Tag Archive: Road Safety

  1. Italy’s e-scooter suppression plans

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    Source: Bloomberg

    Once considered the post-covid future of urban transport, pedestrians and other road users are now viewing the transport means unfavorably. Deemed a menace to city streets and a source of obstruction on sidewalks in cities including Rome and Milan, changes are ahead.

    According to a draft of Italy’s transport code seen by Bloomberg, e-scooters will now need a registration plate and owners will need an insurance policy. In addition, of e-scooters sharing services, something that has seen rapid expansion, will also face authoritative restrictions.

    Transport Minister, Matteo Salvini, has promised to address traffic violations from e-scooter users, who will furthermore be required to wear helmets. Manufacturers of e-scooters will also be required to fit turning indicators. The Italian media did initially report the introduction of license plates for bicycles, but this was not seen by Bloomberg.

    It is not just Italy where e-scooter restraints are being aired. Many other European cities are airing complaints. This year, Paris residents voted to completely ban hiring services throughout the city.

    According to data from Osservatorio Sharing Mobility, a state-backed sector association, over 45,000 rental scooters were present on Italian streets in 2021, reflective of their use as an alternative to public transport and the absence of cycling lanes in the larger cities.

    Other proposed changes to the transport code include hardened measures for drunk driving, which includes a lifetime ban, and restrictions for those younger people who have only recently received their license.

  2. Segway’s Lite L60E sets the standards

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    Source: Zag Daily

    Following the launch of its AI-powered S90L e-scooter at Micromobility Europe in 2022, LEVA-EU member Segway-Ninebot introduces the Lite L60E, continuing to develop its range whilst recognising the user community and their accompanying environments.

    Strategic developments in improving shared mobility vehicle hardware take precedence over rapid expansion plans, as even the slightest modifications can have significant cost implications. Interests and requests are considered, and Segway’s new e-scooter, the Lite L60E, has been launched to provide safe, efficient and affordable riding.

    Segway’s Strategic Product Manager, Yao Yao, commented, “Designed with a focus not only on operators’ unit economics but also on the experience for riders and citizens on the streets, we are leveraging our engineering and extensive sharing business expertise to empower operators with the Segway Lite L60E.”, further mentioning, “This innovative vehicle is aimed at optimising unit economics, prioritising road safety, and enhancing the overall riding experience.”

    Technical efficiency

    Segway’s latest e-scooter is powered by a new 48V 576Wh battery, meaning a single charge increases the range by 30% to 65km. This naturally reduces the need for battery changes and charging, and therefore benefits the end user considerably. What’s more, highly accurate positioning by way of onboard data storage, dual-band GNSS and multi-constellation tech, means that operations teams can locate each vehicle with accuracy and efficiency in their daily tasks.

    The L60E additionally comes with improved CAN bus communication, transferring data up to eight times faster than UART communication and optimising the main control bus cable from 8pin to 5pin. This means simplified operation management and servicing.

    Safety improvements

    Frame strength was the initial focus for Segway’s safety improvements, initiated by a series of tests to meet the manufacturer’s new standards. A vibration test was performed one million times to ensure it could surpass hostile and unfathomable terrains, while a 96-hour salt spray test that encompassed electrophoresis and powder coating processes was also performed. Passing such tests means reduced repair costs and an extended lifetime for the e-scooter.

    In addition to frame safety, the L60E’s aluminium stem was put through its paces with a 600N thrust force performed over 300,000 times. The more powerful 48V battery, meanwhile, has new dual-housing that provides collision and drop protection, whilst also operating at a quieter level and delivering a more linear acceleration.

    Enhancing the user’s experience

    To improve the overall riding experience, Segway has additionally increased the width of the foot pad by 30% and has overhauled the dashboard to display only crucial information to include slow-riding, no-parking and no-riding zones.

    Some of Segway’s championed features have remained, however. The front dual suspension system, front 11.5” and rear 10.5” PU-filled tires, a high-powered 400W motor that boosts gradability up to 14%, and new generation IoT for improved positioning and location accuracy are standard.


    Due to the variety in country and city regulations and requirements, different customisation packages are available for the L60E, each helping to reduce costs where possible. Owners can select from two versions (EU and KC) and three vehicle types: Lite L60E, Lite L60L, and Lite L60X.

    The Segway Lite L60E was on display at the Micromobility Industries European summit in Amsterdam earlier in June.

  3. Drones to aid in dangerous traffic situations

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    Source: Fietsberaad Crow

    According to numerous Flemish pilot schemes, drones can be used to assess dangerous traffic conditions and aid cyclists on their journeys. The concept is accurate, cheap and fast and a notable step forward.

