Vehicle safety

Finnish “cars for kids” plans postponed following European Commission warnings

Finnish “cars for kids” plans postponed following European Commission warnings

The entry-into-force of a new law in Finland to permit children as young as 15 to drive regular cars fitted with speed limiters has been postponed following an intervention by the European Commission. The proposals, put forward last year by the government, would have allowed children to drive cars up to 1500kg at speeds of up to 60 km/h and with only an AM category license – normally reserved for mopeds and light quadricycles.  The original legal proposal set a speed limit of 45 […]

New e-mobility vehicles need independent checks says Dutch Safety Board

New e-mobility vehicles need independent checks says Dutch Safety Board

A review by the Dutch Safety Board of the procedures that led to approval of the Stint electric child cart for use on Dutch roads, says that “safety was made subordinate to the desire for innovation in road transport.” Four children died when the electrically-assisted cart that they were travelling in collided with a train at a railway crossing in September last year.  The exact causes of the collision have not been published so far, but independent investigations carried out both before and after […]

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 […]

Calls for city SUV ban after four pedestrians die in a single collision

Calls for city SUV ban after four pedestrians die in a single collision

There have been calls in Germany for SUVs to be banned from city centres, following a collision involving a Porsche Macan that was travelling at excessive speed before mounting a pavement and killing four people waiting at a crossing. The causes of the collision are unknown, and are subject to an ongoing police investigation, though media speculation has centred on the possibility of the driver experiencing an epileptic seizure. While the vehicle in question may have been out of control, a number of observers […]

Automation could reduce collisions by 22% by 2040 say UK researchers

Automation could reduce collisions by 22% by 2040 say UK researchers

Scientists at the UK’s Transport Research Laboratory TRL estimate that the expected mix of automated and non-automated vehicles on the roads by 2040 could lead to 22% fewer collisions than today. The estimation is considerably lower than earlier headline-grabbing reports such as a KPMG analysis published in 2015 that predicted an 80% reduction.  The figure is also lower than the estimated 30% collision reduction benefits of fleet wide fitment of Intelligent Speed Assistance on non-automated vehicles. The KPMG report, and others, have referred back […]

New concerns about over-reliance on driver assistance systems

New concerns about over-reliance on driver assistance systems

Concerns have been raised again about over-reliance on “Level 2” driver assistance systems following the publication of an official US report into a crash involving a Tesla vehicle in “autopilot” mode. The National Transport Safety Board, in its latest report into a crash involving a Tesla, found that the “autopilot” system’s design, which enabled the driver to disengage from the driving task, contributed to the crash. Driver inattention and use of the system in a way which was “inconsistent with guidance and warnings from […]

Setback for quick adoption of EU connected vehicle and infrastructure standard

Setback for quick adoption of EU connected vehicle and infrastructure standard

EU Member States have formally rejected a European Commission proposal on specifications for the first wave of C-ITS (Cooperative Intelligent Transport Systems) in the EU following a dispute about technology neutrality. The specifications, which should lead to warning messages such as temporary speed limits or collisions on the road ahead beamed directly into vehicles, were set to be built on a type of wifi technology, which had already been developed by several carmakers and technology providers. But several EU Member States and various actors […]

Briefing: Independence in Investigation of Transport Accidents

Briefing: Independence in Investigation of Transport Accidents

Independent transport accident investigations derive their value and significance to society from the fact that they are the only kind of investigation that set themselves the sole task of systematically establishing precisely the truth and the facts of what has taken place with the aim of learning to improve safety and helping to prevent recurrences. In doing so, they can also help to assure society that the occurrence of such events is being addressed. In practice, however, there are many differences in how investigations […]

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 […]

New connected vehicle rules could boost road safety

New connected vehicle rules could boost road safety

The European Commission has agreed on the first wave of requirements for electronic communications both between road infrastructure and vehicles, as well as between vehicles.  ETSC has warmly welcomed the inclusion of safety-enhancing features in the list of priority services for so-called Cooperative Intelligent Transport Systems (C-ITS) set out in the legal text, notably the ‘dynamic speed limit information’ service. This technology will enable, for example, variable speed limit information signs to communicate directly to compatible vehicles.  This could further enhance the accuracy of […]

European Parliament backs new vehicle safety standards

European Parliament backs new vehicle safety standards

The European Parliament has given the green light to new minimum EU vehicle safety requirements that will come into force from 2022.  The vote by the full parliament, at its last session of this mandate, follows a provisional deal reached by the EU institutions last month. According to the final deal on the legislation, new cars, vans, lorries and buses sold in Europe will be fitted as standard with a range of new vehicle safety features such as Automated Emergency Braking which can detect […]

