Enforcement

It’s time for a zero drink-driving limit across the EU

ETSC has launched a short video explaining why the EU needs a common drink-driving limit set at zero. Watch/share on YouTube and Twitter.

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 […]

Coordinated speed checks reach 26 countries

Coordinated speed checks reach 26 countries

Police officers across Europe ran a week of coordinated actions to reduce speeding earlier this month including a 24-hour ‘Speed Marathon’. Figures from last year’s action showed that of 3,244,397 vehicles checked during the 24-hour operation, 92 per cent were driving within the legal speed limit. However, 257,639 speeding offences were detected, either by police officers or by technical means. The ‘Speed Marathon’ concept was devised six years ago in Germany. The concept, which involves inviting members of the public to identify locations where […]

Reducing Speeding in Europe (PIN Flash 36)

Reducing Speeding in Europe (PIN Flash 36)

Speed is a major factor in overall road safety performance. Excessive and inappropriate speed is accountable for about one third of fatal collisions and is an aggravating factor in most collisions. 2,100 lives could be saved each year if the average speed dropped by only 1 km/h on all roads across the EU. Speeding on different types of road In the EU, 37% of all road deaths occur on urban roads. Among the countries that monitor levels of speed compliance on urban roads countrywide, […]

Opinion: A royal crash, and why we need a safe system approach to road safety

Opinion: A royal crash, and why we need a safe system approach to road safety

Antonio Avenoso Executive Director, European Transport Safety Council Road collisions, especially those without death or serious injury, rarely make for global news headlines.  Except of course when a member of the British royal family is involved. Commentators have been quick to place the blame for last week’s collision involving the Duke of Edinburgh’s SUV and a Kia Carens MPV.  The culprits include an elderly driver, speed limits that were too high and glare caused by the sun. An in-depth crash investigation by a professional […]

31 countries took part in this year’s European Day Without A Road Death

31 countries took part in this year’s European Day Without A Road Death

This year’s Project EDWARD (the European Day Without A Road Death) took place across Europe on Wednesday 19 September. Devised in 2016 by the European Traffic Police Network (TISPOL), the initiative once again aimed to raise awareness of road safety and reduce the number of people killed on European roads. TISPOL General Secretary Ruth Purdie commented: “The figure of 50 deaths on Europe’s roads on Project EDWARD day is below the average of 70. But we must remember that there is a terrible tragedy […]

Czech Republic debates tougher sanctions for drink-driving

Czech Republic debates tougher sanctions for drink-driving

Parliamentarians in the Czech Republic are considering tougher penalties for drink-driving. The leader of the CSSD party in the Parliament, Jan Chvojka is understood to be considering changes to the law that could include a lifetime ban for drivers that cause death while driving under the influence as well as longer prison sentences. The Prime Minister Andrej Babiš, who is from the ANO 2011 party in the coalition government with the CSSD, is reportedly supportive of the tougher penalties. The UK government said in […]

Automatic driving bans in Ireland for drink-drivers above 0.5g/l

Automatic driving bans in Ireland for drink-drivers above 0.5g/l

The Irish parliament has approved tougher new penalties for drivers caught over the legal BAC limit of 0.5g/l. Under the new rules, drivers with a BAC between 0.5g/l and 0.8g/l will face an automatic three-month driving ban. The previous penalty for that offence was three penalty points, but no ban. The change in the law has faced a tortuous legislative journey after a handful of parliamentarians attempted to delay its adoption. Meanwhile ETSC’s Irish member the Road Safety Authority (RSA) has revealed that more […]

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 […]

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