    The research was first reported upon by HLN’s daily newspaper, VeloVeilig Vlaanderen, in collaboration with VTM Nieuws. Their audiences were asked to supply information on dangerous cycling situations, and this was assessed in line with government directions into ways to tackle any problems. The Mobility Innovative Approach was introduced whereby drones were launched to map the problem areas.

    The drones took to the sky for an hour during the morning and evening rush hours, supplying images from a height of approximately 70 metres. Researchers have been able to accurately analyse the images from the drones, thanks to developed software that can distinguish between pedestrians, cyclists, cars, trucks and buses and determine their position and speed. Movements of each are relayed as coloured lines that supply accurate logistics data.

    Tom Brijs, traffic expert at Hasselt University and part of the research team, commented, “Thanks to the drone images, we discovered, among other things, that in the morning almost 40 percent of the drivers drove faster than the permitted speed of 30 kilometres per hour, in the afternoon this was even 63 percent. We could also see that a striking number of children run across the street in a place that is not actually a crossing, and that they cycle on the footpath.”

    This particular data led to changes in the crossing site for children and serves as a positive example of the research’s benefits.

  4. Allowing speed pedelecs on cycle paths does not appear to be less safe

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    Source: News Fietsberaad

    Speed Pedelec owners have been given a choice of riding on roads or cycle paths in a pilot scheme in the Netherlands

    Current laws in the Netherlands stipulate that Speed Pedelecs are not allowed to use cycle paths. However, riders may prefer to use these routes instead of joining a busy or fast road network, or when the cycle path gives a shorter route, or if parents are cycling with their children on the school commute, before continuing to their workplace. The main concern of such use however, would be safety.

    Data on Speed Pedelec speeds was compiled by DTV Consultants, commissioned by Tour de Force. The report was published in February this year and included information on Amersfoort and Rotterdam pilot schemes. Owners were able to apply for an exemption, allowing them to use the cycle paths in dense urban areas. The schemes were simple to create and didn’t cause any confrontation. Although faster than regular bikes, early data also showed no greater number of crashes than with regular cyclists. However, there was not enough data to make any conclusions on whether the cycle path option affects road safety for these users.

    Allowing Speed Pedelec riders to use roadways and cycle paths seems sensible. The high speed of such bikes means they can compete with vehicles on road networks, and appeal over long distances, in hopes of encouraging new users and aiding health and the environment. National agreements and regulations on road use by the Speed Pedelec are advocated for by Tour de Force. Until wider research is completed, they suggest that users in those pilot regions should be given the opportunity to ride on local cycle paths.

    Following completion of the aforementioned pilot schemes, a new, much larger trial is planned in Utrecht.

  5. Call to make ABS brakes mandatory on motorcycles under 125cc

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    Source: ETSC

    Brussels – The European Transport Safety Council is calling for the European Union and European national governments to make Anti-lock Braking Systems (ABS) mandatory on all new motorcycles in a new report on the state of motorcycling safety in Europe. The report also calls for practical test, and a minimum age of 16 for mopeds.

    The report found that 3,891 people died while riding a motorcycle or moped in the EU in 2021, around 90% of whom were men. That figure is 25% lower than a decade earlier but, over the same period, other road deaths fell by a third.

    According to the authors, changes to EU licensing requirements in 2013 may have contributed to the lower number of deaths by creating a series of stages to acquire a full licence for the largest and most powerful motorcycles.

    The minimum recommended age to ride a moped in the EU is now 16 but, in several countries, it is still possible to ride at the age of 14, without passing a practical test. ETSC says a practical test should be mandatory and all countries should apply the recommended minimum age of 16 or higher.

    Among the report’s other recommendations:

    • Mandatory technical inspections should be required for all motorcycles and mopeds, as well as a focus on checking that vehicles haven’t been modified for higher speeds. The European Commission is currently reviewing rules on vehicle inspections, with a proposal expected this year.
    • National governments should develop better enforcement of speed limits applying to motorcyclists in order to allow for the fact that motorcyclists cover their face with helmets so cannot be identified in countries that require identification of the driver/rider when issuing penalties.
    • Enforcement of helmet-wearing should be improved, especially in countries with very low levels of helmet-wearing such as Greece and Cyprus. The EU and national governments could also promote a consumer information scheme on the safety performance of helmets and other protective equipment such as airbag jackets.
    • Manufacturers of cars, vans and lorries should also improve their detection of motorcyclists by safety technologies such as Automated Emergency Braking.
    • Much more attention should be placed on delivery riders who now face a ‘perfect storm’ of risk factors, including distraction from mobile phone-based apps, pressure to make deliveries quickly and while unwell, a lack of protective equipment and little oversight of vehicle condition.

