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Portugal’s penalty points system launches 1 June

Portugal’s penalty points system launches 1 June

Portugal’s long-awaited penalty points system for offences including speeding and drink driving will take effect from 1 June. The Carta de Condução por Pontos will see drivers issued with 12 points by default, with between two and six points taken away every time an offence is recorded. Drivers with only four points left will need to take additional road safety training, while those with two will have to retake the driving theory test.  Loss of all points will result in a two year driving ban, […]

Italian senate passes ‘road murder’ law

Italian senate passes ‘road murder’ law

All road collisions that result in death or serious injury will be treated by police as an indictable offence, and those convicted will be subject to much tougher sentencing after a new ‘road murder’ law was passed by the Italian Senate last month. The new law, which has taken several years to pass all the necessary legal hurdles, could mean 12 years in prison for drivers found guilty of killing while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The first arrest under the new […]

Germany – calls for better speed enforcement as deaths rise again

Germany – calls for better speed enforcement as deaths rise again

The German Federal Statistics Office has published preliminary figures showing road deaths increased by 2.9% on German roads last year. Dr. Walter Eichendorf, president of the German Road Safety Council (DVR) – an ETSC member – said: “We need to move up a gear. As before, nine people are killed every day on our roads and around 1,000 are injured. The development shows that steadily decreasing number of accidents are not automatic, but continuous and major efforts are needed.” DVR says the speed limit […]

Rest of UK urged to follow Scotland on drink drive limits as offences fall

Rest of UK urged to follow Scotland on drink drive limits as offences fall

A new report for the UK’s Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety (PACTS) and the RAC Foundation has found that deaths and serious injuries on English and Welsh roads would be prevented if  drink drive limits were reduced following Scotland’s reduction from 0.8 g/l to 0.5 last year. The research by Professor Richard Allsop, a board member of ETSC, presents a ‘cautious’ estimate that a similar move in England and Wales would lead to 25 fewer deaths and 95 serious injuries. In Northern Ireland, […]

Belgium announces lower drink drive limit for young drivers, alcohol interlocks on buses

Belgium announces lower drink drive limit for young drivers, alcohol interlocks on buses

The Belgian government is to follow France with the introduction of a 0.2 g/l blood alcohol limit for young and novice drivers as well requiring alcohol interlocks for vehicles used in public transport. France’s lower BAC limit came into force in July and the country’s alcohol interlock requirements were extended to all coaches from September. Previously they were only required on coaches carrying school children.  Urban buses are excluded from the measure. The new Belgian measures are part of a 15-point road safety plan […]

Estonia targets repeat drink driving offenders

Estonia targets repeat drink driving offenders

The Estonian ministry of justice presented new proposals in October aimed at reducing repeat drink driving offences. The measures, including tougher penalties, also include provisions for banned drivers to follow rehabilitation programmes and install alcohol interlocks. The government is also considering extending responsibility for drink driving offences to passengers in the car, if proven that they knew the driver was over the limit.

EU health ministers call for new alcohol strategy

EU health ministers call for new alcohol strategy

EU health ministers have formally called on the European Commission to launch a comprehensive EU strategy dedicated to the reduction of alcohol-related harm by the end of 2016, following a similar request from the European Parliament in April. The last EU-wide alcohol programme officially ended in 2012 and has not been replaced. Ministers said the strategy should tackle the health, social and economic consequences of the harmful use of alcohol and focus on initiatives with a cross-border dimension. The Council also called upon member […]

Disqualified drivers in Ireland to be named and shamed

Disqualified drivers in Ireland to be named and shamed

The Irish Road Safety Authority (RSA) intends to start “naming and shaming” disqualified motorists on its website from early next year, after consultation with the national Data Protection Commissioner indicated there is “no obstacle” to doing so. Moyagh Murdock, chief executive of the RSA, said the plans for printing the names of disqualified drivers would act as a deterrent. “We want to see a societal change, a cultural change in people’s attitudes,” she said. The Irish parliament’s joint committee on transport and communications was […]

Poland seventh EU country to require interlocks for convicted drink drivers

Poland seventh EU country to require interlocks for convicted drink drivers

Poland is the latest European country to require convicted drink driving offenders to install an alcohol interlock if they wish to get back behind the wheel. The country joins Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, The Netherlands and Sweden, all of which now have rehabilitation programmes with interlocks backed by the courts. Poland’s new measures came into force on 18 May. Austria, Norway and Switzerland are in the process of preparing similar legislation, and Germany announced a trial programme in February, but no further details have […]

Pressure to cut BAC limits in England and Wales as France toughens limit for young drivers

Pressure to cut BAC limits in England and Wales as France toughens limit for young drivers

England and Wales are under pressure to match Scotland’s successful move last year from a 0.8g/l general blood alcohol limit for drivers to 0.5. Meanwhile the French government will officially lower the limit for novice drivers from 0.5 to 0.2 from 1 July. Victoria Martin, a senior police inspector at the Police Federation of England and Wales, told the Daily Telegraph newspaper: “We would like to see a lower drink-drive limit, as most other European countries have, as well as Scotland, which saw a […]

