European Parliament demands higher safety standards for new cars, vans and lorries

The European Commission is expected to publish its final legal proposals for revised vehicle safety standards by March next year. Those plans would then need to be approved by EU member states and the Parliament. Mandatory safety standards for new cars sold on the European market have not been updated since 2009.

The European Parliament’s report backs a range of new safety measures for cars and vans, as well as new requirements for lorries including direct vision requirements to improve visibility of pedestrians and cyclists, particularly in urban areas.

Polis in cooperation with Eurocities, ETSC and T&E have been calling to include the direct vision requirements for Heavy Duty Vehicles in the upcoming revision of the General Safety and Pedestrian Safety Regulations and a joint letter has been sent to the European Commission. A city letter on the matter is currently in preparation in cooperation with T&E, which has already been signed by Amsterdam, Barcelona, Bologna, Brussels, Copenhagen, Dublin, London and Rotterdam.

Carmakers in the United States have voluntarily agreed to fit automated emergency braking as standard by 2022, the feature is already offered either as an option or as standard on many vehicles in Europe. ETSC is calling for systems that can detect vulnerable road users such as cyclists and pedestrians to be fitted. Intelligent Speed Assistance, an overridable technology that helps drivers keep to the current speed limit is already offered by several manufacturers in Europe including Ford, Honda, Mercedes-Benz, Peugeot-Citroen, Renault and Volvo.

Presenting the European Commission’s future plans to MEPs last night in Strasbourg, the Commissioner for Transport Violeta Bulc called Intelligent Speed Assistance a “ground-breaking” technology and said, “the EU will absolutely be at the front run of car safety when these safety measures are put into effect”.

ETSC's short briefing on new vehicle safety standards:

Source: European Transport Safety Council (ETSC)