    Jenny Carson, the manager of ETSC’s Road Safety Performance Index programme commented:

    “In recent years motorcyclists have been less of a focus in road safety. But there are several smart and straightforward measures that can be taken to reduce the unacceptable number of deaths every year. Some are obvious such as not allowing children aged 14 to ride motorcycles. Others require a bit of innovation such as ensuring that motorcyclists can be sanctioned for exceeding the speed limit like any other road user.“

    “We also need to pay close attention to growing trends such as the number of young people, mostly men, now delivering hot food in our cities on motorcycles, working under time pressure on poorly maintained vehicles, while being distracted by app-based tools.”

    The full report, “Reducing Road Deaths among Powered Two Wheeler Users”, published as part of the ETSC Road Safety Performance Index programme, can be downloaded from the ETSC website at www.etsc.eu/pinflash44

  6. FEMA highlights dangers of cable barriers

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    Source: FEMA

    One road element present in some countries increases the hazard risk for motorcyclists: cable barriers.

    While banned in some countries, others continue to install cable barriers, otherwise known as wire rope fences. The overriding danger of the installations are the uprights that will catch hold of the motorcyclist in the result of a fall. If the rider is still on the motorcycle when it collides with the barrier, he or she will be led towards the uprights with unfavourable consequences. Compare this to a standard guardrail, designed without protruding parts.

    Those in favour of cable barriers consider them to be beneficial when roads have limited room along the sides and central reservation for other barrier types. FEMA rejects this opinion, arguing that an attempt to better an adverse road design should not consist of elements that can cause harm to a specific group of road users.

    Sweden has long been an advocate of cable barrier installations, but with the high replacement and repair costs that are incurred upon damage, they are beginning to reject their use. Damaged parts are not quick to replace, emergency vehicles are unwillingly kept at bay and none of the designs offer safety to motorcyclists.

    FEMA is responsive to the debates on cable barriers and encourage all those participating to channel their time into researching new and improved infrastructure that offers security and safety to motorcyclists. Objectives such as installing road restraint systems of any type only where there is a risk of collision should be considered, alongside extensive research into collisions of powered two-wheelers (PTWs). New barrier technology and logistics can be introduced to set new standards upon completion of such research, while existing barriers can be retrofitted with Motorcycle Protection Systems (MPS), all of which will pave the way for a safer motorcycling experience.

  7. LEVA-EU member THOR AVAS publishes market research findings on non-commercial vehicles

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    THOR AVAS, innovators of acoustic alerting systems for EVs, have conducted a study into the European electric transport sector, divided into vehicle types and uses.

    The sound of an EV is important to end-users, most notably for safety and personal preference of the noise that they expect their vehicle(s) to make. The survey concentrated on personal use vehicles, omitting commercial and construction vehicles and delivery transportation, instead concentrating on electric cars, scooters, motorcycles and bicycles.

    Safety and personal preference were most important for scooter and bicycle users. Car users, meanwhile, were more resolute that noise was for personal value. Motorcyclists and moped users were less enthusiastic about noise additions, the consensus being that they already had the sound of the high-speed wind. This group of EV users was the smallest, however.

    35 million personal vehicles are observed in Europe, of which 7 million (21%) are electric. As Europe’s 2035 ban on manufacturing new ICE cars nears, this number is continually increasing, amplified by a rise in gas and oil pricing. The data of Thor Avas’s research relates well to the current market. Comprehensive and thought-provoking details can be located here.

  8. Incident data for shared e-scooters published by MMfE

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    Source: Eltis, J. Tewson

    Micro-mobility for Europe (MMfE), the EU association for shared micromobility providers, has released a first-of-its-kind factsheet on incident data.

    The factsheet (accessible here) combines incident data from the association’s six founding members: Bird, Bolt, Dott, Lime, Tier, and Voi. The association shared, “Our goal is to shed light on the debate around shared e-scooters safety by providing data in a transparent manner on the volume, severity of incidents, and their implications on the safety of road users. Ultimately, we hope these insights will help inform conversations and road safety policies in the EU that reduce incident risks for vulnerable road users, such as shared micro-mobility riders, and we are committed to continuing working closely with authorities to do so.

