News

Report calls for action on goods vehicle safety

Report calls for action on goods vehicle safety

A quarter (25%) of road deaths in the European Union are the consequence of a collision involving a goods vehicle, according to the European Transport Safety Council, authors of a new report on the safety of goods transport by road. According to the new analysis, 3310 people lost their lives in police-reported road collisions involving a heavy goods vehicle (HGV) of 3.5 tonnes or above in the 27 countries of the EU in 2018. In the same year, 2630 people were killed in collisions […]

Van drivers on international routes will need tachographs under EU deal on driving and resting times

Van drivers on international routes will need tachographs under EU deal on driving and resting times

International transport operators using light goods vehicles of over 2.5 t will be subject to EU rules for driving and resting times, and their vehicles will need to be fitted with tachographs, according to a provisional EU deal on updated transport regulations. Currently only heavy goods vehicle and coach drivers are required to use tachographs and respect strict limits on driving and resting times.  The change marks the first time the rules will apply to some van drivers – something ETSC has long called […]

COVID-19: Concerns over suspension of EU road safety laws amid lock-down

COVID-19: Concerns over suspension of EU road safety laws amid lock-down

Several EU Member States have formally notified the European Commission of temporary suspensions to the application of a number of EU road safety laws. Several countries are allowing longer driving times for lorry drivers, to enable deliveries of essential products such as medical equipment. With driver and vehicle testing centres forced to shut their doors, many countries have also extended the validity of driving licenses, certificates of professional competence and vehicle technical inspection certificates. While ETSC recognises the unique circumstances of the current lockdowns, […]

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 […]

Longer, safer lorry cabs permitted two years earlier

Longer, safer lorry cabs permitted two years earlier

Lorries with potentially safer and more aerodynamic cabs could be on European roads as early as next year, following an EU agreement to bring forward new rules on the maximum dimensions of heavy goods vehicles. Flat-fronted lorries have been the norm in Europe for decades due to the way in which the length of vehicles was regulated.  The combined overall length of the cab and trailer was restricted by law, leading to most space being used for cargo and the shortest possible length used […]

Letter: ACEA’s attempts to weaken the European Commission’s proposals on new vehicle safety measures

Letter: ACEA’s attempts to weaken the European Commission’s proposals on new vehicle safety measures

A group of safety experts, consumer groups, transport police, environmental campaigners, city authorities, cyclists and road collision victims have written today to members of the European Parliament’s Committees on Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO) and Transport (TRAN) to raise concerns over the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA)’s attempts to weaken the European Commission’s proposals on new vehicle safety measures and to ask MEPs to pass the legislation as soon as possible, to maximise its life-saving potential. Download the full letter (pdf) For more […]

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 […]

Transport ministers sign-off on new lorry and bus driver training rules

Transport ministers sign-off on new lorry and bus driver training rules

EU Transport Ministers have formally agreed on new rules governing driver licensing and additional professional training for lorry and bus drivers. Ministers voted in April to approve a deal reached with negotiators from the European Parliament in December last year.  Ahead of the December negotiations, ETSC had expressed concerns about a proposed amendment from the European Parliament that could have severely weakened the scope of the rules.  Fortunately, the negotiators agreed on new language that limited a potentially far-reaching exemption for additional training. The […]

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 […]

ECJ says lorry drivers cannot take their weekly rest in their vehicle

ECJ says lorry drivers cannot take their weekly rest in their vehicle

Lorry drivers should not be allowed to take their mandatory weekly rest in their vehicles, the European Union’s highest court has ruled. Under EU rules (2006/561/EU), drivers must have a daily rest period of at least 11 hours and a regular weekly rest period of 45 hours. The driver can choose to take their daily rest or a reduced weekly rest period in the vehicle only if it has suitable sleeping facilities and is stationary. A Belgian transport company brought a case in 2014 […]

Antwerp to trial lorry ban at beginning and end of school day

Antwerp to trial lorry ban at beginning and end of school day

The Belgian city of Antwerp has announced a trial of restrictions on heavy goods vehicles in two areas during the early morning and afternoon on school days. Lorries will be prohibited from circulating between 7.30 and 9.00 and between 15.00 and 17.00 when children are travelling to and from school. The Flemish pedestrians organisation Voetgangers Beweging has welcomed the announcement, describing the measure as a ‘Christmas gift to the children of Antwerp’ and called for expansion of the scheme across Flanders.

