News

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 […]

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 […]

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, […]

Welsh government supports a 20 mph default speed limit in residential areas

Welsh government supports a 20 mph default speed limit in residential areas

The Welsh government has said it supports a default 20 mph (32 km/h) speed limit on residential streets, following positive results from pilot schemes in the cities of Swansea and Cardiff. Wales has had the power to set speed limits in the country since last year, they were previously set by the UK government in London. 20 mph limits are in place in many towns and cities across the UK.  The Mayor of London announced a default 20 mph limit for London as part […]

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 […]

Speed camera vandalism in France puts up to 75% of devices out of action

Speed camera vandalism in France puts up to 75% of devices out of action

The French government has announced the installation of 400 new-generation speed cameras, following a spate of attacks on existing devices in recent months. The interior minister Christophe Castaner announced last month that up to 75% of speed cameras across the country had been vandalised and put out of action.  Attacks on speed camera equipment in France have increased dramatically since the reduction of the rural road speed limit to 80km/h last summer and the rise of the Yellow Vest protest movement. The new French-made […]

Updated Euro NCAP tests reveal advances in traffic sign recognition technology

Updated Euro NCAP tests reveal advances in traffic sign recognition technology

Euro NCAP data from 2018 show that camera-based traffic sign recognition systems have advanced and were fitted as standard equipment to nearly all new vehicle models tested in 2018. Most of these systems are now able to function under conditional circumstances such as when a lower limit applies in rainy conditions e.g. on French motorways. Reports of Euro NCAP’s tests carried out in 2018 show results on Speed Limit Information Functions as part of Speed Assist Systems which also include manual speed limiters, Intelligent […]

Autobahn speed limit “would save 140 lives”

Autobahn speed limit “would save 140 lives”

Data analysis by Der Spiegel, a German news magazine and website, has concluded that a speed limit applied across all German motorways would save 140 lives a year. The autobahn debate was sparked again in Germany last month after a 130 km/h motorway speed limit was one of a number of measures recommended by a Government commission looking at how to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the transport sector. The transport minister Andreas Scheuer immediately ruled out such a measure, calling it an “unrealistic […]

In-vehicle technology vital to tackling speeding in Europe

In-vehicle technology vital to tackling speeding in Europe

Speeding remains a significant problem in many European countries according to new research published today by the European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) ahead of an important vote in the European Parliament on Thursday on future mandatory in-vehicle safety technologies. The researchers looked at the numbers of vehicles found to be driving above the speed limit on different road types in the countries that were able to provide such data. On urban roads, where 37% of all EU road deaths occur, the researchers found that […]

Calls for 30km/h limits in Austrian cities

Calls for 30km/h limits in Austrian cities

KFV, ETSC’s Austrian member, is calling for the doubling of penalties for traffic offences where children are involved and a default 30 km/h speed limit in cities as part of a range of recommendations to better protect children. Eight children (up to the age of 14) die on Austrian roads every year, on average, while around 300 are seriously injured, according to KFV analysis of data from 2013 to 2017. The number of collisions involving children has not decreased for five years.

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 […]

Spain to lower urban and rural speed limits

Spain to lower urban and rural speed limits

The Spanish Minister of the Interior Fernando Grande-Marlaska has announced that the country’s directorate general for road traffic is working on a plan to reduce urban speed limits to a default of 30 km/h and is also planning to lower the 100 km/h out of town limit. The plans, which also include new measures to improve the safety of vulnerable road users, were announced at an international conference organised by ETSC’s Spanish member the Mapfre Foundation. The minister said that the urban speed limit […]

All Ford Focuses sold in Europe will feature Intelligent Speed Assistance

All Ford Focuses sold in Europe will feature Intelligent Speed Assistance

The new version of the Ford Focus, one of Europe’s most popular cars, will feature Intelligent Speed Assistance (ISA) as standard, it has emerged. The system, which Ford launched three years ago on its high–end S-Max and Galaxy models, will now be installed on every Ford Focus, which currently sells for as little as EUR 16,500 in Belgium. A Ford executive has previously told a road safety event in Dublin, organised by ETSC and RSA, that the system was taken as an option on […]

