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Germany updates road traffic law with new rules on lorry turning speed, legal passing distance for bicycles and new cycling zones

Germany updates road traffic law with new rules on lorry turning speed, legal passing distance for bicycles and new cycling zones

A wide range of new traffic safety measures have been agreed by the German parliament as part of an update to the country’s traffic law. Drivers who park in cycle lanes or follow emergency vehicles through an emergency corridor will now face higher fines, and, for the latter, the possibility of a driving ban. Drivers will also need to use a minimum passing distance for bicycles of 1.5m in urban areas, and 2m out of town – the first time a specific limit has […]

MEPs demand action on road safety at first plenary debate with new Transport Commissioner

MEPs demand action on road safety at first plenary debate with new Transport Commissioner

Adina Vălean, the European Commissioner for transport underlined the importance of the Safe System approach and recommitted to the new 2030 target to halve road deaths in the EU as she faced MEPs on the topic of road safety for the first time since her official confirmation. At the first plenary debate on road safety of the current parliamentary session, in Strasbourg on 13 February, a number of MEPs challenged the Commissioner to bring forward measures to address several key challenges. Róża Thun of […]

ITF report recommends action on safety of e-scooters

ITF report recommends action on safety of e-scooters

A new study by the International Transport Forum’s “Corporate Partnership Board” examines several safety aspects of e-scooters and other micro-vehicles and makes a number of recommendations. In general the report recommends treating e-scooters in the same way as bicycles with separated infrastructure, restricting their use on pavements (or requiring a lower speed) and not subjecting the vehicles to EU type-approval rules. ETSC is concerned about evidence of higher numbers of severe injuries among e-scooter riders compared to cyclists and is calling for more and […]

Global conference adopts Stockholm Declaration – setting the agenda for the next decade of road safety action

Global conference adopts Stockholm Declaration – setting the agenda for the next decade of road safety action

Government delegates from more than 80 countries discussed how to step up ambition and improve global road safety in the next decade at a major international conference in Stockholm. During the 3rd Global Ministerial Conference on Road Safety in Stockholm, Swedish Minister for Infrastructure Tomas Eneroth presented the Stockholm Declaration, stressing the need for continued, ambition in particular by working towards a new global fatality reduction target, as the current target expires this year. The document will provide guidance up to 2030, focussing on […]

Support for unlimited motorway speeds in Germany is reducing

Support for unlimited motorway speeds in Germany is reducing

Germany’s largest automobile association ADAC is “no longer fundamentally opposed” to motorway speed limits, and the second largest, ACE, actively supports a maximum speed of 130 km/h. The debate over ending unlimited speed on Germany motorways has been on the agenda again for a year, after a government commission on the environment recommended introducing a 130 km/h limit.  So far the government has ruled out the change. But momentum in favour of a limit appears to be growing with the largest automobile club shifting […]

336 lives saved on French roads thanks to 80 km/h limits

336 lives saved on French roads thanks to 80 km/h limits

Emmanuel Barbe, the outgoing French road safety chief, says 336 deaths were prevented over the 18-month period since the introduction of a lower 80 km/h on single-carriageway rural roads in France. Mr Barbe also criticised the “shameful” vandalism that led to large numbers of speed cameras being put out of action by the yellow vest movement.  Without that damage, the figures for deaths prevented would have been higher, he said. An analysis report published last month by researchers at Cerema found that, thanks to […]

Zero cyclist and pedestrian deaths in Helsinki and Oslo last year

Zero cyclist and pedestrian deaths in Helsinki and Oslo last year

Two European capitals, Helsinki and Oslo, achieved the milestone of zero pedestrian and cyclist deaths last year.  Remarkably, Norway also reported zero child road deaths nationally for the first time, based on ages 0-15. ETSC’s most recent PIN report (based on 2018 data) showed that Norway had the lowest road mortality in Europe, at 20 deaths per million inhabitants.  The country also recorded the largest drop in road deaths since 2010 – highlighting that an already high performing country can continue to make rapid […]

Lower motorway speed limits coming in Luxembourg and The Netherlands

Lower motorway speed limits coming in Luxembourg and The Netherlands

The Netherlands will introduce a daytime motorway speed limit of 100 km/h across the country from the second half of March, while Luxembourg will reduce speeds to 90 km/h during peak hours, following a successful trial. The Dutch measure is designed to help the country cut nitrogen oxide emissions (NOx), a big problem particularly with older diesel vehicles.   However, Dutch motorways, a large number of which have 130 km/h limits, will also be safer at the lower speeds. Motorway deaths in the Netherlands reached […]

UK government puts new “smart” motorways on hold

UK government puts new “smart” motorways on hold

The UK government has stopped the roll-out of motorways modified so that the emergency lane or hard shoulder is used as a running lane.  The review of the policy was announced after figures revealed in a BBC News documentary showed a significant number of deaths had occurred following incidents of cars stopped in the middle of the road. The original safety case in the UK for so-called “smart” motorways was based on a trial that included emergency refugees for vehicles in trouble every 500m […]

Number of railway accidents going down

Number of railway accidents going down

Between 2010 and 2018, the number of significant railway accidents in the EU fell by a quarter to 1 721 accidents, 571 fewer than in 2010. A total of 885 persons were killed and 760 persons seriously injured in these accidents in 2018 (not including suicides). The most common type of accident involved unauthorised people on the railway tracks that were hit by a train. In 2018, 973 such accidents were recorded, representing more than half (57%) of the total number of accidents. The […]