Deal reached on professional driver training rules with watered down exemption

Deal reached on professional driver training rules with watered down exemption

In positive news for road safety, new EU rules on professional driver training requirements will not include a proposed blanket exemption for lorry and bus drivers on journeys of less than 100km from the company base. That’s according to a legislative deal between the European Parliament and EU Member States agreed earlier this month. A major exemption, proposed by the European Parliament’s transport committee in an October vote, could have had a significant negative impact on road safety according to ETSC.  MEPs had added […]

MEPs attempt to weaken professional driver training rules

MEPs attempt to weaken professional driver training rules

The European Parliament’s transport committee has backed changes to professional driver training rules that could lead to large numbers of lorries being driven by workers who have received no professional training in addition to their regular HGV driving license. Voting on a report in response to a proposal from the European Commission to revise the ‘Driver Certificate of Professional Competence’ (CPC) rules last month, the committee included an amendment that would exempt drivers from the requirements for additional initial and periodic training as long […]

Industry, NGOs and cities call for urgent action on vehicle safety standards

Industry, NGOs and cities call for urgent action on vehicle safety standards

A coalition of industry, NGOs, consumer groups and cities are calling on the European Commission to urgently bring forward new minimum safety standards for new cars, vans and trucks, after years of delays. The European Commission is expected to announce a new package of transport legislation next week, the groups are calling for an announcement on updates to vehicle safety regulations to be included. The letter from groups including the European Association of Automotive Suppliers (CLEPA), the European Cyclists Federation (ECF), POLIS, the European […]

Fatigue risk from new driver hours rules

Fatigue risk from new driver hours rules

More than a thousand bus, coach, truck drivers and their union representatives gathered outside the European Commission’s HQ in Brussels earlier this week in protest over fears that new EU rules will lead to shorter rest times and increased fatigue. The European Transport Workers Federation, a trade union, says the European Commission’s new Road Initiative , expected to be launched on 31 May, contains a bundle of measures meant to shorten weekly rest periods for drivers and extend their driving time. The ETF says […]

Professional training for truckers should be extended to van drivers

Professional training for truckers should be extended to van drivers

Earlier this month, the European Commission published a proposal to revise qualification and training rules for lorry and bus drivers. ETSC welcomed the initiative but says the rules should be extended to van drivers and include elements on avoiding distraction. Data from 2014 show that 3,863 people were killed in collisions involving HGVs of more than 3.5 tons and 751 in those involving buses and coaches. But ETSC points out that more die in collisions involving vans, than with lorries (nearly 4,000 in 2012).  […]

Commission outlines plans for safer cars, vans and lorries

Commission outlines plans for safer cars, vans and lorries

The European Commission has published a list of 19 lifesaving safety technologies that could be made mandatory on new vehicles in the next update of EU vehicle safety rules expected next year.  The European Transport Safety Council welcomes the announcement but says several critical areas for action are missing, and the proposed timescale is far too long considering that most of the technologies are already available today. 26,000 people die on European Union roads annually, with at least 135,000 suffering life-changing injuries.  Progress on […]

London plans to phase-out lorries with poor direct-vision

London plans to phase-out lorries with poor direct-vision

In a move designed to boost the safety of cyclists and pedestrians, the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan has announced a new star rating scheme for lorries that could see vehicles with severe blind spots refused access to the city centre. The proposals state that the most dangerous, zero star-rated ‘off-road’ HGVs will be banned from London’s streets entirely by January 2020, and only HGVs meeting the new London Direct Vision Standard of 3 stars or above will be allowed by 2024. Lorries will […]

HGVs: Widespread tachograph manipulation detected in Germany; Belgium fights overloading

HGVs: Widespread tachograph manipulation detected in Germany; Belgium fights overloading

One in four lorries checked on German roads last year showed signs of tachograph manipulation according to a report published by the German transport ministry in September. 22,000 trucks were checked specifically for the tachograph records, with issues detected on 5533 vehicles. Experts cited by DPA, the German news agency, suggested that tachograph software could be hacked. But the Federal Office of Goods Transport (BAG) did not specify how the devices had been altered. In Belgium’s Wallonia region, new dynamic weighing systems are helping […]

London requires lorry side guards and upgraded mirrors to protect cyclists

London requires lorry side guards and upgraded mirrors to protect cyclists

HGVs without safety equipment to protect cyclists and pedestrians were banned throughout London from September under Britain’s first “Safer Lorry Scheme”. Vehicles of more than 3.5 tonnes entering London must now be fitted with sideguards to protect cyclists from being dragged under the wheels in the event of a collision, along with Class V and Class VI mirrors to give the driver a better view of cyclists and pedestrians. Transport for London (TfL) is also planning to require lorries to be fitted with larger […]

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