    Key findings, based on 240 million shared e-scooter trips:

    • When comparing 2021 to 2019, the risk of incidents that require medical attention has reduced by 60%.
    • In 2021, 5.1 injuries per million km travelled required medical assistance.
    • Fatality rates on shared e-scooters are thought to be about half those of private e-scooters.
    • Cyclists and shared e-scooter riders have a similar risk of fatal incidents. Shared e-scooter rider fatality risk is 20 times lower than that of moped riders.
    • The fatality risk for shared e-scooter use is 0.015 per 1 million km ridden.

    The factsheet makes a range of recommendations aimed at improving road safety for vulnerable users, including shared e-scooter riders. It is recommended that there is an investment in safe infrastructure; that e-scooter riders are acknowledged as vulnerable road users; that there is further enforcement of traffic rules by local authorities; and that incident reporting standards are harmonised across Europe.

    View the MMfE factsheet in its entirety, here.

  9. Road Safety in The EU

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    Report on EU road safety from Member States’ pre- and post-pandemic key data

    Source: Directorate-General for Mobility and Transport, European Commission

    The European Commission has today published figures on road fatalities for 2022, a year in which approximately 20,600 deaths were reported. Although a 3% increase on 2021 figures, it remains 10% lower than the pre-pandemic 2019. Targets are still in place for the EU and UN who aim to halve the number of road deaths by 2030.

    Member State figures

    Traffic levels have recovered following the pandemic and this is considered an influence in the rise of 2022 road deaths, although they still remain lower than 2019. Having said this, Member States are reporting contrasting figures; Poland and Lithuania recorded a decrease over 30%, and Denmark a 23% decrease. Meanwhile, reported cases from Ireland, Italy, Sweden, France, Spain and the Netherlands have been either stable or have risen, although the data is not yet fully quantified.

    Sweden and Denmark represent the safest roads on which to travel, with fatality rates of 21 and 26 deaths per million respectively. In contrast, Romania and Bulgaria report 86 and 78 per million respectively, considerably more than the EU average of 46 deaths per million. This is largely unchanged from pre-pandemic levels.

    Groups and locations

    According to 2021 data from across the EU, 52% of road traffic fatalities occurred on rural roads, 39% in urban areas and 9% on motorways. Car passengers and drivers accounted for 45% of all road deaths, while pedestrians caught up in fatal accidents totalled 18%. Regarding two-wheeled modes of transport, motorcyclist and moped riders accounted for 19% and cyclists 9%. 78% of reported deaths were men.

    Findings were very different in urban areas, however, where those classed as vulnerable road users – pedestrians, cyclists and rider of powered two-wheelers – accounted for just under 70% of road fatalities. These fatalities largely involved cars and trucks and they serve as an indication that improvement needs to be made to further safeguard vulnerable road users.

    The Member States have welcomed a significant increase in cyclists on EU roads, but with it comes an increase in fatalities, perhaps owing to the lack of well-equipped infrastructure. In France, for example, preliminary 2022 cyclist road death figure show a 30% increase on 2019 statistics, a cause for concern.


    In 2018, the EU set itself a target for a 50% reduction in road deaths and serious injuries by 2023.  This was strategized in the Commission’s Strategic Action Plan on Road Safety and EU road safety policy framework 2021-2030 which also detailed 2050 zero road death objectives.

    Road safety has been significant in recent EU mobility policy initiatives including the Sustainable and Smart Mobility Strategy, the Commission proposal for a revision of the TEN-T regulation and the Urban Mobility Framework

    The EU is at the forefront of the Second Decade of Action for Road Safety, proclaimed by the UN for 2021–2030 in August 2020.

    The Commission will soon present a range of proposals tackling road safety in a quest to make European roads safer still. More information can be found in the 2022 statistics report: Road safety statistics 2022 in more detail

    Final data for the 2022 figures is expected to be made available in autumn 2023. The current figures for most countries are based on preliminary data. Estimates for 2022 are for the entire year and all road types, categorising deaths that occur within 30 days as inclusive.  Germany and Greece (each 11 months), Belgium and Hungary (each 9 months), Spain (rural roads), Netherlands (partial data; also, police-registered fatalities are under-reported by around 10-15%), Portugal (fatalities within 24 hours), Switzerland (6 months) are the exception. There is currently no data for Liechtenstein for 2022.  

    Data for 2022 is compared with three other periods: 2021, 2019 (when the target of 50% fewer deaths was set) and an average number from 2017-19. The percentage changes in the table are based on the absolute number of fatalities, not the rate per million population. 

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