Seatbelt reminders in every seating position from September

Seatbelt reminders in every seating position from September

The EU has formally agreed updated UNECE regulations on seatbelts that will require seatbelt reminder systems in all front and rear seats on new cars from September 2019. Existing EU vehicle safety rules agreed in 2009 only require seatbelt reminder systems on the driver’s seat.  The updated requirements also include the front and rear passenger seats. In the front seats, the systems will need to be able to detect a passenger sitting and make an audible warning at the start of the journey if the belt is not […]

ETSC welcomes provisional deal on new vehicle safety standards

ETSC welcomes provisional deal on new vehicle safety standards

New cars, vans, lorries and buses sold in Europe will be fitted as standard with a range of new vehicle safety features, starting in 2022, according to a provisional EU deal on the legislation reached last night in Strasbourg. The new rules include requirements for new technologies, such as Automated Emergency Braking which can detect pedestrians and cyclists, as well as overridable Intelligent Speed Assistance, to be fitted as standard for the first time.  New lorries will be required to have improved levels of […]

Letter: Calling on the EU institutions to agree a deal on new vehicle safety standards

Letter: Calling on the EU institutions to agree a deal on new vehicle safety standards

19 March 2019 Dear representatives of the Council, the Romanian Presidency, the European Parliament and the Commission, On 25 March, the Council, the European Parliament and the European Commission will take part in the trilogue negotiations on the package of vehicle safety and pedestrian protection measures known as the General Safety Regulation. These measures represent a historic, once-in-a-generation opportunity to dramatically reduce the scourge of death and serious injury on Europe’s roads. Not since the introduction of mandatory seatbelt laws, has such a change […]

Updated Euro NCAP tests reveal advances in traffic sign recognition technology

Updated Euro NCAP tests reveal advances in traffic sign recognition technology

Euro NCAP data from 2018 show that camera-based traffic sign recognition systems have advanced and were fitted as standard equipment to nearly all new vehicle models tested in 2018. Most of these systems are now able to function under conditional circumstances such as when a lower limit applies in rainy conditions e.g. on French motorways. Reports of Euro NCAP’s tests carried out in 2018 show results on Speed Limit Information Functions as part of Speed Assist Systems which also include manual speed limiters, Intelligent […]

Longer, safer lorry cabs permitted two years earlier

Longer, safer lorry cabs permitted two years earlier

Lorries with potentially safer and more aerodynamic cabs could be on European roads as early as next year, following an EU agreement to bring forward new rules on the maximum dimensions of heavy goods vehicles. Flat-fronted lorries have been the norm in Europe for decades due to the way in which the length of vehicles was regulated.  The combined overall length of the cab and trailer was restricted by law, leading to most space being used for cargo and the shortest possible length used […]

MEPs back life-saving vehicle safety standards in key vote

MEPs back life-saving vehicle safety standards in key vote

A key committee of MEPs has given the green light for a range of new mandatory vehicle safety standards that could apply to new vehicle models within three years. The European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) welcomes the result of the vote but warns that time is running out for a final deal on the legislation before European Parliamentary elections in May. Members of the European Parliament’s Committee on Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO) voted today to approve a range of new vehicle safety […]

Reducing Speeding in Europe (PIN Flash 36)

Reducing Speeding in Europe (PIN Flash 36)

Speed is a major factor in overall road safety performance. Excessive and inappropriate speed is accountable for about one third of fatal collisions and is an aggravating factor in most collisions. 2,100 lives could be saved each year if the average speed dropped by only 1 km/h on all roads across the EU. Speeding on different types of road In the EU, 37% of all road deaths occur on urban roads. Among the countries that monitor levels of speed compliance on urban roads countrywide, […]

Letter: Calling on members of the IMCO committee in the European Parliament to back vehicle safety measures

Letter: Calling on members of the IMCO committee in the European Parliament to back vehicle safety measures

Dear Member of the European Parliament committee on Internal Market and Consumer Protection, On 21 February, you and your colleagues on the IMCO committee of the European Parliament will vote on the package of vehicle safety and pedestrian protection measures known as the General Safety Regulation. It is not an overstatement to say that these measures represent a historic, once-in-a-generation opportunity to dramatically reduce the scourge of death and serious injury on Europe’s roads.  Not since the introduction of mandatory seatbelt laws, has such […]

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 […]

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