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WHO urges governments to require minimum vehicle safety standards

WHO urges governments to require minimum vehicle safety standards

The World Health Organisation (WHO) is calling on governments around the world to apply the UN’s most important vehicle safety regulations. In its 2015 Global Status Report on Road Safety (published 19 October) the WHO reveals “worrying data showing that less than half of countries implement minimum standards” and warns that “Governments have a responsibility to take the steps needed to ensure their citizens have access to safe vehicles”. Using seven priority vehicle safety standards recommended by Global NCAP, the WHO has carried out […]

Opinion: Has ISA’s time finally come?

Opinion: Has ISA’s time finally come?

Antonio Avenoso, Executive Director For years, speed has been recognised as one of the three main contributing factors to deaths on our roads. And for more than a decade, ETSC has been advocating the benefits of Intelligent Speed Assistance (ISA), a driver assistance system that a 2014 Norwegian study found to be the ‘most effective’ in saving lives. We are optimistic that 2016 could prove to be a turning point in wide adoption of the technology. ISA uses a speed sign-recognition video camera and/or […]

Volkswagen announces third party audit of US safety compliance

Volkswagen announces third party audit of US safety compliance

The Volkswagen Group has said it will commission an outside audit of its compliance with US safety reporting laws following allegations by Bloomberg that it failed to report lawsuits involving safety issues to the US regulator. Bloomberg reviewed 13 random lawsuits filed against Volkswagen in the last 11 years. Volkswagen had reported nine of them to the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Four couldn’t be found in the database. They involved one death and three injuries described in lawsuits filed in 2007, […]

ISA-fitted cars start to hit showrooms

ISA-fitted cars start to hit showrooms

Cars fitted with fully-fledged Intelligent Speed Assistance (ISA) systems are starting to arrive in showrooms. The latest version of Ford’s S-Max and Galaxy, and Volvo’s XC90 can come factory-fitted with camera and GPS-based systems that alert the driver to the current speed limit and help prevent him or her from exceeding it. The systems can be activated and deactivated by the driver using steering wheel controls in a similar way to existing manual speed limiter and cruise control systems. Both vehicles have been awarded […]

UN Road Safety Week 2015 – ‘Save Kids Lives’ – What the EU can do

UN Road Safety Week 2015 – ‘Save Kids Lives’ – What the EU can do

ETSC is pleased to support the third annual UN Global Road Safety Week which runs from 4-10 May. This year’s events and actions are all about highlighting the plight of children on the world’s roads and generating action to better ensure their safety. How safe are European roads for children? Last year ETSC published new research into children killed in cars in the EU showing that, in 2012, at least 319 child car occupants aged 0 to 14 were killed. Our soon-to-be published report […]

Commission report gives ‘green lights’ for mandatory fitting of new safety tech

Commission report gives ‘green lights’ for mandatory fitting of new safety tech

A major new study for the European Commission has identified a range of new vehicle safety technologies that are suitable for mandatory fitting as part of a review of EU vehicle safety legislation.  The report, carried out by consultants TRL, names technologies including Intelligent Speed Assistance (ISA), Automated Emergency Braking (AEB) and seat belt reminder systems in passenger seats as ‘feasible in terms of the technology required’, already available on the market and offering a positive benefit-cost ratio. Plans already agreed by the EU […]

Millions of new cars worldwide fail UN safety standards

Millions of new cars worldwide fail UN safety standards

Millions of new cars sold in middle and low income countries fail to meet the UN’s basic safety standards for front and side impacts according to international automotive safety watchdog Global NCAP. Speaking last month at the UN in Geneva during the launch of its new policy report, Democratising Car Safety: Road Map for Safer Cars 2020, Global NCAP Chairman Max Mosley said: “Safety improvements stimulated by legislation and consumer awareness campaigns in high income economies that have saved hundreds of thousands of lives […]

Retrofitting reflective strips on older lorries could save 400 lives – report

Retrofitting reflective strips on older lorries could save 400 lives – report

A report by the Dutch Institute for Road Safety Research (SWOV) for 3M says retrofitting ‘contour markings’ – reflective strips on the edges of lorries – could prevent some 67,000 crashes, 2200 serious injuries and 420 deaths in Europe and the benefits would outweigh the costs overall. New and newly-licensed lorries must already be fitted with the markings in the EU. But the study investigated the benefits of retrofitting to existing older vehicles. See report (with summary in English) Disclosure: 3M is one of […]

London announces new lorry safety restrictions

London announces new lorry safety restrictions

Older HGVs will have to be retrofitted with sideguards and improved mirrors, or face being banned from London streets from September it has been announced. All roads in Greater London (except motorways) will be covered by the scheme. It will require vehicles of more than 3.5 tonnes to be fitted with sideguards to protect cyclists from being dragged under the wheels in the event of a collision, along with Class V and Class VI mirrors giving the driver a better view of cyclists and […]

Study recommends EU action on tyre safety

Study recommends EU action on tyre safety

Requiring in-vehicle Tyre Pressure Monitoring Systems (TPMS) that can react to quick deflation in seconds rather than minutes is among the recommendations on improving tyre-related safety made to the European Commission in a study by Dutch researchers TNO. The researchers said the major safety concern of inflation pressure is “quick deflation that can lead to tyre blowout failure or vehicle instabilities. Tyre Pressure Monitoring Systems can detect such events, however the current regulation prescribes a detection time of 10 minutes while a safety critical […]

