News - Page 11

Cyprus introduces drug driving tests

Cyprus introduces drug driving tests

A new law, in force in Cyprus since last month, enables the police to perform roadside checks for driving under the influence of drugs. For the first ten days after the implementation of the law, the police engaged in an information campaign but, as of 25 January, checks are being performed and offenders prosecuted. The preliminary test is performed on a saliva sample, with a simple hand-held device, which gives only a positive-negative result. When the result is positive, a second saliva sample is […]

Roadworthiness: Commission urges Member States to update vehicle testing rules

Roadworthiness: Commission urges Member States to update vehicle testing rules

The European Commission has requested that six Member States fully transpose into national law rules agreed in 2014 on roadworthiness testing for motor vehicles. The rules, made up of three EU Directives, should have been in place in all Member States by 20 May 2017. To date, however, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Germany, Ireland, Romania and Slovakia have not – or only partially – done so. The Czech Republic, Romania and Slovakia have not adopted, published and communicated to the Commission measures on the […]

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 […]

South Korea mandates new vehicle safety tech while EU delays again

South Korea mandates new vehicle safety tech while EU delays again

The South Korean transport ministry has announced that it will require all new large passenger vehicles and trucks to be fitted with Automated Emergency Braking (AEB) and Lane Departure Warning (LDW) systems from January 2019. Meanwhile an expected announcement of new EU vehicle legislation mandating these and other technologies for new cars has been delayed until May. EU vehicle safety standards have not been updated since 2009, and while its 19 proposed measures are more comprehensive than any other region’s current plans, further delays […]

‘Safety concerns’ over mystery exemption to EU safety rules

‘Safety concerns’ over mystery exemption to EU safety rules

EU Member States have approved an exemption to EU vehicle type approval rules for a new automated lane change system, despite safety concerns being raised.  No details of the system have been made public including the name of the make and model of vehicle the system will be fitted to. In a behind-closed-doors meeting in December of the “Technical Committee – Motor Vehicles” (TCMV) EU Member State representatives approved a European Commission decision to grant the German government permission to certify EU-wide a new […]

Opinion: Des limites de vitesse plus sûres – pourquoi la France prend la bonne route

Opinion: Des limites de vitesse plus sûres – pourquoi la France prend la bonne route

Antonio Avenoso, Directeur exécutif, ETSC English version L’article 4 de la Déclaration des Droits de l’Homme et du Citoyen de 1789 stipule: “La liberté consiste à pouvoir faire tout ce qui ne nuit pas à autrui  …” Ces mots historiques semblaient appropriés hier, le gouvernement français ayant annoncé un certain nombre de mesures visant à améliorer la sécurité routière, notamment une réduction de la limite de vitesse de 90 à 80km/h sur les routes secondaires à double sens, dont les deux voies ne sont […]

Opinion: Safer speed limits – why France is taking the right road

Opinion: Safer speed limits – why France is taking the right road

By Antonio Avenoso, ETSC Executive Director Version française Article 4 of the 1789 French Declaration of the Rights of Man and of The Citizen states: “Liberty consists of doing anything which does not harm others…”. These historic words seemed appropriate yesterday as the French government announced a number of measures to improve road safety including a reduction of the speed limit on unseparated rural roads from 90km/h to 80km/h.  The move has sparked a sadly now predictable backlash on social media and from groups […]

Safer speed limits and boost for alcohol interlocks as France announces major road safety push

Safer speed limits and boost for alcohol interlocks as France announces major road safety push

Two lane roads with no separating guard rail in France will have their default speed limit reduced from 90 to 80 km/h and alcohol interlocks will be required for recidivist drink driving offenders as part of the French government’s latest road safety crack-down. The measures, announced by the Prime Minister earlier this month, also include the possibility of suspending the license of a driver using a mobile phone at the wheel. The 80km/h limit has led to a backlash from motoring groups and on […]

Zero-star car should be a wake-up call to regulators

Zero-star car should be a wake-up call to regulators

The Fiat Punto is the first car ever to be awarded a zero star rating by Euro NCAP, the consumer testing organisation, in a development that highlights the risks of the EU failing to update minimum vehicle safety standards for almost a decade. Euro NCAP regularly updates the criteria for its star rating scheme, and retests cars to ensure safety levels are maintained in light of technological improvements.  The minimum legal requirements for the EU market however were last updated in 2009 meaning it […]

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.

