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Latvian law on public list of drivers with penalty points struck down by ECJ

Latvian law on public list of drivers with penalty points struck down by ECJ

The European Court of Justice has said the way Latvia processes data on driver penalty points is not compatible with EU data privacy laws. Latvia maintains a list of drivers and their penalty points in a database and permits access to data on individual drivers without requiring justification.  That goes against the provisions of the 2018 EU General Data Protection Regulation, according to a judgement by the European Court of Justice published on 22 June. The court pointed out that the improvement of road […]

The Netherlands is first EU Member State to issue automated fines for mobile phone use at the wheel

The Netherlands is first EU Member State to issue automated fines for mobile phone use at the wheel

The Netherlands has begun issuing fines following detection of mobile phone use by a new generation of cameras, the first EU Member State to do so. Since last month drivers holding a phone behind the wheel can be photographed by smart cameras.  If the system determines that the driver is holding a phone, the photo is automatically forwarded to the relevant agency where an investigating officer will determine whether there is indeed a violation.  Fines can then be sent out automatically. The cameras take […]

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 […]

Polish speed sign shows fines and penalty points

Polish speed sign shows fines and penalty points

A new speed enforcement sign in Poland warns drivers of their current speed as well as the fine and penalty points they could expect to receive if they get caught. The sign has been installed with support from the local police and local authority near a primary school in the district of Lipsko in the province of Mazovia. Od kilku dni nad bezpieczeństwem uczniów PSP w Chotczy Józefów czuwa radarowy wyświetlacz prędkości, który został zainstalowany przy szkole https://t.co/QTlTPNiEnR. Urządzenie to ma charakter prewencyjno-edukacyjny. pic.twitter.com/uYHZfNr4NI […]

New Spanish enforcement camera could check for mobile phone use and seatbelt wearing

New Spanish enforcement camera could check for mobile phone use and seatbelt wearing

The Spanish directorate-general for traffic (DGT)  is testing a new mobile speed camera that can detect speeding from up to 1km away, and can also detect mobile phone use and seatbelt wearing. The new mobile enforcement device, which could be approved and in use by the end of the year, would still only be able to apply a speeding penalty from 80-100m away under current rules.  

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 […]

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, […]

Poland: Prime Minister promises boost for road safety

Poland: Prime Minister promises boost for road safety

The Polish Prime Minister has promised to make road safety a priority.  In a Facebook post on 29 October Mateusz Morawiecki said “A comprehensive plan for the radical improvement of road safety will be one of the government’s priorities in the new term.” Road safety protests were sparked in Warsaw last month after a fatal collision between a BMW car – reportedly being driven at 130 km/h on a road where the speed limit was 50 km/h – and a man pushing a baby […]

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.

Romania introduces tougher sanctions for using a phone at the wheel

Romania introduces tougher sanctions for using a phone at the wheel

Within two days of new rules on distracted driving coming into force in Romania this month, 310 fines were issued by the police, according to official figures. The new rules, which cover calling and texting but also new trends such as filming and taking photos while driving, include significant fines, of around EUR 200, and penalty points for those seen breaking the law. Drivers caught using their phone at the same time as committing another offence will accumulate more points and higher fines, and […]

More enforcement needed to reverse decline in Dutch motorway safety

More enforcement needed to reverse decline in Dutch motorway safety

Dutch motorways are becoming less safe, according to research by SWOV, the Dutch institute for road safety research. The number of motorway deaths rose to 81 in 2018, the highest figure in more than a decade.  The total number of collisions has more than doubled in five years, from 17,000 in 2014 to more than 38,000 in 2018. SWOV, in a new report, said the main causes of collisions were speeding and drivers being distracted. The organisation also said a shift away from road […]

Coordinated speed checks reach 26 countries

Coordinated speed checks reach 26 countries

Police officers across Europe ran a week of coordinated actions to reduce speeding earlier this month including a 24-hour ‘Speed Marathon’. Figures from last year’s action showed that of 3,244,397 vehicles checked during the 24-hour operation, 92 per cent were driving within the legal speed limit. However, 257,639 speeding offences were detected, either by police officers or by technical means. The ‘Speed Marathon’ concept was devised six years ago in Germany. The concept, which involves inviting members of the public to identify locations where […]

Opinion: A royal crash, and why we need a safe system approach to road safety

Opinion: A royal crash, and why we need a safe system approach to road safety

Antonio Avenoso Executive Director, European Transport Safety Council Road collisions, especially those without death or serious injury, rarely make for global news headlines.  Except of course when a member of the British royal family is involved. Commentators have been quick to place the blame for last week’s collision involving the Duke of Edinburgh’s SUV and a Kia Carens MPV.  The culprits include an elderly driver, speed limits that were too high and glare caused by the sun. An in-depth crash investigation by a professional […]

31 countries took part in this year’s European Day Without A Road Death

31 countries took part in this year’s European Day Without A Road Death

This year’s Project EDWARD (the European Day Without A Road Death) took place across Europe on Wednesday 19 September. Devised in 2016 by the European Traffic Police Network (TISPOL), the initiative once again aimed to raise awareness of road safety and reduce the number of people killed on European roads. TISPOL General Secretary Ruth Purdie commented: “The figure of 50 deaths on Europe’s roads on Project EDWARD day is below the average of 70. But we must remember that there is a terrible tragedy […]

Czech Republic debates tougher sanctions for drink-driving

Czech Republic debates tougher sanctions for drink-driving

Parliamentarians in the Czech Republic are considering tougher penalties for drink-driving. The leader of the CSSD party in the Parliament, Jan Chvojka is understood to be considering changes to the law that could include a lifetime ban for drivers that cause death while driving under the influence as well as longer prison sentences. The Prime Minister Andrej Babiš, who is from the ANO 2011 party in the coalition government with the CSSD, is reportedly supportive of the tougher penalties. The UK government said in […]

Automatic driving bans in Ireland for drink-drivers above 0.5g/l

Automatic driving bans in Ireland for drink-drivers above 0.5g/l

The Irish parliament has approved tougher new penalties for drivers caught over the legal BAC limit of 0.5g/l. Under the new rules, drivers with a BAC between 0.5g/l and 0.8g/l will face an automatic three-month driving ban. The previous penalty for that offence was three penalty points, but no ban. The change in the law has faced a tortuous legislative journey after a handful of parliamentarians attempted to delay its adoption. Meanwhile ETSC’s Irish member the Road Safety Authority (RSA) has revealed that more […]

Road traffic bill passed by Irish Senate

Road traffic bill passed by Irish Senate

Stricter penalties for drink driving in Ireland are set to come into force after a new law was passed by the lower and upper houses of parliament. The Road Traffic Bill includes provisions for an automatic three-month driving ban for first-time offenders if caught with blood-alcohol levels of between 0.5 g/l and 0.8 g/l.  Drivers currently caught at these levels receive three penalty points and no driving ban. The bill had almost reached its final stage in its passage through the lower house of […]

Alcohol interlocks now mandatory in Belgium for high-level and repeat offenders

Alcohol interlocks now mandatory in Belgium for high-level and repeat offenders

Judges in Belgium will have to oblige high level or repeat drink-driving offenders to follow an alcohol interlock rehabilitation programme after new legal changes come into force on 1 July 2018. Previously the alcohol interlock requirement was a little-used legal option, but it will now become mandatory in most cases. According to research by VIAS, ETSC’s Belgian member, recidivism is reduced by 75% for those that install an alcohol interlock and follow the accompanying rehabilitation programme. Under the existing rules, only 67 drivers have […]

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