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Vision Zero: road safety newsletter from Brake about global research and initiatives in road safety and sustainable transport.
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Global initiatives


Five West African countries lead the way in emission standards

Benin, Ghana, Côte d’Iviore, Nigeria and Togo have introduced new standards to regulate emissions and reduce sulphur diesel levels in their fuels. They have also committed to upgrading their refineries to ensure higher emission standards by 2020. 
 
These standards were introduced following the release of evidence showing that European countries have been exploiting West Africa’s weak regulatory standards, providing fuel with sulphur levels 300 times higher than legally allowed in Europe. It is estimated the new regulations combined with advanced vehicle standards could lead to a 90% reduction in harmful emissions.

European Commission agrees tighter vehicle emissions testing

At a meeting of the EC Technical Committee of Motor Vehicles, member states voted in favour of implementing a third package of measures to improve real-driving emissions (RDE) tests for vehicles, expanding them to cover particle number (PN) emissions. The new rules will apply to all new vehicle types by September 2017, and for all new vehicles by September 2018.

Vehicles

 
Research: safety technologies
The EC has released a report on workable and cost-effective vehicle safety measures, recommending 19 measures that should be considered for inclusion when the General Safety and Pedestrian Safety Regulations are next reviewed and updated.  

Although it has been estimated that EU vehicle regulations and standards have reduced the number of annual road deaths by 50,000, the EC says advanced safety technologies need to be available in all vehicles and across all EU countries in order to further reduce casualties. 

Research: automated vehicles
The International Transport Forum (ITF) has released a draft report giving an overview of socio-psychological factors likely to affect ride sharing of Level 4 automated vehicles, and offering recommendations to manufacturers for encouraging the public to engage with this technology.

The report discusses how to improve confidence in autonomous systems, reduce unrealistic and idealised expectations, and keep road users safe.

Drivers

 
Research: fatigue
Drivers that get less than four hours of sleep are 11.5 times more likely to be involved in a road crash than drivers that get seven hours or more, according to research from the AAA Foundation. Using data from NHTSA (USA), the report sought to quantify the link between amount of sleep and risk of a road collision.

Research: young drivers
Targeted safety measures are needed to prevent road deaths among young drivers and motorcycle riders according to a policy report released by the Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety (PACTS) and the European Transport Safety Commission (ETSC). The report assesses a range of impairments and distractions likely to affect young drivers and riders, and recommends measures to reduce the disproportionate risks they face; including zero-tolerance on drink-driving, additional hazard perception training and Graduated Driver Licensing. 

Infrastructure


Research: congestion
A new Austroads study looks at levels of congestion in Australia and New Zealand’s major cities and identifies the current and possible future causes and solutions, including the impact of increasing urban populations and new technologies. The report recommends various interventions on the basis of a mitigation road map developed during the production of the report.

Action: cycling
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has announced that a record £154 million per year will be spent on cycling in the capital over the next five years. The funding is aimed at providing Londoners with more incentives and opportunities to get around the centre on their bikes safely and quickly, without resorting to motorised vehicles. 

Road safety regulation, enforcement and criminal justice


Action: drink-driving
The European Transport Safety Council has released best-practice guidelines on how to effectively integrate the use of alcohol interlocks and drink-driving rehabilitation into a country’s criminal justice system. The guidelines are designed to tackle the problem of repeat drink-drive offenders that seem unwilling or unable to change their behaviour despite the use of traditional countermeasures such as awareness campaigns, fines and driving bans.

Action: sentencing
Recognising there is public concern about sentencing of drivers who kill or seriously injure, the UK's Ministry of Justice is holding a consultation on whether the current maximum penalties for causing death by dangerous or careless driving should be increased, and whether there is a gap in the law relating to causing serious injuries. The consultation is currently open to public input but will close on 1st February.

Post-crash


Research: emergency response
The World Health Organisation has released a guide on post-crash response, providing advice on post-crash care ranging from first aid and emergency response to hospital trauma and surgical care. It also provides recommendations on how to support those seriously injured and bereaved beyond the immediate aftermath of the crash. 

Research: consequences of collisions
Drivers fail to understand the serious consequences of a crash and there is a public perception that road traffic offences are not ‘real crimes’ according to a report from the Criminology Department at the University of Leicester. The report analyses why drivers fail to report road collisions and instead choose to flee the scene, surveying 695 offenders found guilty of committing a ‘hit and run’ offence.

Awareness raising


The International Transport Forum's report, Zero Road Deaths and Serious Injuries: Leading a Paradigm Shift in Road Safety has helped them to be recognised for the prestigious Decade of Action Special Award for Road Safety at the Prince Michael International Road Safety Awards.

Highways England has launched a new road safety campaign, ‘When it rains it kills’, concentrating on reducing dangerous driving in adverse weather conditions.
For more information on Brake’s For more information on Brake’s work, visit Brake’s websites in the UK and New Zealand at brake.org.uk and brake.org.nz
 
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