News

Europe exports millions of old, dangerous cars to Africa – UN report

Europe exports millions of old, dangerous cars to Africa – UN report

Millions of old, polluting and unsafe cars are being exported from richer regions to African nations every year, according to a new report from the United Nations Environment Programme. Used Vehicles and the Environment – A Global Overview of Used Light Duty Vehicles: Flow, Scale and Regulation, the first-ever report of its kind, calls for action to fill the current policy vacuum with the adoption of harmonised minimum quality standards that will ensure used vehicles contribute to cleaner, safer fleets in importing countries. The […]

European Commission announces major package of transport safety initiatives

European Commission announces major package of transport safety initiatives

Updated rules on cross-border enforcement of traffic offences, vehicle roadworthiness, automated vehicles, and driving licenses and a proposal to add eCall automated emergency calling devices to motorcycles, trucks and buses are among a major package of new legislative measures for the transport sector announced by the European Commission last week. The new Sustainable and Smart Mobility Strategy follows the pattern of recent years of bundling up an array of new related measures into a package rather than announcing them individually. The Commission also says […]

New report looks at deadliest vehicle types

New report looks at deadliest vehicle types

Most people who die on the roads are much more likely to be killed in a car, or by a car, than any other mode. By contrast, pedestrians and cyclists are rarely involved in collisions that result in the death of other road users. These are the conclusions of a new report from ETSC’s UK member PACTS. Per mile travelled, vans and light goods vehicles are involved in more deaths of other road users than any other vehicle type, more even than HGVs. Motorcycles […]

The French government wants to make it easier for local authorities to install speed cameras

The French government wants to make it easier for local authorities to install speed cameras

French cities and towns will be able to install speed cameras within their territory without consulting with the government’s state representatives (prefects), according to legal changes debated last month. Although speed cameras are a familiar site on French national roads and motorways, until now it has been complicated for mayors to install them on urban roads, requiring multiple levels of bureaucracy to be consulted. If approved, the change would allow mayors to install speed cameras as well as noise and air pollution monitoring equipment […]

Austrian warnings over e-scooter safety

Austrian warnings over e-scooter safety

ETSC’s Austrian member KFV has issued a damning report on e-scooter safety, warning of severe deficiencies with the vehicles themselves, particularly their braking distance when compared to bicycles. KFV investigated real-world e-scooter rider behaviour: speed choice, turning, helmet use, lighting and choice of infrastructure. The effectiveness of e-scooter braking systems was analysed on a test-track test. Finally, an Austria-wide survey highlighted the lack of knowledge of legal regulations. KFV says increasing e-scooter safety is critical. In Austria, e-scooters are permitted a maximum power output […]

The Netherlands is first EU Member State to issue automated fines for mobile phone use at the wheel

The Netherlands is first EU Member State to issue automated fines for mobile phone use at the wheel

The Netherlands has begun issuing fines following detection of mobile phone use by a new generation of cameras, the first EU Member State to do so. Since last month drivers holding a phone behind the wheel can be photographed by smart cameras.  If the system determines that the driver is holding a phone, the photo is automatically forwarded to the relevant agency where an investigating officer will determine whether there is indeed a violation.  Fines can then be sent out automatically. The cameras take […]

US study shows drivers let their focus slip as they get used to driver assistance systems

US study shows drivers let their focus slip as they get used to driver assistance systems

Drivers fidget with electronics and take both hands off the wheel more often as they develop trust in assistance systems, new research from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s AgeLab shows. To investigate how experience with partial automation affects driver disengagement, the researchers studied the driving behaviour of 20 volunteers over a month’s time as they gained familiarity with advanced driver assistance features, examining how often they removed both hands from the steering wheel or took their […]

Expert group report outlines areas for EU action on speed

Expert group report outlines areas for EU action on speed

The European Commission has published the conclusions of a recent “executive seminar” on the issue of speed and road safety, outlining several recommended areas for action, including suggestions for maximum speed limits for different road categories. The report says too many roads allow speeds which are too high for the safety of all road users present, given the level of protection afforded by the quality of the infrastructure and the vehicles involved. Evidence in different European countries (including Sweden, the Netherlands and France) generally […]

European Investment Bank to fund treatment of 7000 high risk sites in Greece

The European Investment Bank has agreed to co-finance a EUR 470 million nationwide programme to reduce death and injury caused by traffic collisions across Greece, the first investment of its kind by the EIB. The EUR 235 million financial support agreed between the European Investment Bank and the national road operator Egnatia Odos will reduce the risk of collisions in Greek cities, rural areas, mountain districts and on Greek islands. Over the next three years, national road operator Egnatia Odos will improve road safety […]

Ministers warned weakening of vehicle safety regulations could lead to up to 1300 extra road deaths a year

Ministers warned weakening of vehicle safety regulations could lead to up to 1300 extra road deaths a year

ETSC, together with a coalition of organisations, has written to all 27 EU Transport Ministers and Industry Ministers expressing concern that vital new EU vehicle safety standards, set to come into force from 2022, could be set for a severe blow. 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 […]

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) […]

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