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French départements sticking with 80km/h on rural roads

French départements sticking with 80km/h on rural roads

A growing number of French regional authorities (départements) are going back on plans to raise some rural road speed limits from 80 km/h to 90. France reduced the national speed limit on 400,000 km of unseparated rural roads from 90km/h to 80 in July last year – a move which led to the prevention of 206 deaths in one year, according to official figures. But the French government announced in May that it would modify the law to enable local authorities to raise the […]

Emergency corridors coming to Poland

Emergency corridors coming to Poland

Poland is the eighth European country to implement an “emergency corridor” system to clear the way for emergency vehicles on congested roads. The system, which has been shown to reduce response times by 4 minutes, and increase survival rates by 40%, is already used in Austria, the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Luxembourg, Slovenia and Switzerland but was not widely known outside of those countries. The system was a focus of ETSC’s REVIVE project on improving post-collision response and was presented at a number of […]

German parliament rejects 130 km/h limit on motorways

German parliament rejects 130 km/h limit on motorways

A proposal by Green MPs to introduce a national 130 km/h top speed limit on motorways in Germany was rejected in a vote in the Bundestag earlier this month. A government commission included the limit as one of a number of options for reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the transport sector in a report published earlier this year. Data analysis by the news organisation Der Spiegel found that the measure could prevent 140 deaths every year. At the time, the German transport minister Andreas […]

New e-mobility vehicles need independent checks says Dutch Safety Board

New e-mobility vehicles need independent checks says Dutch Safety Board

A review by the Dutch Safety Board of the procedures that led to approval of the Stint electric child cart for use on Dutch roads, says that “safety was made subordinate to the desire for innovation in road transport.” Four children died when the electrically-assisted cart that they were travelling in collided with a train at a railway crossing in September last year.  The exact causes of the collision have not been published so far, but independent investigations carried out both before and after […]

Romania introduces tougher sanctions for using a phone at the wheel

Romania introduces tougher sanctions for using a phone at the wheel

Within two days of new rules on distracted driving coming into force in Romania this month, 310 fines were issued by the police, according to official figures. The new rules, which cover calling and texting but also new trends such as filming and taking photos while driving, include significant fines, of around EUR 200, and penalty points for those seen breaking the law. Drivers caught using their phone at the same time as committing another offence will accumulate more points and higher fines, and […]

More enforcement needed to reverse decline in Dutch motorway safety

More enforcement needed to reverse decline in Dutch motorway safety

Dutch motorways are becoming less safe, according to research by SWOV, the Dutch institute for road safety research. The number of motorway deaths rose to 81 in 2018, the highest figure in more than a decade.  The total number of collisions has more than doubled in five years, from 17,000 in 2014 to more than 38,000 in 2018. SWOV, in a new report, said the main causes of collisions were speeding and drivers being distracted. The organisation also said a shift away from road […]

Road Safety Exchange: Twelve EU Member States team up to improve road safety

Road Safety Exchange: Twelve EU Member States team up to improve road safety

Road Safety Exchange: Twelve EU Member States team up to tackle challenges including speeding, infrastructure safety and improving the safety of pedestrians and cyclists. Twelve EU Member States are joining forces to share smart ideas for improving road safety, as part of a new EU-funded project, launching today in Brussels. Although European roads are the safest in the world and although road safety has improved greatly in recent decades, the number of deaths and serious injuries on our roads is still far too high. […]

Tributes paid to Jacques Chirac’s leadership on road safety

Tributes paid to Jacques Chirac’s leadership on road safety

ETSC’s French member Association Prévention Routière has paid tribute to former French President Jacques Chirac who passed away last month, hailing his ‘engagement and courage’ in improving road safety in France. After Chirac’s re-election in 2002, he announced that road safety would be one of the three main priorities of his second term Within a year, a new road safety law brought in sweeping changes including provisional licenses for young drivers and a network of automated speed cameras. According to an OECD report on […]

EU launches urban road safety award for towns and cities

EU launches urban road safety award for towns and cities

Local authorities across Europe have until 16 December to apply for the first ever EU Urban Road Safety Award, launched as part of this year’s European Mobility Week. The awards recognise the crucial role that towns and cities across Europe play in improving road safety, especially in light of the fact that 38 percent of road deaths and more than 50 percent of serious road injuries occur on urban roads. The award rewards local authorities for adopting holistic measures to improve road safety, within […]

Driver confusion over different implementations of driver assistance systems needs addressing

Driver confusion over different implementations of driver assistance systems needs addressing

The lack of full standardisation of vehicle controls and the driver interface with driver assistance systems means there is often a ‘human factors’ deficit in which drivers are forced to use systems they do not necessarily fully understand, according to a new report for PACTS, ETSC’s UK founder member. The onset of more vehicle automation may make this worse and urgent action to stop this from happening is needed, according to the authors, Shaun Helman of TRL and Professor Oliver Carsten of the University […]

The new von der Leyen Commission: what consequences for transport safety?

The new von der Leyen Commission: what consequences for transport safety?

