News

Lithuanian investigation reveals dangerous practices in long-haul road transport sector

A television documentary distributed online by a team of investigative journalists into appalling working practices in the largest Lithuanian international haulage companies has provoked widespread news coverage and urgent discussions in the Lithuanian parliament and government. Poor working conditions for lorry drivers have come under the spotlight repeatedly in recent years, with organisations including the European Transport Workers Federation calling for urgent action, legal reform and better enforcement of existing rules. The journalists investigated the main Lithuanian haulage companies, that are also among the […]

Dutch drivers sticking to the 100km/h speed limit

Dutch drivers sticking to the 100km/h speed limit

Motorists in the Netherlands are mainly sticking to a new 100 km/h daytime speed limit on motorways, put in place last year to combat high levels of pollution. A spokesman for the Dutch Directorate-General for Public Works told media last month that data from 200 motorway sensors showed that the majority of drivers respect the limit, contrary to expectations. Another unexpected benefit has been that many drivers continue to drive more slowly even after the 19.00 deadline passes – with average speeds of 117-118 […]

Dutch organisations demand action on road safety from new government

Dutch organisations demand action on road safety from new government

A broad coalition of almost 40 organisations has called on the next Dutch government to deliver a new road safety strategy in The Netherlands. Launched on 22 April, the Verkeersveiligheidsmanifest 2.0 or Road Safety Manifesto 2.0 says the ambition for Vision Zero by 2050 is good, but interim targets are needed to help achieve that goal.  The coalition calls for an 11% annual reduction in road casualties. The coalition also says that targeted action is needed on residential areas, safer vehicles, the elderly and […]

ETSC statement on the 2020 EU road death figures

ETSC statement on the 2020 EU road death figures

Commenting on the data on road deaths in 2020 published today by the European Commission, Antonio Avenoso, Executive Director of the European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) said: “The EU has a new target for 2030 to reduce deaths and serious injuries by half.  If we are to succeed this time, we need to avoid the mistakes of the past decade.  The EU needs to act now, not wait years before taking action.  Measures agreed in law should also not be weakened during the implementation […]

Streets for life: UN Road Safety Week to promote 30 km/h speed limits

Streets for life: UN Road Safety Week to promote 30 km/h speed limits

The benefits of 30 km/h urban speed limits are the theme of this year’s UN Road Safety Week which runs from 17 to 23 May. The campaign comes as the city of Paris has announced a plan to apply a city-wide default 30 km/h limit by early next year.  The Brussels region introduced a similar change in January, and nearby Leuven has announced it will do the same within months. The UN says low speed streets save lives and 30 km/h (20 mph) speed […]

Member States warned on need for access to in-vehicle crash data

Member States warned on need for access to in-vehicle crash data

ETSC, together with a coalition of organisations, has written to EU Member State representatives to outline concerns over specifications for in-vehicle Electronic Data Recorders which will be mandatory in the EU starting from 2022. The issue relates to the need to record location, date and time events on the devices.  Such information is critical to road safety researchers and in-depth collision  investigations, which, as in the aviation sector, can be used to help prevent a similar situation occurring in the future. While robust data […]

France: shops selling alcohol must stock alcohol breath tests

France: shops selling alcohol must stock alcohol breath tests

From 1 July, supermarkets, grocery stores, wine sellers and internet shops selling alcoholic drinks are among the enterprises that must also stock and display alcohol breath tests for sale. Shops will be required to display the devices, including chemical-based tests and electronic tests, next to the largest display of alcoholic beverages, or near the till. Websites will be required to display a banner notice on the payment screen, advertising the availability of tests. A failure to comply with the new rules could lead to […]

European Commission seeks feedback on driving licence rules and urban mobility

European Commission seeks feedback on driving licence rules and urban mobility

The European Commission has launched public consultations on two road safety-linked issues. The first consultation looks at current EU rules on driver licensing, ahead of an update to the legislation scheduled for next year. Relevant issues could include medical fitness to drive, and the need for graduated licenses for young and novice drivers. The second has been launched in preparation for a new EU urban mobility strategy, which ETSC hopes will contain more in the way of concrete measures to improve urban road safety […]

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 […]

German state minister calls for driving time rules for vans

German state minister calls for driving time rules for vans

The interior minister of the German federal state of Schleswig-Holstein, Sabine Sütterlin-Waack, has called for the introduction of driving and rest time rules for van drivers in line with existing rules for lorries. The minister’s call for action followed a rise in fatal collisions involving vans in the state in the past year.  More than one in three injury collisions in the state were caused by vans, according to reports. Sütterlin-Waack says the issue will be on the agenda of a national meeting of […]

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 […]

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