Automakers call for ‘rapid adoption’ of European safety legislation

The European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) is calling for governments and policymakers to take heed of incoming changes to European vehicle safety regulations.

An update to the European Union’s General Safety Regulation will be voted on in Brussels on Thursday (February 21st).

New technologies need policy support

Changes to existing safety regulations are set to include a provision that all new vehicles incorporate some form of autonomous emergency braking system. Moreover, the introduction of new ways to monitor driver drowsiness and attention to the road are also to be included.

As a result, the ACEA believes policymakers across Europe must bring to bear their own powers to support these new innovations moving forward. Doing so, the body argues, will help to save countless lives in the coming years.

ACEA secretary general Erik Jonnaert stated: “While we believe in the huge potential of vehicle safety technology, by itself it will never suffice.

“We are therefore calling on policymakers to adopt a truly integrated approach to road safety; combining new vehicle technology with better road infrastructure and safer driver behaviour.”

Mr Jonnaert added that a focus on technologies in vehicle safety which have the potential to provide the greatest impact on fatality statistics is essential. For this reason, the design of cars, roads and all supporting infrastructure should come under scrutiny for areas of possible improvement.

Jenny Smith, general manager for Tele-Gence, commented: “Vehicle safety should always be a top priority for manufacturers, motorists and governments alike. Supporting the use of new technologies in this area should therefore be a simple sell to policymakers.”

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Road to zero carbon ‘must not be blocked’

The UK’s policymakers have been warned of the dangerous consequences of a failure to properly support the fleet sector in its efforts to reduce carbon emissions through a fair tax regime.

Ongoing support for fleets is needed

According to the British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Agency (BVRLA), the introduction of the incoming Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP) means it is essential to have a supportive tax regime that reflects the efforts of the fleet sector to minimise its level of emissions.

In order to achieve this, the BVRLA is calling for:

  • Adjustment in future vehicle excise duty (VED) and company car tax bands for 2020 and beyond to account for the increase in WLTP-based CO2 figures
  • Guarantees that all CO2-related taxes and charges are treated consistently under WLTP
  • A four/five-year view of future company car tax and VED bands, enabling fleets and drivers to plan their vehicle choices
  • Freezing the rates for all pre-April 2020 legacy vehicles at the 2018/19 level

Transparency is key

BVRLA chief executive Gerry Keaney stated: “Most policymakers recognise the vital part that these fleets will play in delivering the government’s flagship Road to Zero and Industrial Strategy.

“We need HM Treasury to acknowledge and support the fleet sector’s role by providing a fair, consistent and well-signposted tax regime.”

He added that what is most needed now is an element of transparency from the government, with WLTP not used as an excuse to “boost Treasury coffers”.

Jenny Smith, general manager for Tele-Gence, commented: “Policymakers need to ensure a fair level of support for fleet providers or run the risk of undermining their own efforts to tackle the carbon crisis. Helping to give clarity on future rates and duties will be a benefit for all.”

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AWPR/B-T update: New road layout to open on A90

Drivers travelling between Craibstone and Parkhill in Aberdeenshire will benefit from a new road layout and reduction in congestion in the months and years to come.

Delivered as part of Transport Scotland’s ongoing Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route/Balmedie to Tipperty (AWPR/B-T) project, the latest section of the A90 to undergo a transformation is set to open to all road users on Tuesday (February 19th).

New layouts to get used to

In total, a 4.5-mile stretch of new road will link the southern route out of Craibstone to Stonehaven and the Charleston section with Parkhill.

Meanwhile, other upgrades to the route will see the permanent closure of the A90 junction with the A96, as well as the opening of a new connection to the C89C Chapel of Stoneywood to Craibstone Junction.

Safer roads and less congestion

Douglas Laird, project manager for the AWPR/B-T scheme at Transport Scotland, said: “This new section of road between Craibstone and Parkhill will bring a range of benefits to road users, including reduced congestion, improved journey time reliability and enhanced safety.

“However, we would like to remind road users to drive with caution for their own safety and to consider the safety of other road users as there are a number of changes to the road layout to become accustomed to.”

Mr Laird went on to state there will likely be a degree of uncertainty for many road users over the coming weeks and months, but the impact of these changes will be felt in the area for years to come.

Ellie Baker, brand manager at FCS Scotland, adds: “Further improvements continue to come online as part of the ongoing AWPR/B-T project, with members of the local community benefiting from safer, less-congested roads. All in all, this is great news for drivers and the area as a whole.”

Intelligent speed assistance ‘could save countless lives’

The introduction of new automatic intelligent speed assistance (ISA) technology in vehicles as standard in the coming years could help to save countless lives on Europe’s roads, road safety organisation GEM Motoring Assist has claimed.

Speed a factor in one-third of deaths

Following the publication of new figures on road safety by the European Transport Safety Council, GEM has highlighted the fact that on urban and rural roads where the majority of fatalities occur,  was shown to be a factor in one-third of all road deaths.

As a result, GEM is championing the mandatory introduction of ISA technology for all new vehicles by 2022, with the body claiming that to do so could see a reduction in the number of fatalities across Europe by up to 20 per cent.

ISA a potential game-changer

Highlighting the UK’s future need for this technology, GEM road safety officer Neil Worth commented: “Whatever Brexit arrangement is finally decided, we have the commitment from prime minister Theresa May that ‘UK and EU regulatory standards will remain substantially similar in the future’.”

As a result, he argued that “this matters every bit as much to a safer future on the roads of the UK as to any other country”.

Ellie Baker, brand manager at Fuel Card Services, comments: “A future where speeding and the devastating consequences of this behaviour is taken out of the hands of the driver and is automatically eliminated by assistive technologies is one we can all hope to see.”

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Fall in love with your job in February

February is one of those months when love is inevitably in the air, with Valentine’s Day having taken place in recent days, meaning now could be the perfect time for people to think about finding not just their perfect partner, but also their dream job.

So, in homage to Valentine’s Day and the joy of sharing a perfect union, here we look at three of the key things people should consider when “umming” and “ahhing” about what their their dream role should have to offer:

Can you be passionate about it?

There’s an old saying that ‘if you do something you love, you’ll never work a day in your life’. This remains as true today as it ever was. Indeed, turning a passion into a profession can be extremely rewarding. However, you have to be careful not to overdo it, which can easily lead to burnout and see that passion become something not enjoyable at all.

Are you sufficiently challenged?

Boredom can be a killer in any job, but so too can excessive demand. For that reason, it’s important to achieve the right balance between being challenged in your role and not being sufficiently stretched. You should always aim to be busy, but not so much that it has an adverse impact on other parts of your life.

Do you enjoy the culture?

With the amount of time people spend at work, it’s important that the culture of a business is one that you enjoy being part of. This means getting on well with colleagues and working in a supportive, positive atmosphere. However, it should also prompt you to ask themselves some fundamental questions:

  • What matters most to me and will this company help me to achieve that aim?
  • Does what I’m doing make a difference in the world, and is that important to me?
  • Does the business match with my own personal values?

In the end, everyone’s perfect job will be something different. However, knowing what to look for can be half the challenge when seeking your ideal role. We hope we’ve provided some food for thought!

Fuel Card Services believes in looking after its employees, which includes a good work-life balance – find out more about a career with us at