The incoming President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen has set out her priorities for the next Commissioner of Transport in a “mission letter” published earlier this month. But the process for approving the new transport Commissioner is now on hold following the rejection of Romania’s choice for Commissioner, MEP Rovana Plumb, by a committee of the European Parliament on the grounds of concerns over undeclared loans and transparency. The proposed Commissioners will be subject to hearings and final approval from the […]

Calls for city SUV ban after four pedestrians die in a single collision

Calls for city SUV ban after four pedestrians die in a single collision

There have been calls in Germany for SUVs to be banned from city centres, following a collision involving a Porsche Macan that was travelling at excessive speed before mounting a pavement and killing four people waiting at a crossing. The causes of the collision are unknown, and are subject to an ongoing police investigation, though media speculation has centred on the possibility of the driver experiencing an epileptic seizure. While the vehicle in question may have been out of control, a number of observers […]

Automation could reduce collisions by 22% by 2040 say UK researchers

Automation could reduce collisions by 22% by 2040 say UK researchers

Scientists at the UK’s Transport Research Laboratory TRL estimate that the expected mix of automated and non-automated vehicles on the roads by 2040 could lead to 22% fewer collisions than today. The estimation is considerably lower than earlier headline-grabbing reports such as a KPMG analysis published in 2015 that predicted an 80% reduction.  The figure is also lower than the estimated 30% collision reduction benefits of fleet wide fitment of Intelligent Speed Assistance on non-automated vehicles. The KPMG report, and others, have referred back […]

New concerns about over-reliance on driver assistance systems

New concerns about over-reliance on driver assistance systems

Concerns have been raised again about over-reliance on “Level 2” driver assistance systems following the publication of an official US report into a crash involving a Tesla vehicle in “autopilot” mode. The National Transport Safety Board, in its latest report into a crash involving a Tesla, found that the “autopilot” system’s design, which enabled the driver to disengage from the driving task, contributed to the crash. Driver inattention and use of the system in a way which was “inconsistent with guidance and warnings from […]

Setback for quick adoption of EU connected vehicle and infrastructure standard

Setback for quick adoption of EU connected vehicle and infrastructure standard

EU Member States have formally rejected a European Commission proposal on specifications for the first wave of C-ITS (Cooperative Intelligent Transport Systems) in the EU following a dispute about technology neutrality. The specifications, which should lead to warning messages such as temporary speed limits or collisions on the road ahead beamed directly into vehicles, were set to be built on a type of wifi technology, which had already been developed by several carmakers and technology providers. But several EU Member States and various actors […]

Call for ban on hands-free calling

Call for ban on hands-free calling

The British government should consider tougher restrictions on driving while using a mobile phone and stricter enforcement of the law to prevent the ‘entirely avoidable’ tragedy of deaths and serious injuries from related crashes on the roads, MPs on the UK Parliament’s transport committee have said in a new report. MPs called on the government to overhaul current laws on using hand-held mobile devices while driving, to cover use irrespective of whether this involves sending or receiving data. As evidence shows that using a […]

Brussels to become a 30km/h city

Brussels to become a 30km/h city

The new governing coalition of the city of Brussels has agreed to implement a default 30 km/h speed limit across the city from January 2021. The measure, which will apply to all residential streets, but not to main roads such as the inner ring road tunnels, will be a significant extension.  Only around half of the city’s roads currently apply a 30 km/h limit. The main driver’s club, Touring, welcomed the move, saying it would provide “clarity” for drivers. A number of experts have […]

New 80km/h speed limit in France led to a significant reduction in deaths

New 80km/h speed limit in France led to a significant reduction in deaths

One year after the entry into force of the 80 km/h speed limit on rural, single-carriageway roads in France, Christophe Castaner, the Minister of the Interior, announced the measure had resulted in  206 lives saved and “many less injured”. The figures came from new data compiled by the OISR, the national road safety observatory, in a provisional report on the effects of the transition to 80 km/h, published on 9 July. According to the report, in the second half of 2018, 125 deaths were […]

Croatia increases penalties for drink-driving and other traffic offences

Croatia increases penalties for drink-driving and other traffic offences

The Croatian parliament has passed amendments to the law on road safety foreseeing higher penalties for traffic offences. According to the changes, agreed earlier this month, eight of the most serious offences will incur a fine of HRK 15,000 (EUR 2000) and HRK 20,000 (EUR 2700) instead of HRK 5,000 (EUR 675) and HRK 10,000 (EUR 1350) respectively as was the case until now. The fines apply to offences such as driving in the opposite direction on motorways, exceeding the speed limit by more […]

UK government to review potential of alcohol interlocks

UK government to review potential of alcohol interlocks

The UK will look at the feasibility of adding the use of alcohol interlocks to drink-driver rehabilitation programmes, it has been announced. The review of the policy measure will focus on how to ensure the technology is “both accessible and reliable” according to a statement on road safety plans published in July, just before the changeover to the new government led by Prime Minister Boris Johnson. There is already a good range of evidence from several countries that alcohol interlocks cut reoffending rates both […]

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