EC outlines plans for safer vehicles

12.00 | 20 December 2016 | | 2 comments

The European Commission (EC) has published a list of 19 ‘lifesaving’ safety technologies that could be made mandatory on new vehicles in the next update of EU vehicle safety rules.

Outlined in a report published on 12 December, the technologies include automated emergency braking (AEB), intelligent speed assistance (ISA) and compulsory seat belt reminders for all passengers.

However, the fact that alcohol interlocks, changes to the front end design of lorries and new crash tests are not included, has drawn criticism from the European Transport Safety Council (ETSC).

The report, ‘Improving road safety in the EU’, presents ‘workable and cost-effective’ measures to improve vehicle safety, paying special attention to children and the elderly.

The EC says the introduction of a range of mandatory measures – including electronic stability control, advanced emergency braking and lane departure warning systems – has contributed to an estimated 50,000 fall in the number of fatalities per year on roads across the EU.

The EC adds that the full benefit of these and other technologies can only be accrued if they are used in all vehicles, which is not yet the case.

While welcoming the changes, the ETSC has expressed concerns over the lengthy timescale for introducing the new regulations.

Antonio Avenoso, executive director of the ETSC, said: “These long-overdue changes are a step in the right direction for road safety in Europe.

“But giving the industry 14 years to implement some of the measures is incomprehensible, especially in light of the recent lack of progress in reducing deaths.

“The Commission must look again at the requirements and deadlines before its legal proposal next year."




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    Not only are the time lag and missed opportunities a concern, it’s also worth remembering that at the PACTS conference on the Impact of Brexiteers on Road Safety, Dr Richard Wellings of the Institute of Economic Affairs outlined a Brexiteers vision of vehicle safety post Brexiteers, where vehicles which wouldn’t meet current safety standards can be imported. He sees this as an opportunity to increase mobility among the poor and move people away from motorcycles…

    Strengthening of standards by the EC MAY have no effect at all on future vehicle safety in the UK.

    Saul Jeavons, Cambridgeshire
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    Good for the EC on further developing vehicle safety. The ETSC also does some good work but perhaps it is best to take some of the ETSC comments with a pinch of salt. ETSC is after all ‘only’ an NGO and other voices should also be heard to provide better balance on this EC report.

    Pat, Wales
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