UK

New report looks at deadliest vehicle types

New report looks at deadliest vehicle types

Most people who die on the roads are much more likely to be killed in a car, or by a car, than any other mode. By contrast, pedestrians and cyclists are rarely involved in collisions that result in the death of other road users. These are the conclusions of a new report from ETSC’s UK member PACTS. Per mile travelled, vans and light goods vehicles are involved in more deaths of other road users than any other vehicle type, more even than HGVs. Motorcycles […]

Insurers warn over risks of hands-off automated driving on UK roads

Insurers warn over risks of hands-off automated driving on UK roads

Thatcham Research and the Association of British Insurers (ABI) are urging the UK government to revise its plans to introduce Automated Lane Keeping Systems (ALKS) onto UK roads in early 2021 because “it will put road users’ lives at risk”. The organisations say the government should undertake further work to ensure road safety is fully considered before introducing Automated Lane Keeping Systems. The concerns are raised as both the functionality of ALKS technology and the regulations under which they will operate will mean that […]

UK to close loophole and prevent all handheld phone use while driving

UK to close loophole and prevent all handheld phone use while driving

The UK government will change the law next year to ensure all handheld use of a mobile phone while driving is banned.  Under current law, making phone calls and sending text messages while holding a phone are prohibited, but many of the other functions carried out on modern smartphones are not.  The new legal change, expected next year, will close the loophole, but will still allow hands-free use of phones.   Research has shown that hands-free use of phones can be as distracting as using […]

New ITF report on urban road safety best practice

New ITF report on urban road safety best practice

A new report from the OECD’s International Transport Forum (ITF) presents seven case studies of cities that are implementing data-driven road safety policies. It highlights relevant experiences aimed at reducing the number of traffic casualties and protecting vulnerable road users in cities. The case studies from Barcelona, Bogota, Buenos Aires, Fortaleza, London, New York and Rotterdam illustrate the diverse approaches to better understand road crashes and to prevent road traffic deaths and serious injuries. https://www.itf-oecd.org/best-practice-urban-road-safety

Scotland consults on 2030 road safety strategy

Scotland consults on 2030 road safety strategy

The Scottish government is consulting on a new road safety strategy for 2030 to achieve the target of cutting  road deaths by 50% by 2030 in line with UN and EU targets.  The Scottish government says a “step change in road safety delivery” will be needed, and has published a draft framework for consultation. The UK government currently does not have an overall road safety target, although the nations of Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales have set targets, along with cities including London and […]

UK position on driving hours and digital tachographs criticised

UK position on driving hours and digital tachographs criticised

The EU Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier has criticised the UK government for refusing to accept EU rules on working time and digital tachographs for UK lorries driving in EU Member States.   He was speaking following the latest Brexit negotiations round earlier this month.  Mr Barnier said allowing UK drivers to follow different rules would undermine the single market and be unfair to EU Member States.  He underlined that the rules were important for road safety.

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 […]

UK launches major cycling policy shift with £2bn investment

UK launches major cycling policy shift with £2bn investment

Thousands of miles of new protected bike lanes, cycle training for everyone and bikes available on prescription will be rolled out under new plans to overhaul cycling and walking in England launched by Prime Minister Boris Johnson in July. The new plan aims to build on the significant increase in the number of people cycling during the pandemic. It sets out a long term vision to increase active travel and “embed the benefits of walking and cycling into how we live, work and get […]

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 […]

UK permits e-scooter rental trials from next month

UK permits e-scooter rental trials from next month

The UK government has brought forward plans to permit trials of e-scooter rental schemes across the country. The schemes had been planned to launch next year after a public consultation on the proposed new rules to legalise the vehicles, but the trials have been brought forward as part of a package of transport measures in response to the covid-19 crisis. Privately-owned e-scooters will remain illegal on public roads for the time being.  A report published in February by the International Transport Forum made a […]

