ETSC Safety Monitor (91) - May 2014
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Safety Monitor
Transport safety news from ETSC

European Elections 2014

A survey by ETSC of the main political groups in the European Parliament ahead of this month's elections has found universal support for measures to cut deaths and the more than 300,000 serious injuries that occur on Europe's roads each year. But the research also revealed differences across the political spectrum on which road safety measures should be introduced at the European level. Read more...
  • European Parliament green light for safer lorries - see ETSC reaction
  • MEPs back 112 eCall infrastructure plan - see report

12,000 killed in cars in EU in 2012

ETSC is calling on the European Union to accelerate progress on reducing the number of people killed in cars every year in the EU, as a new ETSC PIN Flash report showed 12,345 car occupants were fatally injured in 2012. ETSC found that 900 lives could be saved every year in the EU if car manufacturers were required to fit seat-belt reminder sensors to front and rear passenger seats to help prevent deaths from failure to wear belts. The European Commission is currently revising vehicle safety rules with new proposals expected next year. Read more...
  • Registration is now open for ETSC's 2014 Road Safety Performance Index (PIN) conference and award ceremony on 18 June in Brussels. Register here

EU court says cross-border enforcement law had wrong legal basis

The European Court of Justice has ruled that the legal basis of the directive on cross-border enforcement of traffic offences, which came into force in November, was incorrect. In a case brought by the European Commission, the court said the correct legal basis should be transport. But, given the importance of the law for road safety, the ECJ said the current rules could stay in place while a new proposal is agreed. ETSC is calling on the EU to agree a new proposal as a matter of urgency. In the meantime, the majority of countries have already transposed the rules into national law. See ECJ press release and ETSC FAQ on cross-border enforcement

MH370 prompts new EU flight recorder rules

The failure to locate the missing Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 has resulted in a further reinforcement of European proposals to increase flight recorder capabilities and aid aircraft detection. The European Aviation Safety Agency is to demand that cockpit-voice recorders have a minimum duration of 20h, up from the 15h originally put forward in last year's proposed revision. EASA is also accelerating, by two years, the schedule to install flight recorders with long-duration underwater locator beacons. See EASA press release

EU Road Safety Day focuses on improving infrastructure

The European Commissioner for transport Siim Kallas has said the benefits of safer motorways now need to be spread to the inter-urban road network where most fatal accidents occur today. Safer infrastructure was one of the themes discussed at an informal meeting of EU transport ministers and the annual road safety day, held this month in Athens. ETSC attended the events, and presented its latest figures and recommendations to ministers and officials from several member states. ETSC's Czech member organisation was also presented with an award for excellence in road safety at the event. See European Commission press release, ETSC live tweets and road safety award announcement
  • The European Commission is holding a public consultation on EU road infrastructure safety management on 13 June in Brussels - register here
  • A British newspaper reports that deaths have increased by 39% on UK roads where street lights had been switched off to save money. Experts blamed flawed risk assessments. See report

Spain to increase penalties...and speed limits?

Spain is increasing fines for drink driving, simplifying drug driving rules and banning children from travelling in front seats in a comprehensive set of changes to traffic rules that will come into force in the coming months. A controversial increase of the motorway speed to 130 km/h will be discussed by regulators in June. See El Pais (English).
  • Malta road safety plan aims to cut deaths by half by 2024 - See report

ETSC launches 2014 PRAISE award for road safety at work

Organisations, large and small, that are committed to road safety at work have until 1 September to apply for ETSC's PRAISE award. Past winners include Shell and British Telecom. See PRAISE
  • The UK Health and Safety Executive has launched new guidelines for companies to manage work-related road safety. See guidelines
  • The European Agency for Health and Safety at Work has launched a major campaign on combatting stress at work. ETSC, as part of its PRAISE research, has found links between stress and road crashes at work and is a partner in the two-year project. See press release

Rail travel in Europe safe overall despite Spanish crash

New analysis of European rail accidents by Professor Andrew Evans of Imperial College London found that the number of fatal train collisions and derailments per train-kilometre decreased by –5.4% per year from 1990 to 2013. However, the Santiago crash last year that killed 79 had the effect of raising the estimated overall number of fatalities per fatal accident by 7% from 4.04 in 1990-2012 to 4.31 in 1990-2013, and the estimated mean fatalities per year by 6% from 22.3 in 2012 to 23.7 in 2013. See study
  • Spain's national rail operator Renfe has announced that it will spend €3.8m on surveillance technology for the cabins of 240 trains to monitor drivers in the wake of last year's accident in Santiago. See report

Apple developing system to prevent smartphone use while driving

A new technology proposed by Apple would seek to address the dangerous and ubiquitous problem of drivers who use their phone behind the wheel, according to experts. A new patent by the technology giant could “change the culture” and help stop driver distraction with an automated system that would disable certain smartphone functions when an iPhone user is driving. See report
  • The US NHTSA is running a new anti-texting while driving campaign including a hard-hitting YouTube video that has been viewed over 2 million times. See YouTube
ETSC PIN Flash report cover
Commissioner Kallas speaking at the ETSC PIN conference 2013
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