News

80% of Germans support a total ban on drinking before driving

80% of Germans support a total ban on drinking before driving

A clear majority of German citizens are in favour of a total ban on alcohol at the wheel. In a representative survey of 1,000 people aged 16 and over for the latest TÜV Mobility report, four out of five German citizens were in favour of a general ban on alcohol. “Alcohol massively impairs the coordination, reaction and decision-making abilities of drivers,” said Marc-Philipp Waschke, Road Safety Officer at the TÜV […]

Enforcement of rules on drink-driving and mobile phone use at the wheel decreases in majority of European countries

Enforcement of rules on drink-driving and mobile phone use at the wheel decreases in majority of European countries

Significant weaknesses in the enforcement of road safety rules are holding back progress on reducing road deaths in Europe, according to a new report from the European Transport Safety Council. The report examines the state of enforcement of speed limits and seatbelt wearing as well as rules on drink-driving and use of mobile devices at the wheel between 2010 and 2019 across Europe. Ellen Townsend, ETSC’s policy director, commented: “Thousands […]

Report for the European Commission finds benefits of alcohol interlocks for HGVs outweigh costs

Report for the European Commission finds benefits of alcohol interlocks for HGVs outweigh costs

A new report on drink-driving for the European Commission looks at the progress made since 2001 EU guidelines on Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) limits were published and suggests mandatory fitment of alcohol interlocks in heavy goods vehicles could be a worthwhile investment. The researchers found that, since the publication of the EU Recommendation (2001/115/EC), BAC limits in the EU have further harmonised with at least eight countries having introduced a […]

Spain: major changes to road safety rules will see alcohol interlocks in new passenger transport vehicles and mandatory helmets for e-scooter riders

Spain: major changes to road safety rules will see alcohol interlocks in new passenger transport vehicles and mandatory helmets for e-scooter riders

The Spanish Parliament has approved several significant changes to road safety laws, that will come into effect in 2022. Spain will require all new types of M2 and M3 vehicle, i.e. mini-buses designed to carry more than eight people, buses and coaches, to be fitted with an alcohol interlock device from next year.  That coincides with new EU rules that require an interface for such a device on all new […]

The US wants mandatory technology to prevent drink driving in new vehicles by 2026

The US wants mandatory technology to prevent drink driving in new vehicles by 2026

The United States could be set to leapfrog the European Union on requirements for in-car technology to reduce drink-driving. President Biden’s recently-passed flagship infrastructure package contains a requirement for carmakers to fit monitoring systems to new vehicles to stop intoxicated drivers taking the wheel.  The technology to be used is yet to be determined. It is estimated that a third of traffic deaths in the US involve drink-driving.  In the […]

Young drivers: call for EU to mandate zero-tolerance alcohol and drug limits and graduated driving licences

Young drivers: call for EU to mandate zero-tolerance alcohol and drug limits and graduated driving licences

ETSC is calling on the European Union to improve the safety of young drivers through changes to driver licensing, among other measures, as new data show young road users, aged 15 to 30, have come to represent a quarter of all road deaths. In a report published today, ETSC says that, in 2019, 5,182 young people were killed in road collisions in the 25 EU countries for which figures are […]

Spain could require alcohol interlocks on buses and lorries

Spain could require alcohol interlocks on buses and lorries

Policymakers in Spain are considering a new tool in the fight against drink-driving.  A law currently under discussion in the Spanish houses of parliament could see alcohol interlocks required on lorries and buses from next year. The European Union agreed in 2019 that all new types of car, van, lorry and bus should be fitted with a standardised interface for the connection of an alcohol interlock from next year.  The […]

MEPs back 2030 EU road safety plans

MEPs back 2030 EU road safety plans

The European Parliament has voted overwhelmingly to back a document setting out the institution’s views on the EU road safety strategy for the next ten years. The Parliament’s report follows the publication of the European Commission’s ten year road safety plan published back in June 2019, and an outline of planned legislative measures announced in the Sustainable and Smart Mobility Strategy published in December last year. MEPs have endorsed the overall EU […]

European Parliament transport committee backs 2030 road safety programme

European Parliament transport committee backs 2030 road safety programme

MEPs on the European Parliament’s transport committee have voted through a document setting out the institution’s views on the EU road safety strategy for the next ten years. The Parliament’s ‘own initiative   follows the publication of the European Commission’s ten year road safety plan published back in June 2019, and an outline of planned legislative measures announced in the Sustainable and Smart Mobility Strategy published in December last year. Overall strategy MEPs […]

New drink-driving campaign in France as restaurants open up

The French government has recruited Michelin-starred celebrity chef and host of the French version of ‘Kitchen Nightmares’ Philippe Etchebest to front a new drink-driving campaign as bar and restaurant terraces open again across France. The humorous social media campaign and television adverts feature Etchebest telling a diner off for heading to collect his motorcycle after drinking too much at a meal with friends. Find out more about the campaign at: […]

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 […]

Drink-driving enforcement in the UK cut by almost two-thirds since 2009

Drink-driving enforcement in the UK cut by almost two-thirds since 2009

The UK’s system of preventing drink-driving is no longer adequate, according to a report by ETSC’s member the Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety (PACTS), which calls for a comprehensive review. The report, which combines data analysis with in-depth interviews with drink-drivers, found:  Drink driving is still one of the biggest causes of road deaths; In the last decade 240 people have been killed each year where a driver was […]

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 […]

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 […]

Finnish study finds different profiles among drink and drug drivers

Finnish study finds different profiles among drink and drug drivers

Collisions caused by drink-drivers who only use alcohol, and drug drivers differ in terms of timing and types of accidents and it is common for drug users to use several intoxicants at the same time according to new research by the Finnish Crash Data Institute (OTI), an ETSC member. The latest OTI substance abuse report looked at fatal collisions investigated in Finland over the period 2014–2018 and drivers who had […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

It’s time for a zero drink-driving limit across the EU

ETSC has launched a short video explaining why the EU needs a common drink-driving limit set at zero. Watch/share on YouTube and Twitter.

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 […]

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