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Road Safety Exchange: Twelve EU Member States team up to improve road safety

Road Safety Exchange: Twelve EU Member States team up to improve road safety

Road Safety Exchange: Twelve EU Member States team up to tackle challenges including speeding, infrastructure safety and improving the safety of pedestrians and cyclists. Twelve EU Member States are joining forces to share smart ideas for improving road safety, as part of a new EU-funded project, launching today in Brussels. Although European roads are the safest in the world and although road safety has improved greatly in recent decades, the number of deaths and serious injuries on our roads is still far too high. […]

The new von der Leyen Commission: what consequences for transport safety?

The new von der Leyen Commission: what consequences for transport safety?

The incoming President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen has set out her priorities for the next Commissioner of Transport in a “mission letter” published earlier this month. But the process for approving the new transport Commissioner is now on hold following the rejection of Romania’s choice for Commissioner, MEP Rovana Plumb, by a committee of the European Parliament on the grounds of concerns over undeclared loans and transparency. The proposed Commissioners will be subject to hearings and final approval from the […]

Calls for city SUV ban after four pedestrians die in a single collision

Calls for city SUV ban after four pedestrians die in a single collision

There have been calls in Germany for SUVs to be banned from city centres, following a collision involving a Porsche Macan that was travelling at excessive speed before mounting a pavement and killing four people waiting at a crossing. The causes of the collision are unknown, and are subject to an ongoing police investigation, though media speculation has centred on the possibility of the driver experiencing an epileptic seizure. While the vehicle in question may have been out of control, a number of observers […]

Automation could reduce collisions by 22% by 2040 say UK researchers

Automation could reduce collisions by 22% by 2040 say UK researchers

Scientists at the UK’s Transport Research Laboratory TRL estimate that the expected mix of automated and non-automated vehicles on the roads by 2040 could lead to 22% fewer collisions than today. The estimation is considerably lower than earlier headline-grabbing reports such as a KPMG analysis published in 2015 that predicted an 80% reduction.  The figure is also lower than the estimated 30% collision reduction benefits of fleet wide fitment of Intelligent Speed Assistance on non-automated vehicles. The KPMG report, and others, have referred back […]

New concerns about over-reliance on driver assistance systems

New concerns about over-reliance on driver assistance systems

Concerns have been raised again about over-reliance on “Level 2” driver assistance systems following the publication of an official US report into a crash involving a Tesla vehicle in “autopilot” mode. The National Transport Safety Board, in its latest report into a crash involving a Tesla, found that the “autopilot” system’s design, which enabled the driver to disengage from the driving task, contributed to the crash. Driver inattention and use of the system in a way which was “inconsistent with guidance and warnings from […]

Setback for quick adoption of EU connected vehicle and infrastructure standard

Setback for quick adoption of EU connected vehicle and infrastructure standard

EU Member States have formally rejected a European Commission proposal on specifications for the first wave of C-ITS (Cooperative Intelligent Transport Systems) in the EU following a dispute about technology neutrality. The specifications, which should lead to warning messages such as temporary speed limits or collisions on the road ahead beamed directly into vehicles, were set to be built on a type of wifi technology, which had already been developed by several carmakers and technology providers. But several EU Member States and various actors […]

Call for ban on hands-free calling

Call for ban on hands-free calling

The British government should consider tougher restrictions on driving while using a mobile phone and stricter enforcement of the law to prevent the ‘entirely avoidable’ tragedy of deaths and serious injuries from related crashes on the roads, MPs on the UK Parliament’s transport committee have said in a new report. MPs called on the government to overhaul current laws on using hand-held mobile devices while driving, to cover use irrespective of whether this involves sending or receiving data. As evidence shows that using a […]

Brussels to become a 30km/h city

Brussels to become a 30km/h city

The new governing coalition of the city of Brussels has agreed to implement a default 30 km/h speed limit across the city from January 2021. The measure, which will apply to all residential streets, but not to main roads such as the inner ring road tunnels, will be a significant extension.  Only around half of the city’s roads currently apply a 30 km/h limit. The main driver’s club, Touring, welcomed the move, saying it would provide “clarity” for drivers. A number of experts have […]

New 80km/h speed limit in France led to a significant reduction in deaths

New 80km/h speed limit in France led to a significant reduction in deaths

One year after the entry into force of the 80 km/h speed limit on rural, single-carriageway roads in France, Christophe Castaner, the Minister of the Interior, announced the measure had resulted in  206 lives saved and “many less injured”. The figures came from new data compiled by the OISR, the national road safety observatory, in a provisional report on the effects of the transition to 80 km/h, published on 9 July. According to the report, in the second half of 2018, 125 deaths were […]

Croatia increases penalties for drink-driving and other traffic offences

Croatia increases penalties for drink-driving and other traffic offences

The Croatian parliament has passed amendments to the law on road safety foreseeing higher penalties for traffic offences. According to the changes, agreed earlier this month, eight of the most serious offences will incur a fine of HRK 15,000 (EUR 2000) and HRK 20,000 (EUR 2700) instead of HRK 5,000 (EUR 675) and HRK 10,000 (EUR 1350) respectively as was the case until now. The fines apply to offences such as driving in the opposite direction on motorways, exceeding the speed limit by more […]

