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 […]

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 […]

“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 […]

New e-mobility vehicles need independent checks says Dutch Safety Board

New e-mobility vehicles need independent checks says Dutch Safety Board

A review by the Dutch Safety Board of the procedures that led to approval of the Stint electric child cart for use on Dutch roads, says that “safety was made subordinate to the desire for innovation in road transport.” Four children died when the electrically-assisted cart that they were travelling in collided with a train at a railway crossing in September last year.  The exact causes of the collision have not been published so far, but independent investigations carried out both before and after […]

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 […]

ETSC welcomes provisional deal on new vehicle safety standards

ETSC welcomes provisional deal on new vehicle safety standards

New cars, vans, lorries and buses sold in Europe will be fitted as standard with a range of new vehicle safety features, starting in 2022, according to a provisional EU deal on the legislation reached last night in Strasbourg. The new rules include requirements for new technologies, such as Automated Emergency Braking which can detect pedestrians and cyclists, as well as overridable Intelligent Speed Assistance, to be fitted as standard for the first time.  New lorries will be required to have improved levels of […]

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 […]

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 […]

Call for EU infrastructure safety rules to be extended beyond main motorways

Call for EU infrastructure safety rules to be extended beyond main motorways

A coalition of safety groups, traffic police, cyclists, transport workers and the road sector are calling on the European Parliament to back a proposal to extend the scope of EU road infrastructure safety rules to cover all primary roads in Europe, and to incorporate the needs of cyclists, pedestrians and motorcyclists in the implementation of the rules. More than 25,000 people died on EU roads in 2017, the equivalent of two passenger planes crashing every week, killing everyone on board. The existing rules, which […]

Eight European students win the YEARS awards for upgrading dangerous road infrastructure in their communities

Eight European students win the YEARS awards for upgrading dangerous road infrastructure in their communities

Four pairs of engineering students from Italy, Lithuania and Poland have been recognised for projects to redesign and upgrade high-risk road infrastructure in the cities of Milan, Naples, Vilnius and Kraków. The students’ projects were delivered as part of YEARS (Young Europeans Acting for Road Safety), a Europe-wide project on the road safety of young people managed by the European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) and the UK’s Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety (PACTS) with the support of the European Commission, the German Road […]

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 […]

US: Fatal collisions with pedestrians increasingly likely to involve SUVs and high-powered vehicles

US: Fatal collisions with pedestrians increasingly likely to involve SUVs and high-powered vehicles

New research from the US Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has analysed the causes of a 46 percent increase in pedestrian deaths in the United States since 2009. A total of 5,987 pedestrians were killed in crashes in 2016, accounting for 16 percent of all crash deaths in the US. The number of pedestrians killed in 2016 was the highest since 1990. For the new study, IIHS researchers looked at pedestrian crash trends during 2009–2016 to pinpoint the circumstances under which the largest […]

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 […]

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).  […]

Dutch government urged to do more on road safety

Dutch government urged to do more on road safety

The director of the Dutch Institute for Road Safety Research (SWOV) says the government needs to look at speed limits, increase the number of roads with separate cycle lanes and revise environmental taxes that failed to promote safer vehicles. While the Netherlands has been a leader in road safety in Europe, recent years have seen stagnation and an increase in the number of deaths. In an interview with the AD newspaper, Dr Peter van der Knaap pointed to ETSC research published last year that […]

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 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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