Enforcement

Road traffic bill passed by Irish Senate

Road traffic bill passed by Irish Senate

Stricter penalties for drink driving in Ireland are set to come into force after a new law was passed by the lower and upper houses of parliament. The Road Traffic Bill includes provisions for an automatic three-month driving ban for first-time offenders if caught with blood-alcohol levels of between 0.5 g/l and 0.8 g/l.  Drivers currently caught at these levels receive three penalty points and no driving ban. The bill had almost reached its final stage in its passage through the lower house of […]

Alcohol interlocks now mandatory in Belgium for high-level and repeat offenders

Alcohol interlocks now mandatory in Belgium for high-level and repeat offenders

Judges in Belgium will have to oblige high level or repeat drink-driving offenders to follow an alcohol interlock rehabilitation programme after new legal changes come into force on 1 July 2018. Previously the alcohol interlock requirement was a little-used legal option, but it will now become mandatory in most cases. According to research by VIAS, ETSC’s Belgian member, recidivism is reduced by 75% for those that install an alcohol interlock and follow the accompanying rehabilitation programme. Under the existing rules, only 67 drivers have […]

EU vehicle safety proposals to require standardised alcohol interlock interface

EU vehicle safety proposals to require standardised alcohol interlock interface

All new vehicles sold in the EU will feature a standardised interface to enable the fitment of aftermarket alcohol interlock devices, according to new EU vehicle safety standards proposed last month. The proposed requirement, part of a package of new vehicle safety standards, should make it simpler and cheaper to fit an alcohol interlock when a driver is required to do so by law.  Several EU countries have rehabilitation programmes for recidivist drink drivers that require installation of an interlock before a driver is […]

Ireland drink-driving law changes face filibuster

Ireland drink-driving law changes face filibuster

Stricter limits on drink-driving are being blocked in the Irish parliament by a small group of MPs opposed to the changes. The Road Traffic Bill includes provisions for an automatic three-month driving ban for first-time offenders if caught with blood-alcohol levels of between 0.5 g/l and 0.8 g/l.  Drivers currently caught at these levels receive three penalty points and no driving ban. The bill had almost reached its final stage in its passage through the lower house of the Irish parliament when a small […]

Spain: bus alcohol interlock plan proposed as data show drink-driving checks down by a third

Spain: bus alcohol interlock plan proposed as data show drink-driving checks down by a third

The committee on sustainable mobility of the Spanish parliament has proposed legal changes to require the installation of alcohol interlocks in all passenger vehicles with more than nine seats. The legal proposal agreed in May is similar to one already passed in France.  It was an initiative of the PSOE party which took over the leadership of a minority government in June when Mariano Rajoy’s People’s Party lost a vote of no-confidence. Earlier this year, Spanish media reported that police enforcement checks for drink-driving […]

UK: PACTS fund will help develop more efficient roadside breath testing for UK police

UK: PACTS fund will help develop more efficient roadside breath testing for UK police

The Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety (PACTS) has been awarded a grant by the UK transport minister to run a competition to encourage the development of mobile evidential breath testing instruments for use by UK police. Up to £350,000 (EUR 400,000) will be available to encourage manufacturers in the sector to invest in devices which meet the UK standard. Currently, when a UK driver provides a positive alcohol screening test by the roadside, the police are required to take the driver back to […]

Speed awareness courses more effective than fines

Speed awareness courses more effective than fines

The findings of a study by Ipsos MORI and the Institute for Transport Studies at the University of Leeds have shown that participation in National Speed Awareness Courses in England and Wales has a larger effect in reducing speed reoffending than penalty points and fines. Reoffending rates were estimated to be reduced by up to 23% for those that completed a course, during the six months following their participation.  After three years, the reduction in reoffending rates was up to 18%. Speed Awareness Courses […]

Call for mandatory alcohol interlocks in vans, lorries and buses across the EU

Call for mandatory alcohol interlocks in vans, lorries and buses across the EU

New report shows more than 5000 deaths a year in EU still caused by drink-driving Member States asked to increase enforcement and introduce rehabilitation programmes for drink-driving offenders The EU should require alcohol interlocks to be fitted in all new professional vehicles and retrofitted to cars used by repeat drink-driving offenders. These are two of the main recommendations from the European Transport Safety Council (ETSC), authors of a new report looking at how to reduce the 5000 deaths still caused by drink-driving in the […]

Progress in Reducing Drink Driving in Europe

Progress in Reducing Drink Driving in Europe

This report aims to provide an updated overview of the drink driving situation in Europe, covering 32 countries: the 28 member states of the European Union together with Israel, Norway, the Republic of Serbia and Switzerland. It looks at country progress in reducing road deaths attributed to drink driving over the past decade. The report highlights specific legislation and enforcement measures from across Europe. A range of recommendations concerning further improvements in tackling drink driving are made to Member States and the EU institutions […]