UK government to review potential of alcohol interlocks

UK government to review potential of alcohol interlocks

The UK will look at the feasibility of adding the use of alcohol interlocks to drink-driver rehabilitation programmes, it has been announced. The review of the policy measure will focus on how to ensure the technology is “both accessible and reliable” according to a statement on road safety plans published in July, just before the changeover to the new government led by Prime Minister Boris Johnson. There is already a good range of evidence from several countries that alcohol interlocks cut reoffending rates both […]

Belgium: call for zero tolerance for novice drivers caught drink-driving

Belgium: call for zero tolerance for novice drivers caught drink-driving

Vias Institute, one of ETSC’s Belgian members, has reiterated calls for a zero alcohol limit for novice drivers – as a survey showed most youngsters approved of such a move. Most EU Member States now have a lower Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) limit for novice drivers of 0.2 or below.  Belgium, along with Bulgaria, Denmark, Finland and Scotland have a limit of 0.5, the rest of the UK has a limit of 0.8. See ETSC’s latest list of BAC limits. According to an opinion […]

European Commission outlines new road safety policies for the next decade

European Commission outlines new road safety policies for the next decade

The European Commission has published its Road Safety Policy Framework for the period 2021 – 2030.  The new framework was announced by the European Commissioner for Transport, Violeta Bulc, at the ETSC Road Safety Performance Index Conference, held today in Brussels. The publication, which is a non-binding “staff working document”, is a follow-up to an action plan published in May 2018 as part of the package of new road safety legislation that included new vehicle and infrastructure safety standards. One key area where the […]

Ireland’s leadership on road safety is “a model for the European Union”

Ireland takes home 2019 ETSC Road Safety Performance Index (PIN) Award New European figures show numbers killed on EU roads last year fell by just 1% Call for new European Parliament and Commission to step up progress on road safety Ireland is the winner of this year’s European Transport Safety Council Road Safety Performance Index (PIN) award.  The annual award is presented to a European country that has demonstrated continued progress on road safety combined with a strategic approach to tackling the problem across […]

70% of road deaths in European cities are pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists

70% of road deaths in European cities are pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists

Tackling urban road safety must be a key priority for the European Union and European countries over the next decade, according to the European Transport Safety Council, authors of a new report. **SCROLL DOWN FOR FRENCH AND GERMAN VERSIONS According to the data revealed today, road deaths on urban roads decreased at around half the rate of those on rural roads over the period 2010-2017. (1) Pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists – the three most vulnerable road user groups – represent 70% of those killed […]

France backtracks on 80km/h speed limit despite positive results

France backtracks on 80km/h speed limit despite positive results

French départements will soon be able to revert to a 90km/h speed limit on roads without separation barriers, in a reversal of a decision by the government to set a lower default limit of 80km/h across France last summer. The u-turn, which followed nationwide protests by the yellow vest movement, as well as widespread vandalism of speed cameras, came despite official statistics that showed a drop in deaths linked to the new speed limit. The French research institute Cerema and the French Road Safety […]

Germany and France to regulate e-scooters

Germany and France to regulate e-scooters

Germany and France are the latest EU countries to regulate the use of e-scooters on public roads. Germany’s rules, which are set to come into force next month, set a minimum age of 14 and a maximum speed of 20 km/h for e-scooters. The vehicles will be permitted on roads and cycle paths, but not on the pavement.  E-scooters will also have to be insured in a similar way to mopeds and high-speed (45 km/h) electric bikes through purchase of an annual insurance sticker […]

Tougher penalties for distracted driving in Italy

Tougher penalties for distracted driving in Italy

The Italian parliament is close to agreeing on a range of changes to the highway code including higher penalties and license suspensions for using a phone at the wheel, and a new road classification for school streets with a 30 km/h limit. The code changes also allow for the creation of advanced stopping lanes for bicycles at junctions with traffic lights and for electric scooters and skateboards to be used on pavements. The rules were approved by the Parliament’s transport committee earlier this month, […]

Analysis of who drink-drives highlighted in OECD report

Analysis of who drink-drives highlighted in OECD report

A new OECD report New Directions in Data-Driven Transport Safety, has highlighted research carried out in the UK which could aid targeting of measures to reduce drink-driving. Ursachi et al. (2018) mined a police crash database for drink-drivers involved in collisions, and matched their home postcodes with a commercial geodemographic segmentation system called Experian Mosaic. The authors were able to categorise these drivers based on lifestyle factors.  The system offers insights on how to reach these groups through marketing channels: specific newspapers or magazines, […]

US consumer organisation raises concerns over latest Tesla “autopilot” features

US consumer organisation raises concerns over latest Tesla “autopilot” features

A new feature which enables Tesla vehicles to change lane without the driver’s intervention has been criticised by the American consumer organisation Consumer Reports. The organisation, which carried out its own tests on the feature, and interviewed drivers and law enforcement officials, says the system is less competent than a human driver. The tests found that the car would cut off other drivers without leaving enough space, didn’t respond well to fast-moving vehicles coming from the rear and appeared not to react to stop […]

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