Germany

Autobahn speed limit “would save 140 lives”

Autobahn speed limit “would save 140 lives”

Data analysis by Der Spiegel, a German news magazine and website, has concluded that a speed limit applied across all German motorways would save 140 lives a year. The autobahn debate was sparked again in Germany last month after a 130 km/h motorway speed limit was one of a number of measures recommended by a Government commission looking at how to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the transport sector. The transport minister Andreas Scheuer immediately ruled out such a measure, calling it an “unrealistic […]

German drivers “underestimating” drink driving risk

German drivers “underestimating” drink driving risk

The German Road Safety Council (DVR), an ETSC member, says drivers are still underestimating the risks of drink-driving.  According to an opinion survey carried out for DVR by Ipsos in December, one in four respondents would drink one or two glasses of beer at a party within four hours and then drive home by car. DVR recommends a zero alcohol policy when driving.  “It’s best to stick to a clear rule,” said DVR Chief Executive Christian Kellner. “Those who drive, don’t drink; those who drink, […]

Environmental and road safety groups announce the safest and greenest German federal states

Environmental and road safety groups announce the safest and greenest German federal states

Baden-Württemberg, Thüringen and Rheinland-Pfalz are the leaders in sustainable mobility among the federal states of Germany, according to an analysis carried out for the German pro-rail alliance, Friends of the Earth and DVR – ETSC’s German member.  The “Federal State Index – Mobility & Environment 2018/19” looked at official statistics and the direction of transport policies in all 16 German federal states. In efforts by states to reduce the number of dead and seriously injured in road traffic, DVR gave a mixed assessment. “In Germany, […]

Germany launches interactive map of road collisions

Germany launches interactive map of road collisions

Germany’s Federal Statistical Office has launched an interactive map of traffic collisions.  The website enables citizens and researchers to see road sections and sites where most collisions occurred on roads across Germany. The map shows only those incidents involving injuries and where the police were called.  Filters are available to show, for example, collisions involving bicycles or passenger cars and for minor or serious injuries. The “accident atlas” contains information from the statistics of road collisions for the years 2016 and 2017. However, the […]

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 […]

3 May 2018 – REVIVE Round table, Luxembourg

3 May 2018 – REVIVE Round table, Luxembourg

The third REVIVE Round table focused on improving post-collision outcomes in Bulgaria, Croatia, Denmark, Germany, Luxembourg, and Romania In the framework of the REVIVE Project, experts from Emergency Medical Services (EMS), Rescue/Fire Service (RFS) and road transport safety representatives from Bulgaria, Croatia, Denmark, Germany, Luxembourg, and Romania met in Luxembourg City on 3 May 2018. They discussed the way forward for improving post-collision response and emergency care accross the EU. The meeting gathered representatives from health agencies, rescue services as well as researchers and other actors […]

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 […]

Safer speed limits and boost for alcohol interlocks as France announces major road safety push

Safer speed limits and boost for alcohol interlocks as France announces major road safety push

Two lane roads with no separating guard rail in France will have their default speed limit reduced from 90 to 80 km/h and alcohol interlocks will be required for recidivist drink driving offenders as part of the French government’s latest road safety crack-down. The measures, announced by the Prime Minister earlier this month, also include the possibility of suspending the license of a driver using a mobile phone at the wheel. The 80km/h limit has led to a backlash from motoring groups and on […]

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 […]

Pressure grows for wider use of 30km/h limits in urban areas

Pressure grows for wider use of 30km/h limits in urban areas

Policymakers in Germany, Ireland and Scotland are being asked to support the wider roll out of 30km/h speed limits, especially in urban areas where cars interact with pedestrians, cyclists and other vulnerable road users.  At a high-level event organised by ETSC’s Irish member the Road Safety Authority (RSA) earlier this month, the organisations’s chief executive Moyagh Murdock said despite Dublin’s pioneering rollout of 30km/h limits, the rest of the country was ‘falling behind’ and called for more local authorities to follow the capital’s lead.   ETSC’s German member DVR is also backing […]

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 […]

