EU Member States have “dealt a blow to plans to allow lorry makers to sell safer vehicles”, according to the European Transport Safety Council (ETSC).
The ETSC says that EC proposals to enable manufacturers to make changes to lorry cabs that improve visibility and reduce the impact of crashes are to be delayed by eight years.
The position of transport ministers is at odds with the European Parliament, which said in April that safer cab designs should be permitted with no delay, according to the ETSC.
Antonio Avenoso, Executive Director of the ETSC, said: “Putting the brakes on vehicle safety innovation is just a bad idea.
“In the past, we have seen technologies such as better pedestrian protection and anti-lock braking systems be put on vehicles long before they were made legal requirements.
“The public wants to see safer lorries available as soon as possible; we hope MEPs will fight to get rid of this delay when negotiations begin on a final deal."
According to ETSC data, around 4,300 people died in collisions involving lorries in 2011. A study carried out for the European Commission estimates that as many as 500 lives could be saved every year if the cabs were made safer.