Setback for safer lorry rules

Setback for safer lorry rules

The European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) says an EU deal to postpone new rules enabling safer lorry designs is a setback for road safety. Representatives of EU member states, the European Parliament and the European Commission met last night to hammer out an agreement on new legislation that enables, but does not require, manufacturers to make changes to lorry cabs that improve visibility and reduce the impact of crashes on other vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists. The final agreement, which is still subject to agreement […]

Final deal reached on mandatory automated emergency calling for new cars

Final deal reached on mandatory automated emergency calling for new cars

The European Transport Safety Council welcomes the final political agreement between the European Parliament and EU member states on mandatory installation of ‘eCall’, a system for sending automated emergency calls from cars in the event of a crash. The deal requires new models of car launched in the EU from 31 March 2018 to be fitted with the system. Separate legislation, already agreed by the European institutions requires member states to put in place the infrastructure to handle eCalls. Antonio Avenoso, Executive Director of […]

New study makes case for black boxes in cars, vans and lorries

New study makes case for black boxes in cars, vans and lorries

A major new study for the European Commission has found considerable potential safety benefits and low costs for the installation of Electronic Data Recorders (EDRs) in cars, vans and lorries. The research, carried out by TRL in the UK, found that EDRs are already fitted to almost all new cars in Europe, and have been for some years. The systems are generally linked to the control units used to deploy airbags in the event of a collision.  Most meet the minimum specification set by […]

Opinion: An opportunity for the EU to show it can have a positive impact on all our lives

Opinion: An opportunity for the EU to show it can have a positive impact on all our lives

by Antonio Avenoso, Executive Director Amidst the screaming headlines surrounding the possibility of an outbreak of Ebola in Europe over the last few weeks, I can’t help but question our society’s perception of risk. Less than a handful of people have died from Ebola in Europe and those that tragically have were all medical staff in direct contact with sufferers. The WHO maintains that a major outbreak in Western Europe is ‘unlikely’. But every week in Europe, on average, 500 people die on our […]

Leap forward for lorry direct vision proposed

Leap forward for lorry direct vision proposed

A new study by researchers at Loughborough University shows how blind spots in HGVs could be significantly reduced with a modified cab design that takes advantage of proposed new EU rules on lorry dimensions. The Loughborough team’s design would have an 80cm longer cab with a rounded nose, smaller dashboard, expanded glazed areas and a slightly lower driver position, panoramically expanding the range of sight from behind the wheel. The study included analysis of data covering 1,906 UK accidents involving HGVs to ascertain the […]

New Commission urged not to downgrade transport safety

New Commission urged not to downgrade transport safety

ETSC has written to the president-designate of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker following early indications that transport safety could be deprioritised by the new Commission. The letter was a response to a six-page ‘mission letter’ sent by Mr Juncker to Maroš Šefčovič, who is set to become the new EU transport policy chief replacing Siim Kallas. In the mission letter, which was published on the Commission website, Mr Juncker only mentioned safety in passing, and only in very vague terms. The topic was not mentioned […]

Automated Emergency Braking should be mandatory

Automated Emergency Braking should be mandatory

ETSC is calling for Automated Emergency Braking systems to be fitted as standard on new cars in the EU. The technology, which is already available as an optional extra even on low-cost vehicles, has been described by one leading UK vehicle safety expert as potentially ‘as important a breakthrough as the seatbelt’. Peter Shaw, chief executive of Thatcham Research, the UK insurance industry’s research centre, made the comments to What Car? Magazine, while also calling for government subsidies for buyers who opt for an […]

UK trial for self-driving vehicles

UK trial for self-driving vehicles

Self-driving vehicles will be soon start appearing on British roads with the UK government set to approve limited trials. The UK government announced plans in July for new measures that give the green light for driverless cars to take to the roads from January 2015. British cities can bid for a share of a £10 million competition to host a driverless cars trial. The government is calling on cities to join together with businesses and research organisations to put forward proposals to become a test […]

Rise of budget cars could create ‘two tier’ market for safety – Euro NCAP

Rise of budget cars could create ‘two tier’ market for safety – Euro NCAP

Euro NCAP has warned that the budget car trend being driven by Europe’s economic stagnation could lead to a ‘two-tier’ market for road safety in Europe as the latest technologies are made available only on top-spec or premium models.  In a report setting out the organisation’s long term strategy to 2020,  Euro NCAP also highlights rising sales of quadricycles as another challenge that needs to be addressed. Euro NCAP published a disturbing set of crash test results for quadricylces for the first time last […]

Transport ministers hold back progress on lorry safety

Transport ministers hold back progress on lorry safety

EU member states have dealt a blow to plans to allow lorry makers to sell safer vehicles. Transport ministers meeting today agreed that European Commission proposals to enable, not require, manufacturers to make changes to lorry cabs that improve visibility and reduce the impact of crashes on other vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists should be subject to an eight-year delay. The position of transport ministers is at odds with the European Parliament, which said in April that safer cab designs should be permitted with no […]

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