European Parliament calls for new EU alcohol strategy

European Parliament calls for new EU alcohol strategy

Members of the European Parliament passed a resolution in April calling on the European Commission to come forward with a comprehensive new long term strategy to tackle the impacts of alcohol on health. The last EU-wide programme ended in 2012 and has not been replaced. Amongst the new measures listed in the resolution, MEPs called for support for member states on collecting reliable data and running communication campaigns on drink driving as well as asking the European Commission to consider EU-wide labelling alerting consumers […]

Alcohol interlock programme ‘effective’ in Michigan

Alcohol interlock programme ‘effective’ in Michigan

The first four years of an alcohol-interlock linked rehabilitation programme for drink driving offenders in the US state of Michigan has been a ‘significant success’, according to a new study. The report showed that interlock programme participants have the lowest recidivism rates for operating under the influence of alcohol one, two and three years after the initial conviction for a repeat drink driving charge in comparison to the offenders who didn’t have to fit an interlock. The research also found that 97% complied with […]

US study shows economic benefits of cutting drink driving deaths

US study shows economic benefits of cutting drink driving deaths

A new analysis published in the medical journal Injury Prevention shows the very significant benefits of preventing drink driving collisions on a national economy. Using an economic model developed by Rutgers University, the authors found that reductions in alcohol-involved crashes since the middle of the 1980s increased economic output in 2010 by an estimated $20 billion, raised GDP by $10 billion, increased US income by $6.5 billion, and created 215 000 jobs. The study also says that every mile driven by an alcohol-impaired driver in […]

Report warns on alcohol brand exposure at Formula 1 races

Report warns on alcohol brand exposure at Formula 1 races

A study by Britain’s Institute of Alcohol Studies and Australia’s Monash University for the European Alcohol Policy Alliance network Eurocare says viewers of the 2014 Monaco Formula One race were exposed to alcohol brand images 11 times every minute. The authors conclude that F1 racing has the highest level of alcohol brand exposure of any sports event reported in peer reviewed literature. They argue that such exposure, during the world’s most prominent motor racing event, contradicts the spirit of the current EU regulations on […]

Bulc: “We will and we must continue to take steps to tackle drink driving”

Bulc: “We will and we must continue to take steps to tackle drink driving”

The European Commissioner for Transport Violetta Bulc has spoken in support of further steps to tackle drink driving in Europe. Speaking in a pre-recorded video statement for an event in the European Parliament today she reiterated her earlier promise that road safety would be one of the ‘top priorities’ of her mandate. But while pointing out that across the EU drink driving “is responsible for a quarter of road deaths” she also admitted that Europe is “behind” on use of technology that can tackle […]

EU driving license changes give a boost for alcohol interlocks

EU driving license changes give a boost for alcohol interlocks

A harmonised EU code on alcohol interlock devices for driving licences comes into force on 15 May in a move that could help boost usage and enforcement of the technology across Europe. Several countries in the EU including Sweden, Finland, France, Belgium and the Netherlands have laws requiring drink driving offenders to install alcohol interlocks in their vehicles. The devices prevent the vehicle from being driven if the driver has been drinking. 6500 deaths could be prevented annually if drink driving was eliminated in […]

Luxembourg toughens up penalty point system

Luxembourg toughens up penalty point system

Drivers caught speeding in Luxembourg will face tougher penalties from 1 June when a revised driving license points system comes into force. Speeders will have four or six points deducted, up from two or four points today. For the first time, drivers caught using a phone or tablet while driving, tail gating or ignoring one way signs will also lose two points on their license. Drink and drug drivers will also see in an increase in the penalty from four to six points. Political […]

France announces new road safety measures as deaths rise

France announces new road safety measures as deaths rise

The French government has announced more than twenty new road safety measures following the first national rise in road deaths in over a decade. The number of deaths on French roads rose by 3.7 percent – to a total of 3,388 people – in 2014, according to figures released by the Interior Ministry. Vulnerable road users were disproportionately affected with pedestrian deaths rising by 8 percent and cyclists by 7 percent. The measures announced include a plan to reduce the speed limit on some […]

New drink driving campaigns launch

New drink driving campaigns launch

Road safety campaigners across Europe have launched their winter drink driving campaigns, as the UK marks 50 years since its first public awareness campaign on the issue. Sikker Trafik, ETSC’s Danish member, has launched its winter drink driving campaign with a warning to drivers not to get behind the wheel if they are unsure of how much they have drunk. The call follows a new survey carried out for the organisation that showed 15% of drivers admitted driving while unsure of whether they had […]

Scotland and Lithuania lower drink drive limits

Scotland and Lithuania lower drink drive limits

Scotland has begun enforcing a new drink driving limit of 0.5 g/l, while Lithuania will introduce a zero tolerance limit for some commercial and novice drivers from next month. Scotland’s limit is now lower than the rest of the UK which still has the weakest in Europe at 0.8 g/l. The new limits, which came into force on 5 December, are supported by ETSC’s UK member PACTS.  The organisation says the limits should be extended to the rest of the UK as the current […]

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