News - Page 2

Opinion: Lower speed limits are a triple win for reducing dependence on Russian oil, emissions and road injury.

Opinion: Lower speed limits are a triple win for reducing dependence on Russian oil, emissions and road injury.

A letter published in today’s edition of the Financial Times: The move by the EU to phase out imports of Russian oil by 2027 is a welcome development in light of the barbaric invasion of Ukraine (“EU plans emergency measures to control surging energy bills”, Report, March 12). Urgent action is needed. We would like to recommend a measure that could be taken quickly and relatively simply to significantly cut […]

Enforcement of rules on drink-driving and mobile phone use at the wheel decreases in majority of European countries

Enforcement of rules on drink-driving and mobile phone use at the wheel decreases in majority of European countries

Significant weaknesses in the enforcement of road safety rules are holding back progress on reducing road deaths in Europe, according to a new report from the European Transport Safety Council. The report examines the state of enforcement of speed limits and seatbelt wearing as well as rules on drink-driving and use of mobile devices at the wheel between 2010 and 2019 across Europe. Ellen Townsend, ETSC’s policy director, commented: “Thousands […]

Car black boxes will be virtually useless to safety researchers

Car black boxes will be virtually useless to safety researchers

Electronic data recorders, which will be mandatory in new models of car from this summer, will be of little use to safety experts due to a ban on the retrieval of data containing location, date and time information from the devices, according to ETSC. Last month, the European Commission published the final technical specifications for the devices, which are one of a number of mandatory new technologies agreed as part […]

Report for the European Commission finds benefits of alcohol interlocks for HGVs outweigh costs

Report for the European Commission finds benefits of alcohol interlocks for HGVs outweigh costs

A new report on drink-driving for the European Commission looks at the progress made since 2001 EU guidelines on Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) limits were published and suggests mandatory fitment of alcohol interlocks in heavy goods vehicles could be a worthwhile investment. The researchers found that, since the publication of the EU Recommendation (2001/115/EC), BAC limits in the EU have further harmonised with at least eight countries having introduced a […]

New EU guidance on taxi services lacks action on road safety

New EU guidance on taxi services lacks action on road safety

The European Commission’s mobility department has published new regulatory guidance for taxi services in the EU that ETSC says is a missed opportunity to improve safety in the sector. The new rules have almost no mention of measures to improve the safety standards for drivers, vehicles or passengers despite ‘safe local mobility for citizens’ being mentioned in the scope. According to an ETSC report published in 2016, taxi safety is […]

ETSC welcomes higher standards for automated emergency braking systems on HGVs

ETSC welcomes higher standards for automated emergency braking systems on HGVs

Automated emergency braking systems on HGVs and buses will have to work better in the future thanks to tougher new standards agreed at the UNECE in Geneva which will apply in the EU from 2025 on new types of vehicle. The revision was prompted by collision investigations in Germany involving new lorries which found that the AEB system had been switched off by the driver.  Lorry drivers apparently regularly switch […]

UK law commissions say manufacturers should be responsible for self-driving car crashes

UK law commissions say manufacturers should be responsible for self-driving car crashes

A new report from the UK’s independent law commissions recommends introducing a new Automated Vehicles Act, to regulate vehicles that can drive themselves. It also recommends drawing a clear distinction between features which just assist drivers, such as Tesla’s Autopilot, and those that are fully self-driving. Under the law commissions’ proposals, when a car is authorised by a regulatory agency as having “self-driving features” and those features are in-use, the […]

Several countries tighten e-scooter rules as German study finds huge underreporting of injuries

Several countries tighten e-scooter rules as German study finds huge underreporting of injuries

Several governments are updating rules on e-scooter use, as more evidence emerges of the particular risks faced by users of this novel mode of transport. Denmark introduced mandatory helmets from 1 January this year, following research that showed the risks of an e-scooter crash are seven times higher than for bicycles. Norway will also introduce mandatory helmets for children up to 15 years old later in the spring and introduce […]

UK puts vulnerable road users first in new highway code

UK puts vulnerable road users first in new highway code

The introduction section of the UK Highway Code has been updated to include new rules concerning a revised ‘hierarchy of road users’. The hierarchy places those road users most at risk in the event of a collision at the top of the hierarchy, but “it does not remove the need for everyone to behave responsibly”. The approach is similar to the inverse pyramid of road safety priority ETSC has promoted […]

New legislation will boost availability of digital speed limit information

New legislation will boost availability of digital speed limit information

In a proposed legislative update to EU rules on Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS), the European Commission says EU Member States will have to supply data on speed limits.  The data will then be available for use by in-vehicle safety systems such as Intelligent Speed Assistance, helping to ensure more accurate information. In a first step, speed limit data will be made available for roads on the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T), […]

