UK

UK government to review potential of alcohol interlocks

UK government to review potential of alcohol interlocks

The UK will look at the feasibility of adding the use of alcohol interlocks to drink-driver rehabilitation programmes, it has been announced. The review of the policy measure will focus on how to ensure the technology is “both accessible and reliable” according to a statement on road safety plans published in July, just before the changeover to the new government led by Prime Minister Boris Johnson. There is already a good range of evidence from several countries that alcohol interlocks cut reoffending rates both […]

France backtracks on 80km/h speed limit despite positive results

France backtracks on 80km/h speed limit despite positive results

French départements will soon be able to revert to a 90km/h speed limit on roads without separation barriers, in a reversal of a decision by the government to set a lower default limit of 80km/h across France last summer. The u-turn, which followed nationwide protests by the yellow vest movement, as well as widespread vandalism of speed cameras, came despite official statistics that showed a drop in deaths linked to the new speed limit. The French research institute Cerema and the French Road Safety […]

Analysis of who drink-drives highlighted in OECD report

Analysis of who drink-drives highlighted in OECD report

A new OECD report New Directions in Data-Driven Transport Safety, has highlighted research carried out in the UK which could aid targeting of measures to reduce drink-driving. Ursachi et al. (2018) mined a police crash database for drink-drivers involved in collisions, and matched their home postcodes with a commercial geodemographic segmentation system called Experian Mosaic. The authors were able to categorise these drivers based on lifestyle factors.  The system offers insights on how to reach these groups through marketing channels: specific newspapers or magazines, […]

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 […]

27% of killed UK car occupants were not wearing a seatbelt

27% of killed UK car occupants were not wearing a seatbelt

A new report from PACTS, ETSC’s UK member, has found that more than a quarter of people who died in cars in 2017, were not wearing a seatbelt. “Seat Belts: The Forgotten Road Safety Priority” shows that despite wearing rates of 98.6% for British car drivers, 27% of those who died in cars on the roads in 2017 were not wearing a seatbelt. This amounts to more than 200 deaths; an additional 1,000 people were seriously injured. Seatbelt non-wearing has not received the focus […]

3 April 2019 – REVIVE Roundtable Ireland

3 April 2019 – REVIVE Roundtable Ireland

The fifth REVIVE Round table focused on improving post-collision outcomes in Cyprus, Greece Ireland, Malta and the UK In the framework of the REVIVE Project, experts in Emergency Medical Services (EMS), Rescue/Fire Service (RFS) and road safety from Cyprus, Greece Ireland, Malta and the UK  met in Dublin on the 3rd April 2019. They discussed the way forward for improving post-collision response and emergency care across the EU. The meeting gathered representatives from health agencies, rescue services as well as researchers and other actors […]

UK and Sweden set for automated car trials as manufacturers more cautious on part-time automation

UK and Sweden set for automated car trials as manufacturers more cautious on part-time automation

The UK department for transport has updated its code of practice for trials of autonomous vehicles on British roads to potentially enable use of safety drivers not inside the vehicle but supervising and operating cars by remote control. The updated requirements, published by the Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles, also set out the need for organisations carrying out tests to undertake risk assessments and publish safety information and trial performance reports. Meanwhile the Swedish Transport Agency has approved an application from Zenuity, a […]

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 […]

Scotland: new drug driving laws and roadside testing

Scotland: new drug driving laws and roadside testing

Scotland will introduce new drug driving limits and roadside testing on 21 October this year, it has been announced. There will be a zero tolerance approach to eight drugs most associated with illegal use, including cannabis, heroin and cocaine, with limits set at a level where any claims of accidental exposure can be ruled out. Meanwhile, a list of other drugs associated with medical use will have limits based on impairment and risk to road safety. The government says this will make it easier […]