Briefing: 5th EU Road Safety Action Programme 2020-2030

Briefing: 5th EU Road Safety Action Programme 2020-2030

2016 was the third consecutive poor year for road safety: 25,670 people lost their lives on EU roads compared to 26,200 the previous year – a 2% decrease. But this followed a 1% increase in 2015 and stagnation in 2014. In addition, around 135,000 people were seriously injured on European roads in 2014 according to European Commission estimates based on the MAIS 3+ standard definition of a serious injury. Road collisions give rise to huge costs to society. A recent study estimated the value […]

Cyprus introduces drug driving tests

Cyprus introduces drug driving tests

A new law, in force in Cyprus since last month, enables the police to perform roadside checks for driving under the influence of drugs. For the first ten days after the implementation of the law, the police engaged in an information campaign but, as of 25 January, checks are being performed and offenders prosecuted. The preliminary test is performed on a saliva sample, with a simple hand-held device, which gives only a positive-negative result. When the result is positive, a second saliva sample is […]

Roadworthiness: Commission urges Member States to update vehicle testing rules

Roadworthiness: Commission urges Member States to update vehicle testing rules

The European Commission has requested that six Member States fully transpose into national law rules agreed in 2014 on roadworthiness testing for motor vehicles. The rules, made up of three EU Directives, should have been in place in all Member States by 20 May 2017. To date, however, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Germany, Ireland, Romania and Slovakia have not – or only partially – done so. The Czech Republic, Romania and Slovakia have not adopted, published and communicated to the Commission measures on the […]

ECJ says lorry drivers cannot take their weekly rest in their vehicle

ECJ says lorry drivers cannot take their weekly rest in their vehicle

Lorry drivers should not be allowed to take their mandatory weekly rest in their vehicles, the European Union’s highest court has ruled. Under EU rules (2006/561/EU), drivers must have a daily rest period of at least 11 hours and a regular weekly rest period of 45 hours. The driver can choose to take their daily rest or a reduced weekly rest period in the vehicle only if it has suitable sleeping facilities and is stationary. A Belgian transport company brought a case in 2014 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Finland to double number of safety cameras as groups in Spain and the Netherlands call for more enforcement

Finland to double number of safety cameras as groups in Spain and the Netherlands call for more enforcement

Finnish police plan to install an additional 150 safety cameras over the next three years. Municipal officials are currently working with police to determine where to place the devices.  The addition of the new cameras will more than double the current stock of 130. Police also have plans to introduce 25 mobile safety camera vehicles.   The Finnish Transport Agency is preparing a list of proposed sites, the final locations will be based on road safety data.  New data for the first half of 2017 has shown that Finnish motorists are slowing down as a result of increased automated enforcement.   […]

23 June 2017 – European approach towards better road safety: safe road users, safe vehicles and safe infrastructure, Ljubljana

Austria Trend Hotel, Dunajska cesta 154, 1000 Ljubljana, 23 June 2017, 10.00-17.00 Slovenian Traffic Safety Agency and European Transport Safety Council together had a pleasure to hold an experts’ conference – European approach towards better road safety: safe roads, safe vehicles and safe infrastructure. The conference gathered ministers, decision makers, police, representative from national authorities, road safety experts, NGOs and other road safety stakeholders. Opportunities to improve road safety in Slovenia were discussed. Click here to download the agenda. Presentations Road Safety Performance Index – Slovenia within the […]

UK survey reveals many drivers exceeding 20 mph limits

UK survey reveals many drivers exceeding 20 mph limits

A survey commissioned by road safety charity Brake has found that more than half (52%) of UK drivers admit to speeding in 20 mph zones. The survey of 2,000 drivers also showed that 8 in 10 (78%) think traffic is too fast in their neighbourhood for the safety of children on foot or bike. According to Brake, research has found that children cannot judge the speed of approaching vehicles travelling faster than 20mph, so may believe it is safe to cross when it is […]

Ireland considers linking speeding fines to income

Ireland considers linking speeding fines to income

Ireland’s Road Safety Authority (RSA), an ETSC member, says it is seriously considering making proposals to link speeding fines to income. The announcement follows changes to the structure of speeding fines in the UK that came into force last month. The UK has had income-linked speeding fines for some time, but the levels were increased last month for the most serious offences.  Drivers can now be fined up to 175% of their weekly income, for example for driving at 101 mph on the motorway […]

© 2018 European Transport Safety Council

20 Avenue des Celtes | Brussels | B-1040 | Belgium

t +32 2 230 4106 | f +32 2 230 4215