Ireland launches new ten-year road safety strategy

Ireland launches new ten-year road safety strategy

The Irish government has launched a new road safety strategy in line with the EU targets to reduce deaths and injuries by 50% over the next ten years. The 2021-2030 government Road Safety Strategy will feature three phases. The Phase 1 Action Plan (2021-2024) which has been published alongside the ten-year strategy document, contains 50 “high-impact” actions including: Establish a working group to examine and review the framework for the […]

European Commission pushes for more active travel, public transport and road safety in cities

European Commission pushes for more active travel, public transport and road safety in cities

A new ‘urban policy initiative’ from the European Commission will seek to encourage towns and cities in the EU to move towards a more sustainable balance of transport modes, encouraging walking, cycling and public transport and with better monitoring of modal split as well as road injuries and deaths.  ETSC welcomes these intentions but questions whether enough is being done at EU level to help cut road deaths and injuries […]

New rules on major EU roads should improve infrastructure safety

New rules on major EU roads should improve infrastructure safety

The European Commission has proposed new rules governing the Trans-European Transport (TEN-T) networks, which include the major roads and motorways that crisscross the continent. The major piece of legislation, which covers many aspects of rail, air, maritime and road transport in the EU, also touches on road safety in a number of areas. One update is to ensure so-called TEN-T roads meet the standards for safety set out in the […]

Delivery drivers and riders could gain better health and safety protection under EU proposals

Delivery drivers and riders could gain better health and safety protection under EU proposals

The European Commission wants labour regulations in future to be based on the assumption that workers for online ‘digital platforms’ are employees, and are not ‘falsely misclassified’ as self-employed, according to new proposals published this month. This could result in millions of workers for so-called gig economy platforms such as Uber and Deliveroo receiving the same guarantees as employees on health and safety, sick pay and working hours, with knock-on […]

As Mercedes launches Europe’s first Level-3 automated vehicle system, it’s time for an EU crash investigation authority

As Mercedes launches Europe’s first Level-3 automated vehicle system, it’s time for an EU crash investigation authority

ETSC is repeating its call for the setting up of an EU road collision investigation authority to conduct forensic analysis of crashes involving automated vehicles on EU roads. The call follows the announcement yesterday by Mercedes-Benz of the German launch of ‘Drive Pilot’, a system that allows for hands-off automated driving in traffic at speeds up to 60 km/h on German motorways.  This is the first approval of a Level […]

Flanders recommends 30 km/h as default speed limit on residential roads

Flanders recommends 30 km/h as default speed limit on residential roads

The Belgian region of Flanders has published new guidelines to local authorities which recommend 30 km/h as the default limit for residential areas.  But the final decision on which limits to apply will rest with local authorities and will not be required by the Flemish government. In Spain, 30 km/h became the national default limit on single lane roads in urban areas in May and there has been pressure in […]

Euro NCAP criticises Renault for downgrading safety in new electric models

Euro NCAP criticises Renault for downgrading safety in new electric models

The consumer safety rating organisation Euro NCAP has heavily criticised Renault, once a leader on vehicle safety, for downgrading safety on its Zoe electric model and the release of the Dacia Spring which has crash test performance described as “downright problematic, with a high risk of life-threatening injuries”.  The car received just one star for its “mediocre crash performance”. In general, electric and hybrid models have fared well in recent […]

Spain: major changes to road safety rules will see alcohol interlocks in new passenger transport vehicles and mandatory helmets for e-scooter riders

Spain: major changes to road safety rules will see alcohol interlocks in new passenger transport vehicles and mandatory helmets for e-scooter riders

The Spanish Parliament has approved several significant changes to road safety laws, that will come into effect in 2022. Spain will require all new types of M2 and M3 vehicle, i.e. mini-buses designed to carry more than eight people, buses and coaches, to be fitted with an alcohol interlock device from next year.  That coincides with new EU rules that require an interface for such a device on all new […]

The US wants mandatory technology to prevent drink driving in new vehicles by 2026

The US wants mandatory technology to prevent drink driving in new vehicles by 2026

The United States could be set to leapfrog the European Union on requirements for in-car technology to reduce drink-driving. President Biden’s recently-passed flagship infrastructure package contains a requirement for carmakers to fit monitoring systems to new vehicles to stop intoxicated drivers taking the wheel.  The technology to be used is yet to be determined. It is estimated that a third of traffic deaths in the US involve drink-driving.  In the […]

Opinion: a closer look at which transport modes cause most harm

Opinion: a closer look at which transport modes cause most harm

Antonio Avenoso, Executive Director, ETSC Earlier this month, the European Commission published new analysis of EU road death data that shows which transport modes are responsible for inflicting the most harm.  Similar analysis has previously been carried out at the national level in the UK and France. The breakdown (see infographic above) shows road user type and the other ‘main vehicle’ involved in the crash.  The figures used are from 2019 as detailed […]

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