the reaction time, and the kinetic energy acting on the vehicle occupants. A reduced speed leads to a shorter stopping distance and reduced accident severity with the same reaction time. It also has […]

New study offers insights into most effective ISA systems

New study offers insights into most effective ISA systems

A new study led by Professor Oliver Carsten at the Institute for Transport Studies, University of Leeds, looks at the most effective and user-friendly human machine interface (HMI) options for Intelligent Speed Assistance (ISA). ISA systems will be required on all new cars, vans, lorries and buses sold in the EU from 2022, as part of an array of mandatory new vehicle safety technologies included in the updated EU General Safety Regulation, agreed last year. The updated law defines ISA as “a system to […]

Volvo targets “hands off” automated motorway driving system from 2022

Volvo targets “hands off” automated motorway driving system from 2022

Volvo cars has said it will launch cars with the hardware necessary for fully automated driving on motorways from 2022.   All currently-available systems in the EU require the driver to remain in charge of the vehicle and to constantly monitor the road, with their hands on the wheel.  Volvo is hoping to take advantage of new, cheaper LIDAR sensors and new software, to offer a system that allows the driver to rely on the automated driving system completely under certain situations.  Such a system […]

Editorial: Amid this shocking crisis there is an opportunity to transform road safety

Editorial: Amid this shocking crisis there is an opportunity to transform road safety

Antonio Avenoso, Executive Director It is the best of times, it is the worst of times… Last month I watched with horror, fear and dismay at the reports from Italy, my home country, where deaths from COVID-19 every few days were the equivalent of the country’s annual road deaths.  The emergency care system was overwhelmed, there was a terrible shortage of protective equipment and, worst of all, so many families were devastated and unable even to mourn their loss together.  The economic costs?  Impossible […]

Van drivers on international routes will need tachographs under EU deal on driving and resting times

Van drivers on international routes will need tachographs under EU deal on driving and resting times

International transport operators using light goods vehicles of over 2.5 t will be subject to EU rules for driving and resting times, and their vehicles will need to be fitted with tachographs, according to a provisional EU deal on updated transport regulations. Currently only heavy goods vehicle and coach drivers are required to use tachographs and respect strict limits on driving and resting times.  The change marks the first time the rules will apply to some van drivers – something ETSC has long called […]

COVID-19: Cities adapting road infrastructure and speed limits to enable safer cycling and walking

COVID-19: Cities adapting road infrastructure and speed limits to enable safer cycling and walking

Berlin, Brussels, Milan and Paris have all announced infrastructure changes to promote cycling and walking during the COVID-19 confinement period. Berlin has already temporarily widened cycle lanes to allow safe overtaking with social distancing limits in mind. Milan, meanwhile is closing 35km of streets to car traffic, introducing more 30 km/h limits and converting streets  to cycling and pedestrian-priority. In France, Paris and several other large cities have announced large rollouts of cycle lanes for during and after the lockdown. In the Belgian capital […]

COVID-19: Huge drop in traffic in Europe,  but impact on road deaths unclear

COVID-19: Huge drop in traffic in Europe, but impact on road deaths unclear

Unprecedented reductions in traffic volumes have been reported across Europe since confinement measures associated with the COVID-19 pandemic took effect.  Early reports based on limited data show that road deaths have not been reduced to the same degree, and, in some areas, have stayed the same or risen.  It is too early to draw firm conclusions. Data analysis by Tom Tom, of a number of major European cities has shown traffic volumes reduced by between 70 and 85% in countries where confinement measures are […]

EU Urban Safety Award Nominees announced

EU Urban Safety Award Nominees announced

The European Commission has announced the first ever Urban Road Safety Award nominees.  The awards will celebrate outstanding and innovative achievements by local authorities in the area of road safety. The finalists are: Jaworzno (Poland); Ordu (Turkey) and Pontevedra (Spain). The jury praised, in particular, Jaworzno’s action to reduce speed limits, increase the number of public transport users, and involve local residents in the design of renovated streets.  Ordu’s “courageous” decision to pedestrianise the busiest parts of the city, remove heavy car traffic from […]

COVID-19: Concerns over suspension of EU road safety laws amid lock-down

COVID-19: Concerns over suspension of EU road safety laws amid lock-down

Several EU Member States have formally notified the European Commission of temporary suspensions to the application of a number of EU road safety laws. Several countries are allowing longer driving times for lorry drivers, to enable deliveries of essential products such as medical equipment. With driver and vehicle testing centres forced to shut their doors, many countries have also extended the validity of driving licenses, certificates of professional competence and vehicle technical inspection certificates. While ETSC recognises the unique circumstances of the current lockdowns, […]

Apple CarPlay and Android Auto infotainment systems weaken reactions more than alcohol and cannabis

Apple CarPlay and Android Auto infotainment systems weaken reactions more than alcohol and cannabis

A new study by the UK’s transport research laboratory (TRL) shows that the latest in-vehicle infotainment systems that display smartphone apps on in-car displays impair reaction times behind the wheel more than alcohol and cannabis use. The study found that reaction times at motorway speeds increased average stopping distances to between four and five car lengths. The study also found that drivers took their eyes off the road for as long as 16 seconds while driving (equivalent to a distance of more than 500 […]

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