New German campaign focuses on the people affected by a single road death

New German campaign focuses on the people affected by a single road death

The German Road Safety Council (DVR), an ETSC member, has launched a new national communications campaign with three key messages: slow down; keep your distance and hands off your phone. For the first time the campaign also looks at the numbers of people affected by every road death including family and friends, colleagues as well as the emergency workers that have to deal with the carnage. An average of 113 people is the figure used for the new approach. https://www.runtervomgas.de/

UK: New drivers caught using phones to lose license

UK: New drivers caught using phones to lose license

Drivers in England, Scotland and Wales caught using their phones at the wheel within two years of passing their test will have their driving license taken away under a new law that came into force on 1 March. Penalties for other drivers have also been doubled to GBP 200 and six penalty points. Responding to the new British law, the Irish transport minister Shane Ross said he is open to imposing similar measures in Ireland. ETSC’s German member DVR called in January for fines […]

Several countries looking to crack down on mobile phone use at the wheel

Several countries looking to crack down on mobile phone use at the wheel

A ban on mobile phone use while driving, tougher enforcement and a driving mode for devices are some of the options being explored by governments around Europe as data show distracted driving’s deadly impact continues unabated. The Dutch Transport Minister Melanie Schultz van Haegen told the AD newspaper last November that the government was considering several options to reduce the risk of distracted driving, including a full ban or requiring that certain features, such as Pokémon Go, be switched off automatically above a certain […]

EU transport ministers back ‘ambitious’ vehicle safety improvements

EU transport ministers back ‘ambitious’ vehicle safety improvements

Eight EU transport ministers have called on the European Commission to ‘speed up’ plans to upgrade vehicle safety standards saying road safety should be ‘top priority’. In a letter to the European Commissioner for industry Elżbieta Bieńkowska, the transport ministers of Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg and The Netherlands said ‘ambitious’ new vehicle safety standards are needed ‘to help Member States halve the number of road deaths by 2020’. 26,000 people die on European Union roads annually, with at least 135,000 suffering life-changing […]

Governments race to outline future plans for self-driving cars

Governments race to outline future plans for self-driving cars

The United States, China, Germany, Australia and the UK are among the countries to have made major announcements on rules governing self-driving cars in recent months, while the EU’s transport commissioner has promised a ‘master plan’ by the end of the year. ETSC says many safety questions remain unanswered. The US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) published a set of guidelines in September that called for voluntary reporting from carmakers on how their systems were tested, how they work and what happens if […]

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 US government wants a mobile phone ‘Driver Mode’ to reduce distraction

The US government wants a mobile phone ‘Driver Mode’ to reduce distraction

The US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has issued new guidelines aimed at encouraging phone manufacturers to introduce an automatic ‘Driver Mode’ to cut down on distracting apps and messages while driving. The proposals, announced earlier this month, are voluntary. They envisage a simplified display, and a block on distracting apps, both of which could be activated automatically while driving.  Samsung’s popular Galaxy series of phones offer a drive mode already but it must be activated manually. Apple’s ubiquitous iPhone has no such feature, […]

Stockholm, Vienna, Berlin and Dublin top European capital city safety ranking

Stockholm, Vienna, Berlin and Dublin top European capital city safety ranking

A new analysis of road deaths rates in European capitals has found a wide range of safety levels.  Stockholm (0.7) and Vienna (1.1) lead the ranking in terms of deaths per 100,000 inhabitants, with Berlin and Dublin (1.2) sharing third place. At the bottom end of the spectrum are Zagreb (6.0)*, Rome (4.8) and Nicosia (4.6).  Rome recently announced a Vision Zero programme to cut road deaths. The European Capital Brussels lies in the bottom half of the ranking with 2.6 deaths per 100,000, […]

Germany to Tesla: “Stop using the name Autopilot”

Germany to Tesla: “Stop using the name Autopilot”

The German Transport Minister Alexander Dobrindt has written to Tesla calling on the company to stop using the ‘misleading’ term ‘Autopilot’ in its advertising. According to Reuters, the letter was sent last month and was followed by a letter from the KBA – The German Federal Motor Transport Authority – to all Tesla owners warning that their cars could not be operated without their ‘constant attention’. Tesla has apparently rejected the request to change the name of its system – the German version of […]

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