Major UK study examines impact of sign-only 20 mph zones

Major UK study examines impact of sign-only 20 mph zones

The British Department for Transport has published a major research study on the impact of 20mph zones. It assesses the outcomes of introducing 20 mph speed limit schemes (ie reducing speed limits from 30mph to 20mph) in residential areas and town centres. The researchers looked at “signs only” schemes, i.e. without the traffic calming measures of earlier 20mph zones. The study found: Public support for 20mph (signed only) limits but concern about non-compliance; Minor changes in driven speeds: median speed fell 0.7mph in residential […]

Gig economy workers face “perfect storm” of risk factors

Gig economy workers face “perfect storm” of risk factors

A study of safety issues and worker rights in the so-called gig economy has warned that workers paid per delivery are being incentivised to drive in adverse weather conditions and late at night while being penalised when packages are late or cannot be delivered due to sickness. The research, co-authored by Heather Ward of University College London (and co-chair of ETSC’s Road Safety Performance Index (PIN) programme), was presented earlier this month at the ETSC PRAISE conference on work-related road safety. Speaking at the […]

London introduces bus safety standard, including Intelligent Speed Assistance on all new vehicles

London introduces bus safety standard, including Intelligent Speed Assistance on all new vehicles

The London transport authority TfL has published a new Bus Safety Standard, part of a strategy to reach a target of no-one being killed on or by a London bus by 2030. The standard, which details the bus safety requirements all bus operators will need to adopt up to 2024, will also reduce road danger in the shorter term with a range of safety features required from next year. London’s buses carry 6.5 million passengers every day and are a particularly important service for […]

Drink-driving deaths in the UK have not decreased since 2010

Drink-driving deaths in the UK have not decreased since 2010

New data on drink-driving collisions in the UK has been released by the Department for Transport. The figures for 2016, the latest year available, estimate deaths caused by drink driving at 230, a similar level to 2010. According to the research, the total number of collisions where at least one driver or rider was over the alcohol limit rose by 6% to 6,070 in 2016. In a 2017 report, ETSC’s UK member PACTS said that the UK government “does not appear to have a […]

London to make 20mph the default speed limit

London to make 20mph the default speed limit

The mayor of London has announced plans to make 20mph (+/- 30 km/h) the default speed limit in the city as part of a new Vision Zero road safety action plan. The speed limits will be accompanied by redesigned streets, speed cameras and on-street enforcement as part of a Safe System approach. As well as the work on speed limits, the mayor has set a target of reducing the numbers killed or seriously injured on London’s roads by 65% by 2022, based on the […]

UK insurers announce grading scheme for driver assistance systems

UK insurers announce grading scheme for driver assistance systems

Thatcham Research and the ABI (Association of British Insurers) have called on carmakers and legislators for greater clarity around the capability of vehicles sold with driver assistance and automated driving technologies. The call comes in the wake of growing reports of people crashing whilst over-relying on technology which is not yet designed to drive the car independently. The risks to drivers have been outlined in the new ‘Assisted and Automated Driving Definition and Assessment’ paper, which has identified dangerous grey areas associated with some […]

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 […]

UK government announces three-year legal review of automated vehicles

UK government announces three-year legal review of automated vehicles

The UK government has commissioned a detailed review of driving laws to “examine any legal obstacles to the widespread introduction of self-driving vehicles and highlight the need for regulatory reforms”. The project will review and answer key questions, such as: who is the ‘driver’ or responsible person, as appropriate; how to allocate civil and criminal responsibility where there is some shared control in a human-machine interface; the role of automated vehicles within public transport networks and emerging platforms for on-demand passenger transport, car sharing […]

Majority support lower BAC limits in England and Wales, 50 years after first UK blood alcohol limits

Majority support lower BAC limits in England and Wales, 50 years after first UK blood alcohol limits

50 years after the UK first introduced breath testing and blood alcohol limits, a motorists’ organisation has backed calls to reduce the legal blood-alcohol limit for drivers in England and Wales for the first time. While the 0.8g/l limit has been in place since a legal maximum was introduced in 1967, Scotland took the decision to cut to 0.5 in December 2014 and Northern Ireland is in the process of doing the same. The limit in almost all other European countries is 0.5 or […]

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 […]

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