Insurer: Lockdown accelerates UK young driver speeding by 15%

Insurer: Lockdown accelerates UK young driver speeding by 15%

Co-op Insurance says speeding alerts issued to its UK young driver policyholders have increased by a sixth (15%) in recent weeks. Co-op’s telematics data which monitor drivers’ behaviours such as how fast they take corners, how they brake and whether they are observing the speed limit, show some are driving faster than they legally should be.  The UK has been a leader in car insurance policies linked to telematic devices fitted in the policy holder’s vehicle.  As a means of helping to keep young […]

Apple CarPlay and Android Auto infotainment systems weaken reactions more than alcohol and cannabis

Apple CarPlay and Android Auto infotainment systems weaken reactions more than alcohol and cannabis

A new study by the UK’s transport research laboratory (TRL) shows that the latest in-vehicle infotainment systems that display smartphone apps on in-car displays impair reaction times behind the wheel more than alcohol and cannabis use. The study found that reaction times at motorway speeds increased average stopping distances to between four and five car lengths. The study also found that drivers took their eyes off the road for as long as 16 seconds while driving (equivalent to a distance of more than 500 […]

A third of killed vehicle occupants in the UK were not wearing seatbelts

A third of killed vehicle occupants in the UK were not wearing seatbelts

Almost a third (31%) of the people who died in vehicles in Great Britain in 2018 were not wearing a seatbelt, according to a report by PACTS, ETSC’s UK founding member, published last month. Seatbelts: Time for Action used data obtained from specialist Police Forensic Collision Investigators (PFCIs) by using the Freedom of Information Act.  The report is based on over 1,000 records obtained from PFCIs. It suggests that there were 261 deaths where a seat belt was legally required but not worn in […]

UK government puts new “smart” motorways on hold

UK government puts new “smart” motorways on hold

The UK government has stopped the roll-out of motorways modified so that the emergency lane or hard shoulder is used as a running lane.  The review of the policy was announced after figures revealed in a BBC News documentary showed a significant number of deaths had occurred following incidents of cars stopped in the middle of the road. The original safety case in the UK for so-called “smart” motorways was based on a trial that included emergency refugees for vehicles in trouble every 500m […]

Regulator says Uber’s license to operate taxis in London will be withdrawn on safety grounds

Regulator says Uber’s license to operate taxis in London will be withdrawn on safety grounds

Transport for London (TfL) has said it will not grant Uber a new taxi operator’s licence which could lead to the service being suspended. TfL said it had identified a “pattern of failures” by the company including several breaches that placed passengers and their safety at risk. Despite Uber having addressed some of these issues, TfL said it does not have confidence that similar issues will not reoccur in the future, which has led it to conclude that the company is not “fit and […]

Brussels-wide 30 km/h zone confirmed as Lille reaches 88% street coverage

Brussels-wide 30 km/h zone confirmed as Lille reaches 88% street coverage

Almost the whole of the Belgian capital will be covered by 30 km/h limits from January 2021 the city’s new minister of transport has confirmed. The announcement of the policy was accompanied by the news that automated speed enforcement capacity in the city will be increased and 30 high risk sites will be treated.  A publicity campaign encouraging drivers to respect the new limit ahead of its formal launch has also been running across the city since the announcement. Public pressure for road safety […]

Driver confusion over different implementations of driver assistance systems needs addressing

Driver confusion over different implementations of driver assistance systems needs addressing

The lack of full standardisation of vehicle controls and the driver interface with driver assistance systems means there is often a ‘human factors’ deficit in which drivers are forced to use systems they do not necessarily fully understand, according to a new report for PACTS, ETSC’s UK founder member. The onset of more vehicle automation may make this worse and urgent action to stop this from happening is needed, according to the authors, Shaun Helman of TRL and Professor Oliver Carsten of the University […]

Call for ban on hands-free calling

Call for ban on hands-free calling

The British government should consider tougher restrictions on driving while using a mobile phone and stricter enforcement of the law to prevent the ‘entirely avoidable’ tragedy of deaths and serious injuries from related crashes on the roads, MPs on the UK Parliament’s transport committee have said in a new report. MPs called on the government to overhaul current laws on using hand-held mobile devices while driving, to cover use irrespective of whether this involves sending or receiving data. As evidence shows that using a […]

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 […]

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