News - Page 3

New study offers insights into most effective ISA systems

New study offers insights into most effective ISA systems

A new study led by Professor Oliver Carsten at the Institute for Transport Studies, University of Leeds, looks at the most effective and user-friendly human machine interface (HMI) options for Intelligent Speed Assistance (ISA). ISA systems will be required on all new cars, vans, lorries and buses sold in the EU from 2022, as part of an array of mandatory new vehicle safety technologies included in the updated EU General Safety Regulation, agreed last year. The updated law defines ISA as “a system to […]

Volvo targets “hands off” automated motorway driving system from 2022

Volvo targets “hands off” automated motorway driving system from 2022

Volvo cars has said it will launch cars with the hardware necessary for fully automated driving on motorways from 2022.   All currently-available systems in the EU require the driver to remain in charge of the vehicle and to constantly monitor the road, with their hands on the wheel.  Volvo is hoping to take advantage of new, cheaper LIDAR sensors and new software, to offer a system that allows the driver to rely on the automated driving system completely under certain situations.  Such a system […]

Editorial: Amid this shocking crisis there is an opportunity to transform road safety

Editorial: Amid this shocking crisis there is an opportunity to transform road safety

Antonio Avenoso, Executive Director It is the best of times, it is the worst of times… Last month I watched with horror, fear and dismay at the reports from Italy, my home country, where deaths from COVID-19 every few days were the equivalent of the country’s annual road deaths.  The emergency care system was overwhelmed, there was a terrible shortage of protective equipment and, worst of all, so many families were devastated and unable even to mourn their loss together.  The economic costs?  Impossible […]

Van drivers on international routes will need tachographs under EU deal on driving and resting times

Van drivers on international routes will need tachographs under EU deal on driving and resting times

International transport operators using light goods vehicles of over 2.5 t will be subject to EU rules for driving and resting times, and their vehicles will need to be fitted with tachographs, according to a provisional EU deal on updated transport regulations. Currently only heavy goods vehicle and coach drivers are required to use tachographs and respect strict limits on driving and resting times.  The change marks the first time the rules will apply to some van drivers – something ETSC has long called […]

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 […]

COVID-19: Huge drop in traffic in Europe,  but impact on road deaths unclear

COVID-19: Huge drop in traffic in Europe, but impact on road deaths unclear

Unprecedented reductions in traffic volumes have been reported across Europe since confinement measures associated with the COVID-19 pandemic took effect.  Early reports based on limited data show that road deaths have not been reduced to the same degree, and, in some areas, have stayed the same or risen.  It is too early to draw firm conclusions. Data analysis by Tom Tom, of a number of major European cities has shown traffic volumes reduced by between 70 and 85% in countries where confinement measures are […]

EU Urban Safety Award Nominees announced

EU Urban Safety Award Nominees announced

The European Commission has announced the first ever Urban Road Safety Award nominees.  The awards will celebrate outstanding and innovative achievements by local authorities in the area of road safety. The finalists are: Jaworzno (Poland); Ordu (Turkey) and Pontevedra (Spain). The jury praised, in particular, Jaworzno’s action to reduce speed limits, increase the number of public transport users, and involve local residents in the design of renovated streets.  Ordu’s “courageous” decision to pedestrianise the busiest parts of the city, remove heavy car traffic from […]

COVID-19: Concerns over suspension of EU road safety laws amid lock-down

COVID-19: Concerns over suspension of EU road safety laws amid lock-down

Several EU Member States have formally notified the European Commission of temporary suspensions to the application of a number of EU road safety laws. Several countries are allowing longer driving times for lorry drivers, to enable deliveries of essential products such as medical equipment. With driver and vehicle testing centres forced to shut their doors, many countries have also extended the validity of driving licenses, certificates of professional competence and vehicle technical inspection certificates. While ETSC recognises the unique circumstances of the current lockdowns, […]

Apple CarPlay and Android Auto infotainment systems weaken reactions more than alcohol and cannabis

Apple CarPlay and Android Auto infotainment systems weaken reactions more than alcohol and cannabis

A new study by the UK’s transport research laboratory (TRL) shows that the latest in-vehicle infotainment systems that display smartphone apps on in-car displays impair reaction times behind the wheel more than alcohol and cannabis use. The study found that reaction times at motorway speeds increased average stopping distances to between four and five car lengths. The study also found that drivers took their eyes off the road for as long as 16 seconds while driving (equivalent to a distance of more than 500 […]

A third of killed vehicle occupants in the UK were not wearing seatbelts

A third of killed vehicle occupants in the UK were not wearing seatbelts

Almost a third (31%) of the people who died in vehicles in Great Britain in 2018 were not wearing a seatbelt, according to a report by PACTS, ETSC’s UK founding member, published last month. Seatbelts: Time for Action used data obtained from specialist Police Forensic Collision Investigators (PFCIs) by using the Freedom of Information Act.  The report is based on over 1,000 records obtained from PFCIs. It suggests that there were 261 deaths where a seat belt was legally required but not worn in […]

Germany updates road traffic law with new rules on lorry turning speed, legal passing distance for bicycles and new cycling zones

Germany updates road traffic law with new rules on lorry turning speed, legal passing distance for bicycles and new cycling zones

