EU Road Safety Exchange

EU Road Deaths Down by 3900 in 2020

EU Road Deaths Down by 3900 in 2020

Covid-19 pandemic travel decrease mainly responsible for a 17% drop in road deaths last year in the EU; Deaths dropped by 37% in the last ten years – short of the EU target to cut by 50% by 2020; Greece announced as the winner of the 2021 ETSC Road Safety Performance Index Award – with road deaths down by 54% in ten years; 2020 a “turning point” year – future reductions in road deaths in doubt without political leadership. Brussels – There were around […]

Greek government launches new road safety action plan

Greek government launches new road safety action plan

The Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis launched an ambitious new national road safety action plan earlier this month.  At the heart of the proposals are a target to reduce deaths by 50% by 2030 and the development of a National Road Safety Strategic Plan 2021-2030 by the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport. Greece saw the biggest reductions in annual road deaths in the EU over the decade to 2019, with a drop of 43% compared to an EU average of 19%.  Though, as the […]

Spain increases section control by 50%

Spain increases section control by 50%

Spain’s Directorate General of Traffic (DGT) will install 45 new time-over-distance cameras throughout 2021, a 50% increase on the currently installed number. Spain currently has 750 fixed speed cameras, 543 mobile units as well as aerial enforcement by helicopter and drone. In addition, there are 82 time-over-distance cameras (also known as average-speed cameras), but this year they will increase to 127.

The French government wants to make it easier for local authorities to install speed cameras

The French government wants to make it easier for local authorities to install speed cameras

French cities and towns will be able to install speed cameras within their territory without consulting with the government’s state representatives (prefects), according to legal changes debated last month. Although speed cameras are a familiar site on French national roads and motorways, until now it has been complicated for mayors to install them on urban roads, requiring multiple levels of bureaucracy to be consulted. If approved, the change would allow mayors to install speed cameras as well as noise and air pollution monitoring equipment […]

Austrian warnings over e-scooter safety

Austrian warnings over e-scooter safety

ETSC’s Austrian member KFV has issued a damning report on e-scooter safety, warning of severe deficiencies with the vehicles themselves, particularly their braking distance when compared to bicycles. KFV investigated real-world e-scooter rider behaviour: speed choice, turning, helmet use, lighting and choice of infrastructure. The effectiveness of e-scooter braking systems was analysed on a test-track test. Finally, an Austria-wide survey highlighted the lack of knowledge of legal regulations. KFV says increasing e-scooter safety is critical. In Austria, e-scooters are permitted a maximum power output […]

The Netherlands is first EU Member State to issue automated fines for mobile phone use at the wheel

The Netherlands is first EU Member State to issue automated fines for mobile phone use at the wheel

The Netherlands has begun issuing fines following detection of mobile phone use by a new generation of cameras, the first EU Member State to do so. Since last month drivers holding a phone behind the wheel can be photographed by smart cameras.  If the system determines that the driver is holding a phone, the photo is automatically forwarded to the relevant agency where an investigating officer will determine whether there is indeed a violation.  Fines can then be sent out automatically. The cameras take […]

European Investment Bank to fund treatment of 7000 high risk sites in Greece

The European Investment Bank has agreed to co-finance a EUR 470 million nationwide programme to reduce death and injury caused by traffic collisions across Greece, the first investment of its kind by the EIB. The EUR 235 million financial support agreed between the European Investment Bank and the national road operator Egnatia Odos will reduce the risk of collisions in Greek cities, rural areas, mountain districts and on Greek islands. Over the next three years, national road operator Egnatia Odos will improve road safety […]

30km/h limits set to spread in 2021

30km/h limits set to spread in 2021

The city of Paris will extend 30 km/h limits to cover the entire city from 2021, and has launched a public consultation on the measure.  The move puts into effect an election promise of the mayor Anne Hidalgo.  Paris has had 30 km/h limits covering a wide area for several years, but it will now be the default speed everywhere except the ring road and pedestrianised areas.  Grenoble, Lille and Nantes have made similar moves to 30 km/h default limits in recent years. In […]

Spain to reduce drink-driving limits further

Spain to reduce drink-driving limits further

The Spanish government is planning to lower the drink-driving limit for professional and novice drivers to 0.2 g/l – down from 0.3 g/l. The move would bring Spain into line with several other countries – as it is currently the only country with a 0.3 g/l limit for any class of driver.  In Europe, novice and professional drivers are often subject to lower limits than other drivers – and many countries have zero tolerance for these groups, or for all drivers.   https://etsc.eu/blood-alcohol-content-bac-drink-driving-limits-across-europe/

Austria and Germany set to increase speeding fines

Austria and Germany set to increase speeding fines

Both Austria and Germany are in the process of changing traffic laws to increase penalties for speeding. The Austrian transport minister said last month that fines for speeders could be doubled and confiscation of vehicles could become an option in extreme cases, such as when those sanctioned continue driving after a ban.  Driving bans will also be doubled in length in some cases. The announcement was welcomed by ETSC’s Austrian member KFV. Meanwhile political negotiations over reforms to traffic laws in Germany are ongoing […]

