Cycling

Aldi Germany will buy new lorries with turning assistant from 2019

Aldi Germany will buy new lorries with turning assistant from 2019

The German supermarket chain Aldi, has said all new lorries added to its fleet from 2019 will be fitted with turning assistant systems. The announcement came following a meeting organised by the German transport minister Andreas Scheuer with industry figures to discuss the issue of collisions caused by lorry drivers failing to see vulnerable road users in their blind spot when turning. The fitting of vulnerable road user detection and warning systems is one of the measures (see below) proposed by the European Commission in […]

Belgium: New drivers to get mandatory first aid training

Belgium: New drivers to get mandatory first aid training

The Brussels Capital region will introduce mandatory first aid training for all new drivers from November this year.  20,000 places on courses organised by the Red Cross will be available on an annual basis.  But the requirements only apply in Brussels, one of the three main administrative regions of Belgium.  The costs of the courses will be paid, not by drivers, but by the Brussels authorities. ETSC says first aid training could be useful, and in any case, can prove helpful in a wide […]

ETSC joins call for introduction of a European direct vision standard for Heavy Goods Vehicles

ETSC joins call for introduction of a European direct vision standard for Heavy Goods Vehicles

ETSC has joined with a group of European cities and organisations to call for the introduction of a European direct vision standard for HGVs as part of the European Commission’s upcoming revision of the General Safety Regulations and Pedestrian Safety Regulations. The joint letter, sent to Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker today, asks for the inclusion of a number of measures to help eliminate most blind spots in the vehicle cab. These include the elimination of the blind spot at the front of trucks and […]

Latest Euro NCAP five-star rating scheme includes cyclist-detection Autonomous Emergency Braking

Latest Euro NCAP five-star rating scheme includes cyclist-detection Autonomous Emergency Braking

The 2018 Nissan Leaf electric car is the first to be awarded five stars by Euro NCAP, the consumer new car testing programme under a new tougher regime that includes a test for autonomous emergency braking systems that can detect cyclists. ETSC welcomed the inclusion of more technology that can help save the lives of vulnerable road users outside the vehicle.  Carmakers’ focus in recent years has been on protecting vehicle occupants, with deaths among that group falling at a faster rate than those […]

Briefing: Contraflow Cycling

Briefing: Contraflow Cycling

There are various reasons for cities’ traffic managers to use one-way traffic as a tool to organise traffic flows, including, among others, accommodating to the characteristics of the street (such as narrowness), increasing the availability of parking spaces and guiding traffic in a specific direction. It is however suggested that cyclists are strongly negatively affected by one-way streets and more so than other modes of transport. This as detours would be more strongly felt by cyclists both in terms of relative extra distance as […]

14 organisations call for a strong position on vehicle safety from the European Parliament

14 organisations call for a strong position on vehicle safety from the European Parliament

In a letter to the President of the European Parliament, Antonio Tajani, 14 organisations have called for a ‘strong and timely response’ to forthcoming proposals from the European Commission on vehicle safety and pedestrian protection, expected on 2 May. The letter is signed by: Antonio Avenoso, Executive Director, European Transport Safety Council Eduardo Chagas, General Secretary, European Transport Workers’ Federation Sigrid de Vries, Secretary General, CLEPA, European Association of Automotive Suppliers Bernhard Ensink, Secretary General, European Cyclists’ Federation Eduard Fernández, Executive Director, CITA, International […]

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 […]

25 October 2017 – European Traffic Education Seminar 2017

Mechelen, Belgium To sufficiently equip young road users to become safe road users, education remains of chief importance. This is especially true for secondary school pupils (aged 12 – 18) as they start to travel independently and have to deal with more complex traffic situations, either as pedestrians, cyclists or moped riders. The European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) and the Flemish Foundation for Traffic Knowledge (VSV) therefore held an European Traffic Education Seminar on 25 October in Mechelen, Belgium. The seminar featured presentations on […]

Rise of e-bikes and speed pedelecs prompt safety questions in Germany and the Netherlands

Rise of e-bikes and speed pedelecs prompt safety questions in Germany and the Netherlands

Bicycles that offer electric assistance and faster models that can travel at speeds of up to 45km/h are prompting policy changes in EU member states including Germany and the Netherlands.  One in four bikes sold in the Netherlands is either electrically assisted or is a so-called ‘speed pedelec’, now subject to similar legislation to mopeds. According to official data, there are now around 1.4 million electric bikes in the Netherlands.  Dutch research carried out by the SWOV Institute for Road Safety Research has found that while electric bicycles are […]

Weakened road safety law proposal criticised in Finland

Weakened road safety law proposal criticised in Finland

ETSC’s Finnish member organisation Liikenneturva has criticised a government proposal to weaken a number of key aspects of road safety. The proposals include a revision to Finland’s world-renowned system of linking fines for traffic offences to income known as the ‘day fine’. The government’s proposal is in future to only apply the system in cases where the speed limit has been exceeded by 30 km/h or more. Likkenneturva has pointed out that this change could have serious consequences in particular for urban areas, where […]