Major UK study examines impact of sign-only 20 mph zones

Major UK study examines impact of sign-only 20 mph zones

The British Department for Transport has published a major research study on the impact of 20mph zones. It assesses the outcomes of introducing 20 mph speed limit schemes (ie reducing speed limits from 30mph to 20mph) in residential areas and town centres. The researchers looked at “signs only” schemes, i.e. without the traffic calming measures of earlier 20mph zones. The study found: Public support for 20mph (signed only) limits but concern about non-compliance; Minor changes in driven speeds: median speed fell 0.7mph in residential […]

London introduces bus safety standard, including Intelligent Speed Assistance on all new vehicles

London introduces bus safety standard, including Intelligent Speed Assistance on all new vehicles

The London transport authority TfL has published a new Bus Safety Standard, part of a strategy to reach a target of no-one being killed on or by a London bus by 2030. The standard, which details the bus safety requirements all bus operators will need to adopt up to 2024, will also reduce road danger in the shorter term with a range of safety features required from next year. London’s buses carry 6.5 million passengers every day and are a particularly important service for […]

London to make 20mph the default speed limit

London to make 20mph the default speed limit

The mayor of London has announced plans to make 20mph (+/- 30 km/h) the default speed limit in the city as part of a new Vision Zero road safety action plan. The speed limits will be accompanied by redesigned streets, speed cameras and on-street enforcement as part of a Safe System approach. As well as the work on speed limits, the mayor has set a target of reducing the numbers killed or seriously injured on London’s roads by 65% by 2022, based on the […]

France introduces 80km/h limit on 400,000km of road

France introduces 80km/h limit on 400,000km of road

Two-lane roads with no separating guard rail in France have had their default speed limit reduced from 90 to 80 km/h since 1 July, fulfilling a commitment made by the Prime Minister in January. The change applies on 40% of the French road network; some 400,000 km of roads are affected by the lower limit. The government says that 350-400 deaths a year could be prevented by the measure. 55% of French road deaths occur on two-lane roads with no separating guard rail. A […]

Speed awareness courses more effective than fines

Speed awareness courses more effective than fines

The findings of a study by Ipsos MORI and the Institute for Transport Studies at the University of Leeds have shown that participation in National Speed Awareness Courses in England and Wales has a larger effect in reducing speed reoffending than penalty points and fines. Reoffending rates were estimated to be reduced by up to 23% for those that completed a course, during the six months following their participation.  After three years, the reduction in reoffending rates was up to 18%. Speed Awareness Courses […]

OECD study says inappropriate speed responsible for up to 30% of all fatal crashes

OECD study says inappropriate speed responsible for up to 30% of all fatal crashes

Inappropriate speed is responsible for 20 to 30% of all fatal road crashes according to the latest review of research on the relationship between speed and crash risk. A new report by the OECD’s International Transport Forum analysed eleven cases from ten countries that have recently changed speed limits or introduced large-scale automatic speed control i.e. using time-over-distance cameras. The analysis confirmed the very strong relationship between speed and crash risk and that higher speed is associated with increased occurrence and severity of road […]

France – 80 km/h trial resulted in lower average speeds

France – 80 km/h trial resulted in lower average speeds

A trial of lower speed limits on unseparated national roads in France has led to a reduction in speeds driven according to a new report by Cerema, a research institute. The trial, announced in May 2015, was run on three stretches of road, totalling 81km. Last month, the French government announced that the speed limit on all unseparated national roads would be reduced from 90 to 80 km/h from this Summer. Cerema observed the speeds before and after the lowering of the speed limit. […]

© 2019 European Transport Safety Council

20 Avenue des Celtes | Brussels | B-1040 | Belgium

t +32 2 230 4106 | f +32 2 230 4215