Volvo dials down the hype on automated driving trial

Volvo dials down the hype on automated driving trial

Volvo Cars has reduced the scale of its Drive Me automated driving trial and delayed the roll-out of fully-automated driving features to real-world users. The project, which has the support of the city of Gothenburg and the Swedish Government, was first announced in 2013 with the aim of testing 100 self-driving vehicles from 2017 with members of the public in the driving seat in every-day conditions on specially-chosen roads. But the revised plan signals a more cautious approach.   The company announced in December that […]

Ireland considers tougher penalties for speeding

Ireland considers tougher penalties for speeding

The Irish transport minister Shane Ross has called for tougher penalties for drivers that speed. Responding to the latest road death figures for Ireland, which were lower than the previous year, he told the Irish Times newspaper that speeding should be treated like drink driving, with more penalty points for those that exceed speed limits by a higher degree. In the United Kingdom, between 3 and 6 penalty points can be given for speeding offences. Mr Ross also indicated that he was considering more […]

Uber must be regulated as a transport service says top EU court

Uber must be regulated as a transport service says top EU court

In a significant ruling, the Court of Justice of the European Union has said that services such as Uber must be considered as a transport service, and regulated by EU Member States as such. In 2014, a professional taxi drivers’ association in Barcelona brought a legal action in Spain seeking a court declaration that the activities of Uber Spain amount to misleading practices and acts of unfair competition.  The Spanish court first needed to decide whether or not Uber was in fact a transport […]

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 […]

Austria launches alcohol interlock rehabilitation programme

Austria launches alcohol interlock rehabilitation programme

Austria has launched a voluntary rehabilitation programme for drink driving offenders using alcohol interlocks following successful trials run in 2012 and 2013. Convicted drink drivers can opt in to the scheme to enable them to get back behind the wheel when they have completed half of their driving ban period (subject to a minimum of four months).  The programme, which launched in September, is the first to require participants to meet regularly with a mentor. Data from the devices will be monitored and violations […]

Irish parliament debates automatic disqualification for drink drivers

Irish parliament debates automatic disqualification for drink drivers

ETSC has joined calls for a tougher law on drink driving in Ireland.  The Road Traffic (Amendment) Bill 2017 is currently working its way through the Irish legislative process but has faced opposition from pub owners and members of parliament representing rural areas. One of the government’s proposed changes is automatic disqualification of drivers found with a blood alcohol level of between 0.5 and 0.8g/l.  Currently offenders caught in that range face a €200 fine and three penalty points with only those caught over […]

Swedish government backs research project to develop next generation interlocks

Swedish government backs research project to develop next generation interlocks

A new project launched by the Swedish Transport Administration and the police is investigating future technological solutions to prevent drink driving. The project will investigate in-car sensors that can check alcohol levels through a simple touch or by detecting the driver’s breath circulating in the vehicle.  The transport administration says such technologies have the potential to free up police from carrying out time intensive road side breath tests. The new sensor project has just begun and is expected to be completed by 2021. About a […]

Majority support lower BAC limits in England and Wales, 50 years after first UK blood alcohol limits

Majority support lower BAC limits in England and Wales, 50 years after first UK blood alcohol limits

50 years after the UK first introduced breath testing and blood alcohol limits, a motorists’ organisation has backed calls to reduce the legal blood-alcohol limit for drivers in England and Wales for the first time. While the 0.8g/l limit has been in place since a legal maximum was introduced in 1967, Scotland took the decision to cut to 0.5 in December 2014 and Northern Ireland is in the process of doing the same. The limit in almost all other European countries is 0.5 or […]

Billionaire’s EUR 25,000 drink driving fine puts means-tested penalties in the spotlight

Billionaire’s EUR 25,000 drink driving fine puts means-tested penalties in the spotlight

A Norwegian billionaire that recorded a BAC level three times higher than the legal limit has been banned from driving and handed a 250,000 krone fine (EUR 25,000).  But the fine could have been much higher as, under Norwegian law, fines are linked to monthly income and in some cases overall wealth. 22 year-old Katharina G. Andresen, one of the world’s youngest billionaires, reportedly could have been faced with a fine worth up to EUR 5 million.  However the judge concluded that Ms Andresen’s […]

Finland: overwhelming majority support in-car technology to prevent drink driving

Finland: overwhelming majority support in-car technology to prevent drink driving

A survey carried out for ETSC’s Finnish member Liikenneturva has found that nine out of ten Finns have a positive view of in-car technology that can prevent drink driving such as alcohol interlocks. Finland has had a nationwide rehabilitation programme for drink drivers, coupled with the use of alcohol interlocks fitted in offenders’ vehicles since 2008. A 2013 evaluation found the effects on participants to be positive and that the programme has prevented 12,000 instances of driving under the influence of alcohol. The poll […]

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