Industry, NGOs and cities call for urgent action on vehicle safety standards

Industry, NGOs and cities call for urgent action on vehicle safety standards

A coalition of industry, NGOs, consumer groups and cities are calling on the European Commission to urgently bring forward new minimum safety standards for new cars, vans and trucks, after years of delays. The European Commission is expected to announce a new package of transport legislation next week, the groups are calling for an announcement on updates to vehicle safety regulations to be included. The letter from groups including the European Association of Automotive Suppliers (CLEPA), the European Cyclists Federation (ECF), POLIS, the European […]

Mandatory helmets for under-12s in France

Mandatory helmets for under-12s in France

Children under twelve are now required to wear a cycle helmet in France under legal changes that came into force on 22 March. Spain began requiring helmets for under-16s in 2014, and a number of other EU member states have had bicycle helmet laws for youngsters for several years including Sweden, Slovenia and the Czech Republic. In Malta, all riders are required to wear a helmet.

Position Paper: Review of the Pedestrian Protection Regulation 78/2009

Position Paper: Review of the Pedestrian Protection Regulation 78/2009

The European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) welcomes the initiative of the European Commission to review the legislation on the protection of pedestrians and other vulnerable road users (VRUs). It is of paramount importance that the EU takes steps to improve the safety of this often neglected category of road users. In 2013, 5542 pedestrians and 2002 cyclists were killed on European Union roads.  As more car occupant deaths are prevented every year due to better in-vehicle protection, the decrease in the number of vulnerable […]

Dutch government urged to do more on road safety

Dutch government urged to do more on road safety

The director of the Dutch Institute for Road Safety Research (SWOV) says the government needs to look at speed limits, increase the number of roads with separate cycle lanes and revise environmental taxes that failed to promote safer vehicles. While the Netherlands has been a leader in road safety in Europe, recent years have seen stagnation and an increase in the number of deaths. In an interview with the AD newspaper, Dr Peter van der Knaap pointed to ETSC research published last year that […]

Commission outlines plans for safer cars, vans and lorries

Commission outlines plans for safer cars, vans and lorries

The European Commission has published a list of 19 lifesaving safety technologies that could be made mandatory on new vehicles in the next update of EU vehicle safety rules expected next year.  The European Transport Safety Council welcomes the announcement but says several critical areas for action are missing, and the proposed timescale is far too long considering that most of the technologies are already available today. 26,000 people die on European Union roads annually, with at least 135,000 suffering life-changing injuries.  Progress on […]

London plans to phase-out lorries with poor direct-vision

London plans to phase-out lorries with poor direct-vision

In a move designed to boost the safety of cyclists and pedestrians, the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan has announced a new star rating scheme for lorries that could see vehicles with severe blind spots refused access to the city centre. The proposals state that the most dangerous, zero star-rated ‘off-road’ HGVs will be banned from London’s streets entirely by January 2020, and only HGVs meeting the new London Direct Vision Standard of 3 stars or above will be allowed by 2024. Lorries will […]

Belgium and The Netherlands introduce new rules for fast electric bikes

Belgium and The Netherlands introduce new rules for fast electric bikes

Fast electric bikes that can travel up to 45km/h will be treated the same as mopeds according to new rules in place in Belgium from last month, and in The Netherlands from next year. The new rules for ‘speed pedelecs’ in Belgium require riders to be over 16 years of age, have a valid driving license for a moped and wear a helmet.  The vehicle must also be registered and insured. The rules for so-called ‘pedelecs’, electric bikes offering pedal assistance up to a […]

Berlin hails police cycling patrols

Berlin hails police cycling patrols

A pilot project involving specialist police cycling patrols in central Berlin has been hailed as a success as figures showed a reduction in severe injuries of around 30%. Twenty police officers on bikes are involved in the project which launched in Summer 2014. They focus on enforcement such as ensuring drivers do not block cycle paths and cyclists do not jump red lights. The project is due to end next year, but supporters of the scheme are calling on the city government to extend […]

The European Union’s Role in Promoting the Safety of Cycling

The European Union’s Role in Promoting the Safety of Cycling

This paper builds on recent calls for the European Commission to come forward with a cycling strategy for the European Union. ETSC also supports the need for co-ordinated European action on cycling and would welcome a pan-European strategy. This paper is designed to serve as inspiration for the safety component of such a strategy. Cyclists represent 8% of all road deaths in the European Union but big disparities exist between countries. Cyclists (like pedestrians) are generally unprotected and are vulnerable in traffic. As active travel […]

Norwegian study confirms ‘safety in numbers’ effect of increased cycling

Norwegian study confirms ‘safety in numbers’ effect of increased cycling

A new study from the Institute of Transport Economics at the Norwegian Centre for Transport Research found that seasonal increases in cyclist numbers in Oslo led to a reduction in the risk of a conflict or near miss occurring. The researchers conclude that the data proves a ‘safety in numbers’ effect i.e. that risks of cycling are lowered as cyclist numbers increase. The team also compared the results for Norwegian road users to their Danish and Swedish counterparts and found that the effect can […]

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