Urgent action needed to tackle deaths of pedestrians and cyclists

Urgent action needed to tackle deaths of pedestrians and cyclists

At least 51,300 pedestrians and 19,450 cyclists were killed on EU roads between 2010 and 2018 Cyclist deaths in the EU are declining eight times more slowly than deaths of motor vehicle occupants Deaths of cyclists in the EU have fallen eight times more slowly than deaths of motor vehicle occupants since 2010, according to the European Transport Safety Council (ETSC), authors of a new report. (1)  ETSC is calling for urgent action to ensure that sustainable modes of transport such as walking and […]

Report highlights key principles for improving traffic safety and mobility education

Report highlights key principles for improving traffic safety and mobility education

On the second UNESCO International Day of Education, a new report by the European Transport Safety Council (ETSC), the Flemish Foundation for Traffic Knowledge (VSV) and Fundación MAPFRE highlights 17 key principles for delivering effective road safety education in Europe. Education is an essential part of the “Safe System approach” to road safety. European countries have committed to providing traffic safety and mobility education, notably in schools at all levels. However, a previous report by the same authors showed that the provision of such […]

Poland to end 60 km/h night-time urban speed limit

Poland to end 60 km/h night-time urban speed limit

The Prime Minister of Poland has announced that the country’s anomalous night-time 60 km/h speed limits in urban areas will soon be scrapped, as part of a new package of road safety measures. Poland is the only country in Europe with different speed limits in urban areas during the day and at night.  The speed limit will be changed to 50 km/h at all times. Hungary, which reduced its urban speed limit from 60 to 50 km/h in 1993, saw a reduction in mean […]

Dutch study confirms effectiveness of alcohol interlock programmes

Dutch study confirms effectiveness of alcohol interlock programmes

The Dutch alcohol interlock programme was twice as effective as other sanctions at reducing recidivism, and the effects continued after participation in the scheme, according to new research by the Dutch Ministry of Justice research centre (WODC). According to the researchers, 4% of those who followed the programme were re-convicted of a drink-driving offence within two years, compared to 8% for a control group who faced other sanctions. An education programme for drink-driving offenders had a recidivism rate of 7%, compared to 9% for […]

Italian government to restructure police enforcement after deadly ski resort crash

Italian government to restructure police enforcement after deadly ski resort crash

The Italian government has announced an agreement between the Ministry of Interior and the National Association of Italian Municipalities (ANCI) to increase road traffic enforcement by engaging city police in tasks previously assigned to traffic police and national police. The agreement, announced earlier this month, followed the deaths of seven German tourists, killed by a single drink-driver in the ski resort of Lutago outside a night club.  11 others were injured in the crash. Road deaths increased last year in Italy according to the […]

Drug driving now nearly as common as drink driving in Ireland

Drug driving now nearly as common as drink driving in Ireland

The Irish Road Safety Authority (RSA) says new figures show that drug driving is a major problem on Ireland’s roads. Cannabis is now not far behind alcohol in blood and urine samples examined by the Irish Medical Bureau of Road Safety (MBRS), according to the RSA. According to the new data, 68% of drivers with a positive roadside drug test, between April 2017 and July 2019, had a positive test for cannabis. Cocaine follows closely behind as the main illicit drug detected after cannabis, […]

Lithuania launches alcohol interlock programme

Lithuania launches alcohol interlock programme

The Lithuanian Ministry of Transport has launched an alcohol interlock programme as a pathway to a shorter driving ban for high-level drink-driving offenders. From 1 January, convicted drink-drivers who have lost their driving license will, after a set period of time, be able to apply for their license to be reinstated with provision that they only drive a vehicle fitted with an alcohol interlock. “I hope that the introduction of the alcohol interlock system will reduce the number of repeat offences of those who […]

Zero tolerance could help prevent up to 5,000 alcohol-linked road deaths a year in the EU

Zero tolerance could help prevent up to 5,000 alcohol-linked road deaths a year in the EU

The European Union should introduce a zero-tolerance drink-driving limit in 2020 as part of a package of measures to help prevent up to 5,000 alcohol-linked road deaths every year, according to the European Transport Safety Council, authors of a new report. The EU has recently set a target to reduce deaths and serious injuries on the road by half by 2030 (1). A quarter of the 25,000 EU road deaths each year are likely to be linked to alcohol, according to European Commission estimates.  […]

Collisions involving “Autopilot”-style driver assistance systems – ETSC welcomes publication of Dutch Safety Board investigation

Collisions involving “Autopilot”-style driver assistance systems – ETSC welcomes publication of Dutch Safety Board investigation

ETSC has welcomed a new report by the Dutch Safety Board that warns of multiple safety risks posed by advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) such as Tesla Autopilot. The conclusion of a two-year long investigation which encompassed multiple real-world crash investigations, the report raises a number of questions about the safety of ADAS systems, notably those that combine features such as automated cruise control with lane keeping and automated braking. Among the issues raised by the report are: – human factor problems such as […]

New EU transport commissioner commits to halve road deaths and serious injuries by 2030

New EU transport commissioner commits to halve road deaths and serious injuries by 2030

Adina-Ioana Vălean, a Romanian politician, MEP and chair of the European Parliament’s Industry committee will take over from Violeta Bulc as European Commissioner for Transport from 1 December. Mrs Vălean was approved for the role at a European Parliament hearing on 14 November.  In her opening statement to MEPs she said: “25 000 [deaths] per year is simply unacceptable. We should share the objective of halving the number of road deaths and serious injuries by 2030 compared to 2020.” Later at the same hearing, […]

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