Our latest round-up of road safety news from across Europe – courtesy of TISPOL – includes news of a major capital city reporting zero pedestrian, child or cyclist deaths in 2019.
The notable feat has been achieved by Oslo, where officials say the city has taken ‘big steps’ in recent decades to improve the safety of vulnerable road users – including banning cars from some streets, so only pedestrians and cyclists can use them.
Christoffer Solstad Steen, Norway’s road safety council, said: “When you reduce the number of cars that are driving in the city centre, you reduce the risk of collisions between cars, and other heavy vehicles, with pedestrians and bikers.”
In total, Oslo recorded one road death in 2019 – when a driver ran his car into a fence – a decline from five traffic fatalities in 2018.
France: first region brings back higher speed limits
Meanwhile in France, a first local authority has taken the decision to revert back to a 90km/h speed limit on country roads.
In July 2018, the maximum speed dropped from 90km/h (56mph) to 80km/h (50mph) on the country’s 400,000 kilometre of secondary roads which do not have a central partition.
However, the move proved deeply controversial and led to the gilets jaunes protest movement.
Eighteen months later, the region of Haute-Marne in eastern France has become the first switch back to a 90km/h limit.
New signs have been put up, alongside warnings to drivers reading: “For your safety, respect the speed limit” (Pour votre sécurité, respectez la vitesse).
Germany: harsher penalties for parking offences
Drivers who commit parking offences in Germany now face the prospect of stronger penalties.
In November 2019, the German government passed a new catalogue of fines, which have now come into force.
Offences which carry greater fines include obscuring ambulance and rescue teams (€320) and parking on a footpath or cyclepath (€100).
Elsewhere, people who use a mobile phone to film or photograph victims of road collisions can now be fined, or in extreme circumstances, face imprisonment of up to two years.