Germany

100 German cities want the right to set 30 km/h limits

100 German cities want the right to set 30 km/h limits

An initiative in Germany to push for local government powers to set 30 km/h limits has signed-up its 100th city.   The “Lebenswerte Städte durch angemessene Geschwindigkeiten” campaign, which can be roughly translated as “Liveable cities need reasonable speeds”, is calling on the federal government to change the law in order to let local authorities introduce 30 km/h speed limits more easily.  The current road traffic law sets narrow limits for the local authorities and only allows speed limits to be changed when specific hazards […]

Lack of standard safety features on vans criticised

Lack of standard safety features on vans criticised

ADAC, a German motoring organisation, has said it cannot recommend 18 out of 19 top selling vans due to a lack of safety features on their entry-level models. A recent series of tests by Euro NCAP was more positive, but it tested vehicles with optional safety equipment fitted.  ADAC says most vans are sold in their cheapest, stripped down form – so decided to investigate these models. According to the German Federal Statistical Office, vans were involved in over 14,000 crashes involving injury in […]

Several countries tighten e-scooter rules as German study finds huge underreporting of injuries

Several countries tighten e-scooter rules as German study finds huge underreporting of injuries

Several governments are updating rules on e-scooter use, as more evidence emerges of the particular risks faced by users of this novel mode of transport. Denmark introduced mandatory helmets from 1 January this year, following research that showed the risks of an e-scooter crash are seven times higher than for bicycles. Norway will also introduce mandatory helmets for children up to 15 years old later in the spring and introduce a drink-drive limit of 0.2 g/l Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) – the same as […]

ETSC Online Event – e-Scooter Safety: From research to action – 25 January 2022 – 10:00-12:30 CET

This online event explored current thinking and understanding of e-scooter safety. The agenda can be found here. The presentations and video of the event can be viewed by clicking the following YouTube links: 12:10 – Sarah Lynch – European Commission – DG Move – e-scooters and road safety 29:07 – Mehdi Hocine – European Commission – DG Grow – e-scooter technical regulation 44:22 – Margaret Winchcombe – PACTS – e-scooters in the UK 57:49 – Tanja Hohenstein – German Road Safety Council – e-scooters […]

As Mercedes launches Europe’s first Level-3 automated vehicle system, it’s time for an EU crash investigation authority

As Mercedes launches Europe’s first Level-3 automated vehicle system, it’s time for an EU crash investigation authority

ETSC is repeating its call for the setting up of an EU road collision investigation authority to conduct forensic analysis of crashes involving automated vehicles on EU roads. The call follows the announcement yesterday by Mercedes-Benz of the German launch of ‘Drive Pilot’, a system that allows for hands-off automated driving in traffic at speeds up to 60 km/h on German motorways.  This is the first approval of a Level 3 automated driving system for use in Europe. Such systems can drive without driver […]

Speeding fines doubled in Germany

Speeding fines doubled in Germany

Enforcement fines for speeding and other traffic offences are to be substantially increased in Germany from next month, following legal changes agreed in early October. Anyone caught driving 16 to 20 kilometers per hour (km / h) too fast in an urban area will see the fine doubled from 35 to 70 euros.  For those that are caught at 91 km / h instead of the permitted 50 km / h, the fine will be 400 instead of 200 euros. Drivers who do not form an […]

Paris moves to 30 km/h across the city, as Brussels hails safety gains

Paris moves to 30 km/h across the city, as Brussels hails safety gains

The French capital has introduced Europe’s largest 30 km/h zone, covering the entire city for the first time with the exception of several main roads, such as the Champs Elysée and the main ring road. 30 km/h limits already covered two thirds of the city, but the zone has now been extended in a further bid to reduce collisions, noise and pollution.  The southern city of Montpellier also introduced a city-wide 30 km/h limit on 1 August. The changes in France came as officials […]

Spain switches most urban roads to 30 km/h amid calls for action in several EU Member States

Spain switches most urban roads to 30 km/h amid calls for action in several EU Member States

30 km/h is the default speed limit on single-lane urban roads in Spain since 11 May, the culmination of a policy announced in changes to the Spanish general road law as far back as  2014. In 2019, official figures showed that, for the first time, the proportion of vulnerable road users killed on Spanish roads exceeded those killed in vehicles.  The push to finally implement the lower speed limits in urban areas was partly influenced by that data. Collisions between vehicles and pedestrians at […]

Is car no longer king in Berlin?

Is car no longer king in Berlin?

