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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 […]

Belgium: survey says three quarters of drug drivers mix with alcohol

Belgium: survey says three quarters of drug drivers mix with alcohol

Three quarters of people that admitted to driving after taking drugs, usually cannabis, in a poll said they had also mixed the drug taking with alcohol, according to AWSR, an ETSC member in Belgium. Roughly 1 in 10 of those polled admitted to drink driving over the previous twelve months, twice as many as admitted taking drugs before driving. AWSR was particularly concerned about the levels of ignorance of the risks associated with driving under the influence of drugs. Almost half believed that taking […]

MEPs attempt to weaken professional driver training rules

MEPs attempt to weaken professional driver training rules

The European Parliament’s transport committee has backed changes to professional driver training rules that could lead to large numbers of lorries being driven by workers who have received no professional training in addition to their regular HGV driving license. Voting on a report in response to a proposal from the European Commission to revise the ‘Driver Certificate of Professional Competence’ (CPC) rules last month, the committee included an amendment that would exempt drivers from the requirements for additional initial and periodic training as long […]

UN agrees on road safety sub-targets to aid progress on 2020 sustainable development goals

UN agrees on road safety sub-targets to aid progress on 2020 sustainable development goals

United Nations member states have agreed on a comprehensive subset of global road safety targets to aid work towards the target agreed two years ago to halve deaths and serious injuries on the world’s roads by 2020. Road traffic injuries are the tenth leading cause of death globally, responsible for around 1.3 million deaths each year and as many as 50 million injuries. The UN General Assembly declared the years 2011-2020 as a Decade of Action for Road Safety. Member States also included two […]

US report urges better safeguards for automated cars following Tesla crash investigation

US report urges better safeguards for automated cars following Tesla crash investigation

A comprehensive investigation by the US National Transport Safety Board into a fatal crash involving a Tesla Model S and a heavy goods vehicle in Florida last year recommends that carmakers prevent drivers from activating automated driving features in situations that they were not designed for. The board’s final report, published in September, found that a truck driver’s failure to yield the right of way and a car driver’s inattention due to overreliance on vehicle automation were the probable causes of the fatal crash. […]

Intelligent Transport Systems group prioritises in-vehicle speed limit information and harmonised user interfaces

Intelligent Transport Systems group prioritises in-vehicle speed limit information and harmonised user interfaces

The European Commission’s working group on Cooperative Intelligent Transport Systems (the C-ITS platform) has published its Phase II Final Report, which includes a number of recommendations for prioritising road safety. C-ITS encompasses sharing of data from transport infrastructure to vehicles, and from vehicle to vehicle.  The technology can support drivers but will also develop as a complement to automated and autonomous vehicles. The platform’s road safety working group, of which ETSC was a participant, set out a list of priority C-ITS services with higher […]

SafetyCube launches database of studies and measures to help policymakers evaluate road safety policy

SafetyCube launches database of studies and measures to help policymakers evaluate road safety policy

An EU-funded project known as SafetyCube has launched an online portal to enable policy-makers and stakeholders to select and implement the most appropriate strategies, measures and approaches to reduce casualties of all road user types in Europe. The website includes analysis of road safety risks and mitigation strategies and will soon feature a tool to help with cost benefit analysis of measures. SafetyCube is a research project funded by the European Commission under Horizon 2020, the EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation, in […]

Project EDWARD: zero deaths in 15 countries

Project EDWARD: zero deaths in 15 countries

Results from the 2017 European Day Without A Road Death (Project EDWARD) have been published by TISPOL (the European Traffic Police Network). The event was a major communications success, with 8,813 twitter posts over the 48-hour period around Project EDWARD day on 21 September.  The twitter messages reached 25 million people –  the 2016 figure was 19.5 million.  #ProjectEDWARD trended number 1 in Ireland, number 4 in the UK, number 5 in Germany and also in Spain and other countries during Project EDWARD day. […]

Consumer organisation calls for revised child cycle helmet standards

Consumer organisation calls for revised child cycle helmet standards

The Belgian consumer organisation Test-Achats/Test-Aankoop has called for tougher safety standards for children’s cycle helmets after it found large differences in the ability of current models to protect against brain injury. The organisation commissioned the University of Strasbourg to test twelve child cycle helmets using a digital model of the human head to simulate the protection offered. Price offered no indication of performance, as an €80 model was outperformed by one selling for €10.  The best model tested carried a 30% risk of brain […]

Calls to increase education, enforcement and penalties for distracted driving

Calls to increase education, enforcement and penalties for distracted driving

A number of national surveys across Europe have revealed worrying attitudes to the use of mobile devices while driving. Campaigners are calling for better enforcement, higher penalties, technological solutions and education to raise awareness of the risks. A survey carried out by Ipsos in the Czech Republic last Summer found that 36% of drivers admitted using their phone almost every time they get behind the wheel. In Spain, 25% of drivers have admitted to using their phone behind the wheel, similar to the figure […]

Netherlands rolls out saliva tests for drug driving

Netherlands rolls out saliva tests for drug driving

The Netherlands is the latest country to start road-side saliva tests to catch drug driving offenders.  Early results since the programme launched in July have been described as ‘the tip of the iceberg’. Like other countries, the Netherlands already had laws against drug driving, but enforcement was based on behavioural characteristics such as poor driving or observing dilated pupils.  Suspected offenders had to be accompanied to a police station for a sample of blood or urine to be taken, this was then sent away […]

Euro NCAP outlines 2025 roadmap on car safety

Euro NCAP outlines 2025 roadmap on car safety

Euro NCAP has announced plans setting out how the consumer safety testing programme will evolve and respond to new vehicle safety technologies in the near future. The organisation says it will challenge vehicle manufacturers to offer the best possible technology as standard in all segments and countries, protecting not only car occupants of all ages but also increasingly addressing the safety of other more vulnerable road users. The roadmap outlines a timeline for the introduction of key testing enhancements, including: Primary safety Driver Monitoring […]

Careful town label for local authorities in France

Careful town label for local authorities in France

Association Prévention Routière, ETSC’s French member, has launched a new label for towns and cities engaged in improving road safety across their territory. Towns and cities across France have been invited to apply for the ‘Ville Prudente’ label, which will be awarded at five different levels.  Local authorities have been invited to apply via an online questionnaire which will be followed-up by local visits from the organisation’s volunteer member base. The organisation has also launched an online tool enabling local authorities to track road […]

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