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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 […]

ETSC comments on publication of 2018 EU road death figures

ETSC comments on publication of 2018 EU road death figures

The European Commission has published the 2018 figures for road deaths and serious injuries in the European Union. Commenting on the new figures, Antonio Avenoso, Executive Director of the European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) said: “It’s very disappointing that road deaths in the EU hardly declined in 2018.  This is now the fifth year in a row that hardly any progress has been made.  However there are reasons to be optimistic for the future. “In recent weeks, the EU has finalised two important pieces […]

Lithuania: alcohol interlock programme launching in January

Lithuania: alcohol interlock programme launching in January

The Lithuanian parliament has passed legislation permitting the use of an alcohol interlock as an alternative to a driving ban from next year. Lithuania is the ninth EU Member State to introduce an alcohol interlock-based programme for rehabilitating drink-driving offenders. The Baltic country has made very significant improvements in road safety in recent years, with a 43% reduction in annual road deaths since 2010, the second biggest drop among EU countries. Since 2001, deaths have declined by 76%. Amongst other measures, the country has […]

France rolls out alcohol interlock programme nationwide

France rolls out alcohol interlock programme nationwide

The French government has announced that convicted drink-drivers across France will be given the opportunity to participate in an alcohol interlock rehabilitation programme, as an alternative to a driving ban, following successful trials in seven départements. Drink-drivers found with a BAC level above 0.8 g/l will now be offered the possibility of installing an alcohol interlock for a period of between 6 months and 5 years rather than being subject to a ban from driving.  The courts will also have the power to reduce […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

European Transport Safety Council welcomes deal on safer EU road rules

European Transport Safety Council welcomes deal on safer EU road rules

Minimum road infrastructure safety standards will be extended to national roads across the EU in a significant boost for road safety, following a provisional deal on new legislation agreed today. Existing EU rules require governments to carry out regular road safety audits, identify high-risk sites and prioritise safety when building new roads but the legislation currently applies only to major European roads known collectively as the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T). A revised version of the rules agreed today would extend these measures to all […]

MEPs back life-saving vehicle safety standards in key vote

MEPs back life-saving vehicle safety standards in key vote

A key committee of MEPs has given the green light for a range of new mandatory vehicle safety standards that could apply to new vehicle models within three years. The European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) welcomes the result of the vote but warns that time is running out for a final deal on the legislation before European Parliamentary elections in May. Members of the European Parliament’s Committee on Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO) voted today to approve a range of new vehicle safety […]

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 […]

Young Uber drivers to get safety training in the Netherlands

Young Uber drivers to get safety training in the Netherlands

The app-based taxi service Uber will require its younger drivers to undertake mandatory safety training with Safe Traffic Netherlands, a road safety NGO, following a series of deaths where Uber drivers were involved. Four deaths involving the company’s vehicles occurred in a six-week period, prompting urgent discussions with the company. According to Safe Traffic Netherlands, Uber has now taken measures to ensure that their drivers are limited in how long they can drive using the app.  The minimum age to be employed as an […]

UK and Sweden set for automated car trials as manufacturers more cautious on part-time automation

UK and Sweden set for automated car trials as manufacturers more cautious on part-time automation

The UK department for transport has updated its code of practice for trials of autonomous vehicles on British roads to potentially enable use of safety drivers not inside the vehicle but supervising and operating cars by remote control. The updated requirements, published by the Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles, also set out the need for organisations carrying out tests to undertake risk assessments and publish safety information and trial performance reports. Meanwhile the Swedish Transport Agency has approved an application from Zenuity, a […]

German expert conference recommends alcohol interlocks

German expert conference recommends alcohol interlocks

A major conference of experts in road safety and traffic enforcement has recommended the introduction of alcohol interlock-based rehabilitation programmes in Germany. The recommendations of the 57th annual “Traffic Day” conference (Deutscher Verkehrsgerichtstag) included the suggestion of the scheme, as an alternative to a driving ban or withdrawal of the driving license, highlighting the educational benefits. The German Road Safety Council (DVR), ETSC’s German founding member, welcomed the recommendations. According to an opinion survey carried out by DVR last year, German drivers underestimate the […]

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.

Half of drug drivers involved in fatal collisions in France were also over the drink drive limit

Half of drug drivers involved in fatal collisions in France were also over the drink drive limit

New data from France confirms the large overlap between drink and drug driving in fatal collisions. Among the 439 drivers that tested positive for drugs after being involved in a fatal collision in 2017, half (224) also had a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) level above the legal limit in France of 0,5 g/l. The proportion is similar for non-fatal collisions. The figures were published in the latest road safety annual report from France’s national road safety observatory. The injury risk of drugs combined with […]

German drivers “underestimating” drink driving risk

German drivers “underestimating” drink driving risk

The German Road Safety Council (DVR), an ETSC member, says drivers are still underestimating the risks of drink-driving.  According to an opinion survey carried out for DVR by Ipsos in December, one in four respondents would drink one or two glasses of beer at a party within four hours and then drive home by car. DVR recommends a zero alcohol policy when driving.  “It’s best to stick to a clear rule,” said DVR Chief Executive Christian Kellner. “Those who drive, don’t drink; those who drink, […]

Report reveals vast differences in delivery of road safety education across Europe

Report reveals vast differences in delivery of road safety education across Europe

There are vast differences in the amount of road safety education given to children across Europe, particularly at secondary school level, according to a new report. The research shows that while road safety education is provided to children in primary education all over Europe, it is not given to youngsters in secondary education in a fifth of the 36 European states and regions studied. Moreover, the research reveals that traffic safety and mobility education is only sparsely addressed in secondary education in most of […]

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 […]

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