Polish speed sign shows fines and penalty points

Polish speed sign shows fines and penalty points

A new speed enforcement sign in Poland warns drivers of their current speed as well as the fine and penalty points they could expect to receive if they get caught. The sign has been installed with support from the local police and local authority near a primary school in the district of Lipsko in the province of Mazovia. Od kilku dni nad bezpieczeństwem uczniów PSP w Chotczy Józefów czuwa radarowy wyświetlacz prędkości, który został zainstalowany przy szkole https://t.co/QTlTPNiEnR. Urządzenie to ma charakter prewencyjno-edukacyjny. pic.twitter.com/uYHZfNr4NI […]

UK and Netherlands go in different directions on e-scooters

UK and Netherlands go in different directions on e-scooters

Two European countries that have so far prohibited e-scooters are taking very different approaches to permitting their use. Earlier this summer, the UK government cut short a public consultation on e-scooters and brought forward trials of rental schemes as part of its response to the Covid-19 pandemic and worries over increased car use and reduced use of public transport.  The privately operated rental schemes in the UK trial mirror those set up in a number of countries in recent years.   ETSC’s UK member PACTS […]

This list of countries making the most progress on road safety in Europe might surprise you

This list of countries making the most progress on road safety in Europe might surprise you

Estonia, Greece, Lithuania, Latvia and Portugal have reduced road deaths the most since 2010 Estonia to receive the 2020 European Transport Safety Council Road Safety Performance Index Award Road deaths in Malta, the Netherlands and the UK were higher in 2019 than in 2010 EU “almost certain to miss” 2020 target to halve road deaths 17 June 2020 Brussels – The Baltic States, together with Greece and Portugal, were the best performing countries in the EU according to a new report on the progress […]

336 lives saved on French roads thanks to 80 km/h limits

336 lives saved on French roads thanks to 80 km/h limits

Emmanuel Barbe, the outgoing French road safety chief, says 336 deaths were prevented over the 18-month period since the introduction of a lower 80 km/h on single-carriageway rural roads in France. Mr Barbe also criticised the “shameful” vandalism that led to large numbers of speed cameras being put out of action by the yellow vest movement.  Without that damage, the figures for deaths prevented would have been higher, he said. An analysis report published last month by researchers at Cerema found that, thanks to […]

Lower motorway speed limits coming in Luxembourg and The Netherlands

Lower motorway speed limits coming in Luxembourg and The Netherlands

The Netherlands will introduce a daytime motorway speed limit of 100 km/h across the country from the second half of March, while Luxembourg will reduce speeds to 90 km/h during peak hours, following a successful trial. The Dutch measure is designed to help the country cut nitrogen oxide emissions (NOx), a big problem particularly with older diesel vehicles.   However, Dutch motorways, a large number of which have 130 km/h limits, will also be safer at the lower speeds. Motorway deaths in the Netherlands reached […]

Poland to end 60 km/h night-time urban speed limit

Poland to end 60 km/h night-time urban speed limit

The Prime Minister of Poland has announced that the country’s anomalous night-time 60 km/h speed limits in urban areas will soon be scrapped, as part of a new package of road safety measures. Poland is the only country in Europe with different speed limits in urban areas during the day and at night.  The speed limit will be changed to 50 km/h at all times. Hungary, which reduced its urban speed limit from 60 to 50 km/h in 1993, saw a reduction in mean […]

Dutch study confirms effectiveness of alcohol interlock programmes

Dutch study confirms effectiveness of alcohol interlock programmes

The Dutch alcohol interlock programme was twice as effective as other sanctions at reducing recidivism, and the effects continued after participation in the scheme, according to new research by the Dutch Ministry of Justice research centre (WODC). According to the researchers, 4% of those who followed the programme were re-convicted of a drink-driving offence within two years, compared to 8% for a control group who faced other sanctions. An education programme for drink-driving offenders had a recidivism rate of 7%, compared to 9% for […]

Lithuania launches alcohol interlock programme

Lithuania launches alcohol interlock programme

The Lithuanian Ministry of Transport has launched an alcohol interlock programme as a pathway to a shorter driving ban for high-level drink-driving offenders. From 1 January, convicted drink-drivers who have lost their driving license will, after a set period of time, be able to apply for their license to be reinstated with provision that they only drive a vehicle fitted with an alcohol interlock. “I hope that the introduction of the alcohol interlock system will reduce the number of repeat offences of those who […]

Poland: Prime Minister promises boost for road safety

Poland: Prime Minister promises boost for road safety

The Polish Prime Minister has promised to make road safety a priority.  In a Facebook post on 29 October Mateusz Morawiecki said “A comprehensive plan for the radical improvement of road safety will be one of the government’s priorities in the new term.” Road safety protests were sparked in Warsaw last month after a fatal collision between a BMW car – reportedly being driven at 130 km/h on a road where the speed limit was 50 km/h – and a man pushing a baby […]

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 […]

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