News

Italy set to introduce alcohol interlock programmes and update road safety law

Italy set to introduce alcohol interlock programmes and update road safety law

Changes to road safety laws in Italy could lead to the introduction of alcohol interlock programmes for drink driving offenders, as well as updates to numerous road safety rules. The new legal proposal to introduce alcohol interlocks came from the CNEL, a state body with the power to propose new legislation, and has been presented to the two houses of the Italian parliament, marking the first step on the road to adoption. Meanwhile long-running proposals to update an array of other Italian road safety […]

Opinion: Back to school wearing masks, so how about some more protected bike lanes?

Opinion: Back to school wearing masks, so how about some more protected bike lanes?

Ellen Townsend, Policy Director After the extraordinary period of lockdown, and an unprecedented 36% drop in road deaths in the EU,  extraordinary measures are now being taken to get society and the economy back to normal, or rather, a new kind of normal.   Cinemas and theatres are starting to reopen, with lots of empty seats to maintain social distancing.  In Brussels, as I write this, it is now mandatory to wear a mask when outside, unless you are involved in a sporting activity.  It […]

UK launches major cycling policy shift with £2bn investment

UK launches major cycling policy shift with £2bn investment

Thousands of miles of new protected bike lanes, cycle training for everyone and bikes available on prescription will be rolled out under new plans to overhaul cycling and walking in England launched by Prime Minister Boris Johnson in July. The new plan aims to build on the significant increase in the number of people cycling during the pandemic. It sets out a long term vision to increase active travel and “embed the benefits of walking and cycling into how we live, work and get […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

“Inadequate safety culture” contributed to fatal Uber automated test vehicle crash

“Inadequate safety culture” contributed to fatal Uber automated test vehicle crash

The US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has called on the US federal government to create a review process before allowing automated test vehicles to operate on public roads, based upon the agency’s investigation of a fatal collision between an Uber automated test vehicle and a pedestrian. During a board meeting held to determine the probable cause of the Arizona crash on 18 March 2018, the NTSB said Uber’s “inadequate safety culture” contributed to the fatal collision between an Uber automated test vehicle and […]

ETSC backing European Parliamentary working group on sustainable and safe active mobility

ETSC backing European Parliamentary working group on sustainable and safe active mobility

ETSC is linking up with 15 organisations to call for the setting-up of a new European Parliamentary “intergroup” to work on sustainable and safe active mobility. Intergroups are unofficial working groups of MEPs, organised around topics of common interest that may not be well covered by official committees.  52 MEPs from across the political spectrum have so-far said they would support the intergroup. ETSC’s role will be to advise the group on how the ongoing shift towards more sustainable and healthy transport modes can […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

OECD city report recommends shift to cycling in urban areas to improve road safety

OECD city report recommends shift to cycling in urban areas to improve road safety

Modal shift away from private motor vehicles could significantly improve road safety in dense urban areas, according to a new report on urban road safety by the International Transport Forum of the OECD.  Such a shift would also bring public health benefits associated with increased physical activity and improved air quality, according to the authors. The report benchmarked road safety performance in 72 urban areas, mostly in Europe, and illustrates governance solutions to improve urban road safety with case studies conducted in Lisbon (Portugal) […]

Aldi Germany will buy new lorries with turning assistant from 2019

Aldi Germany will buy new lorries with turning assistant from 2019

The German supermarket chain Aldi, has said all new lorries added to its fleet from 2019 will be fitted with turning assistant systems. The announcement came following a meeting organised by the German transport minister Andreas Scheuer with industry figures to discuss the issue of collisions caused by lorry drivers failing to see vulnerable road users in their blind spot when turning. The fitting of vulnerable road user detection and warning systems is one of the measures (see below) proposed by the European Commission in […]

Belgium: New drivers to get mandatory first aid training

Belgium: New drivers to get mandatory first aid training

The Brussels Capital region will introduce mandatory first aid training for all new drivers from November this year.  20,000 places on courses organised by the Red Cross will be available on an annual basis.  But the requirements only apply in Brussels, one of the three main administrative regions of Belgium.  The costs of the courses will be paid, not by drivers, but by the Brussels authorities. ETSC says first aid training could be useful, and in any case, can prove helpful in a wide […]

ETSC joins call for introduction of a European direct vision standard for Heavy Goods Vehicles

ETSC joins call for introduction of a European direct vision standard for Heavy Goods Vehicles

ETSC has joined with a group of European cities and organisations to call for the introduction of a European direct vision standard for HGVs as part of the European Commission’s upcoming revision of the General Safety Regulations and Pedestrian Safety Regulations. The joint letter, sent to Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker today, asks for the inclusion of a number of measures to help eliminate most blind spots in the vehicle cab. These include the elimination of the blind spot at the front of trucks and […]

Latest Euro NCAP five-star rating scheme includes cyclist-detection Autonomous Emergency Braking

Latest Euro NCAP five-star rating scheme includes cyclist-detection Autonomous Emergency Braking

The 2018 Nissan Leaf electric car is the first to be awarded five stars by Euro NCAP, the consumer new car testing programme under a new tougher regime that includes a test for autonomous emergency braking systems that can detect cyclists. ETSC welcomed the inclusion of more technology that can help save the lives of vulnerable road users outside the vehicle.  Carmakers’ focus in recent years has been on protecting vehicle occupants, with deaths among that group falling at a faster rate than those […]

14 organisations call for a strong position on vehicle safety from the European Parliament

14 organisations call for a strong position on vehicle safety from the European Parliament

In a letter to the President of the European Parliament, Antonio Tajani, 14 organisations have called for a ‘strong and timely response’ to forthcoming proposals from the European Commission on vehicle safety and pedestrian protection, expected on 2 May. The letter is signed by: Antonio Avenoso, Executive Director, European Transport Safety Council Eduardo Chagas, General Secretary, European Transport Workers’ Federation Sigrid de Vries, Secretary General, CLEPA, European Association of Automotive Suppliers Bernhard Ensink, Secretary General, European Cyclists’ Federation Eduard Fernández, Executive Director, CITA, International […]

Consumer organisation calls for revised child cycle helmet standards

Consumer organisation calls for revised child cycle helmet standards

The Belgian consumer organisation Test-Achats/Test-Aankoop has called for tougher safety standards for children’s cycle helmets after it found large differences in the ability of current models to protect against brain injury. The organisation commissioned the University of Strasbourg to test twelve child cycle helmets using a digital model of the human head to simulate the protection offered. Price offered no indication of performance, as an €80 model was outperformed by one selling for €10.  The best model tested carried a 30% risk of brain […]

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