A new “pedestrian law” has been passed in Berlin, with the aim of shifting the priority away from cars, and further towards vulnerable road users. At the end of January, Berlin’s state parliament passed a so-called pedestrian law — an amendment to a 2018 law that focused on improving traffic safety for cyclists. Both were the first of their kind in Germany, according to DW – a German news broadcaster. The new requirements include: longer green lights for pedestrians, safer routes to school, more […]

Online event – Road Safety and Society: Involving Stakeholders in Road Safety Programmes – 19 November – 10:00-12:00

Online event – Road Safety and Society: Involving Stakeholders in Road Safety Programmes – 19 November – 10:00-12:00

This online PIN Talk took place on Thursday 19 November from 10:00-12:00 using the Zoom platform. It was organised by ETSC and DVR with the support of the German Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure in connection with the German Presidency of the Council of the EU. The focus of the event was: Involving stakeholders in road safety programmes. National experts from Germany shared their experiences with international and private sector experts on how to involve stakeholders in road safety programmes. Following welcome […]

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 […]

New German data confirm that one third of collisions involve inappropriate speed

New German data confirm that one third of collisions involve inappropriate speed

32% of the people who were killed in a traffic collision in 2019 in Germany died in an incident where the police accused at least one driver of driving at an inappropriate speed, according to new official data. The German Federal Statistical Office (Destatis) reported in July that a total of 963 people died in collisions due to inappropriate speed last year, while 53,687 were injured, 13,769 of them severely.  

Memorandum to the German Presidency of the EU

Memorandum to the German Presidency of the EU

In this briefing, ETSC outlines its recommendations on the key EU road safety policy dossiers to be steered by the German Presidency of the European Union in the second part of 2020.

E-scooters: Calls in Germany for licenses, speed limits for new users and indicator lights

E-scooters: Calls in Germany for licenses, speed limits for new users and indicator lights

ETSC’s German member DVR – the German Road Safety Council, together with ETSC’s newest member DEKRA, specialists in vehicle inspection, have published 11 recommendations for improving e-scooter safety, one year after the vehicles were legalised in Germany.  The recommendations focus on the vehicles themselves, but also how they are used, particularly in the city e-scooter rental market.   The organisations are calling for e-scooter users to be required to pass an AM driving test, equivalent to the test required for mopeds and motor scooters.  The […]

German Road Safety Council launches campaign for a motorway speed limit

German Road Safety Council launches campaign for a motorway speed limit

The German Road Safety Council, a founding member of ETSC, has launched a call for a generalised speed limit of 130 km/h across the motorway network. In a resolution of the DVR board published yesterday the organisation said: “Speed plays a particularly important role with regard to the distance travelled during the reaction time, and the kinetic energy acting on the vehicle occupants. A reduced speed leads to a shorter stopping distance and reduced accident severity with the same reaction time. It also has […]

COVID-19: Cities adapting road infrastructure and speed limits to enable safer cycling and walking

COVID-19: Cities adapting road infrastructure and speed limits to enable safer cycling and walking

Berlin, Brussels, Milan and Paris have all announced infrastructure changes to promote cycling and walking during the COVID-19 confinement period. Berlin has already temporarily widened cycle lanes to allow safe overtaking with social distancing limits in mind. Milan, meanwhile is closing 35km of streets to car traffic, introducing more 30 km/h limits and converting streets  to cycling and pedestrian-priority. In France, Paris and several other large cities have announced large rollouts of cycle lanes for during and after the lockdown. In the Belgian capital […]

Germany updates road traffic law with new rules on lorry turning speed, legal passing distance for bicycles and new cycling zones

Germany updates road traffic law with new rules on lorry turning speed, legal passing distance for bicycles and new cycling zones

A wide range of new traffic safety measures have been agreed by the German parliament as part of an update to the country’s traffic law. Drivers who park in cycle lanes or follow emergency vehicles through an emergency corridor will now face higher fines, and, for the latter, the possibility of a driving ban. Drivers will also need to use a minimum passing distance for bicycles of 1.5m in urban areas, and 2m out of town – the first time a specific limit has […]

Support for unlimited motorway speeds in Germany is reducing

Support for unlimited motorway speeds in Germany is reducing

Germany’s largest automobile association ADAC is “no longer fundamentally opposed” to motorway speed limits, and the second largest, ACE, actively supports a maximum speed of 130 km/h. The debate over ending unlimited speed on Germany motorways has been on the agenda again for a year, after a government commission on the environment recommended introducing a 130 km/h limit.  So far the government has ruled out the change. But momentum in favour of a limit appears to be growing with the largest automobile club shifting […]

German parliament rejects 130 km/h limit on motorways

German parliament rejects 130 km/h limit on motorways

A proposal by Green MPs to introduce a national 130 km/h top speed limit on motorways in Germany was rejected in a vote in the Bundestag earlier this month. A government commission included the limit as one of a number of options for reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the transport sector in a report published earlier this year. Data analysis by the news organisation Der Spiegel found that the measure could prevent 140 deaths every year. At the time, the German transport minister Andreas […]

Welsh government supports a 20 mph default speed limit in residential areas

Welsh government supports a 20 mph default speed limit in residential areas

The Welsh government has said it supports a default 20 mph (32 km/h) speed limit on residential streets, following positive results from pilot schemes in the cities of Swansea and Cardiff. Wales has had the power to set speed limits in the country since last year, they were previously set by the UK government in London. 20 mph limits are in place in many towns and cities across the UK.  The Mayor of London announced a default 20 mph limit for London as part […]

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