A wide range of new traffic safety measures have been agreed by the German parliament as part of an update to the country’s traffic law. Drivers who park in cycle lanes or follow emergency vehicles through an emergency corridor will now face higher fines, and, for the latter, the possibility of a driving ban. Drivers will also need to use a minimum passing distance for bicycles of 1.5m in urban areas, and 2m out of town – the first time a specific limit has […]

MEPs demand action on road safety at first plenary debate with new Transport Commissioner

MEPs demand action on road safety at first plenary debate with new Transport Commissioner

Adina Vălean, the European Commissioner for transport underlined the importance of the Safe System approach and recommitted to the new 2030 target to halve road deaths in the EU as she faced MEPs on the topic of road safety for the first time since her official confirmation. At the first plenary debate on road safety of the current parliamentary session, in Strasbourg on 13 February, a number of MEPs challenged the Commissioner to bring forward measures to address several key challenges. Róża Thun of […]

ITF report recommends action on safety of e-scooters

ITF report recommends action on safety of e-scooters

A new study by the International Transport Forum’s “Corporate Partnership Board” examines several safety aspects of e-scooters and other micro-vehicles and makes a number of recommendations. In general the report recommends treating e-scooters in the same way as bicycles with separated infrastructure, restricting their use on pavements (or requiring a lower speed) and not subjecting the vehicles to EU type-approval rules. ETSC is concerned about evidence of higher numbers of severe injuries among e-scooter riders compared to cyclists and is calling for more and […]

Global conference adopts Stockholm Declaration – setting the agenda for the next decade of road safety action

Global conference adopts Stockholm Declaration – setting the agenda for the next decade of road safety action

Government delegates from more than 80 countries discussed how to step up ambition and improve global road safety in the next decade at a major international conference in Stockholm. During the 3rd Global Ministerial Conference on Road Safety in Stockholm, Swedish Minister for Infrastructure Tomas Eneroth presented the Stockholm Declaration, stressing the need for continued, ambition in particular by working towards a new global fatality reduction target, as the current target expires this year. The document will provide guidance up to 2030, focussing on […]

Support for unlimited motorway speeds in Germany is reducing

Support for unlimited motorway speeds in Germany is reducing

Germany’s largest automobile association ADAC is “no longer fundamentally opposed” to motorway speed limits, and the second largest, ACE, actively supports a maximum speed of 130 km/h. The debate over ending unlimited speed on Germany motorways has been on the agenda again for a year, after a government commission on the environment recommended introducing a 130 km/h limit.  So far the government has ruled out the change. But momentum in favour of a limit appears to be growing with the largest automobile club shifting […]

336 lives saved on French roads thanks to 80 km/h limits

336 lives saved on French roads thanks to 80 km/h limits

Emmanuel Barbe, the outgoing French road safety chief, says 336 deaths were prevented over the 18-month period since the introduction of a lower 80 km/h on single-carriageway rural roads in France. Mr Barbe also criticised the “shameful” vandalism that led to large numbers of speed cameras being put out of action by the yellow vest movement.  Without that damage, the figures for deaths prevented would have been higher, he said. An analysis report published last month by researchers at Cerema found that, thanks to […]

Zero cyclist and pedestrian deaths in Helsinki and Oslo last year

Zero cyclist and pedestrian deaths in Helsinki and Oslo last year

Two European capitals, Helsinki and Oslo, achieved the milestone of zero pedestrian and cyclist deaths last year.  Remarkably, Norway also reported zero child road deaths nationally for the first time, based on ages 0-15. ETSC’s most recent PIN report (based on 2018 data) showed that Norway had the lowest road mortality in Europe, at 20 deaths per million inhabitants.  The country also recorded the largest drop in road deaths since 2010 – highlighting that an already high performing country can continue to make rapid […]

Lower motorway speed limits coming in Luxembourg and The Netherlands

Lower motorway speed limits coming in Luxembourg and The Netherlands

The Netherlands will introduce a daytime motorway speed limit of 100 km/h across the country from the second half of March, while Luxembourg will reduce speeds to 90 km/h during peak hours, following a successful trial. The Dutch measure is designed to help the country cut nitrogen oxide emissions (NOx), a big problem particularly with older diesel vehicles.   However, Dutch motorways, a large number of which have 130 km/h limits, will also be safer at the lower speeds. Motorway deaths in the Netherlands reached […]

UK government puts new “smart” motorways on hold

UK government puts new “smart” motorways on hold

The UK government has stopped the roll-out of motorways modified so that the emergency lane or hard shoulder is used as a running lane.  The review of the policy was announced after figures revealed in a BBC News documentary showed a significant number of deaths had occurred following incidents of cars stopped in the middle of the road. The original safety case in the UK for so-called “smart” motorways was based on a trial that included emergency refugees for vehicles in trouble every 500m […]

Number of railway accidents going down

Number of railway accidents going down

Between 2010 and 2018, the number of significant railway accidents in the EU fell by a quarter to 1 721 accidents, 571 fewer than in 2010. A total of 885 persons were killed and 760 persons seriously injured in these accidents in 2018 (not including suicides). The most common type of accident involved unauthorised people on the railway tracks that were hit by a train. In 2018, 973 such accidents were recorded, representing more than half (57%) of the total number of accidents. The […]

© 2020 European Transport Safety Council

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

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