European Interest

European Parliament: More life-saving technology to be mandatory in vehicles


Safety features such as intelligent speed assistance, advanced emergency-braking system and emergency stop signal will have to be installed in new vehicles.

In a drive to reduce the number of fatalities and injuries on EU roads, Internal Market Committee MEPs approved on Thursday a set of rules to make several advanced safety features standard equipment in different categories of vehicles sold in the EU market. The proposal adapts the current rules to the changes in mobility behaviour resulting from societal trends (e.g. more cyclists and pedestrians, an aging society) and technological developments.

The advanced safety features which will become mandatory in all vehicles are:

  • intelligent speed assistance;
  • alcohol interlock installation facilitation (i.e. a standardised interface facilitating aftermarket alcohol interlock devices being fitted in vehicles);
  • driver drowsiness and attention warning;
  • advanced driver distraction warning;
  • emergency stop signal;
  • reversing detection;
  • accident data recorder, added by MEPs (under the Commission proposal only cars and vans would have to be equipped with it).

An advanced emergency-braking system and a lane-departure warning system, both of which are already compulsory for trucks and buses under the current General Vehicle Safety Regulation, will be required for new passenger cars and light commercial vehicles as well.

The draft law extends the scope of the currently applicable requirement to fit passenger cars with a tyre pressure monitoring system to cover all vehicle categories. Vans and SUVs will, in addition, no longer be exempt from various safety features which until now have only been required for ordinary passenger cars.

Cars, vans, trucks and buses will have to be equipped with advanced safety features

Manufacturers must ensure that these systems and features are developed in such a way so as to ensure that users accept them and that motor vehicles’ user instructions contain clear and comprehensive information on how they function, MEPs stress. The Internal Market Committee also included requirements to protect vehicles against cyberattacks.

MEPs amended the proposal to make sure that accident data recorders operate on a “closed loop system”, whereby the data stored is overwritten, and which does not allow the vehicle or driver to be identified (data collected will be anonymised).

Specific requirements for trucks and buses

Trucks and buses must be designed and built to make vulnerable road users, such as cyclists and pedestrians, more visible to the driver (so-called “direct vision”). According to MEPs, “this requirement shall remove the blind spots in front of the driver’s seat and significantly reduce the blind spots through the side windows”. Specificities of different types of vehicles must be taken into account, they add.

For hydrogen-powered vehicles, the new requirements relate mainly to the standards for materials and components used in these vehicles, as well as to test procedures.

Automated vehicles

The proposed measures also pave the way to automated vehicles (where driver intervention is still expected or required) and fully automated vehicles (without any human supervision). Making advanced safety features mandatory for vehicles should help drivers to gradually get accustomed to the new features and should enhance public trust and acceptance in the transition toward autonomous driving.

The amended proposal was approved in committee by 33 votes to two, with no abstentions. The mandate to start negotiations with Council, endorsed by 31 votes to three, with no abstentions, is due to get the full House’s green light in the 11-14 March plenary session.

The implementation dates for the different safety requirements are specified in Annex II of the proposed regulation, which was also amended by MEPs to speed up their application.

Vulnerable road users, such as cyclists and pedestrians, to be better protected

Once approved, this legislation will replace the current General Vehicle Safety Regulation, the Pedestrian Protection Regulation and the Hydrogen-Powered Motor Vehicles Regulation.

EPP: New rules to save lives on EU roads

Members of the European Parliament’s Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee today endorsed a Report by EPP Group Member Róża Thun that proposes a variety of safety measures in different types of vehicles sold on the EU market.

“Our focus is the safety of road users, especially unprotected ones. This Regulation deals in the most direct sense with life and death”, said Róża Thun.

“Safety of road users, especially unprotected ones, is our focus. This regulation deals in the most direct sense with life and death. We concentrated all our efforts on saving lives and mitigating injuries. The additional obligatory equipment for cars, trucks and buses will save human lives. I am very proud of the European Parliament; despite all our differences, the members supported this ambitious proposal,” she added.

In the near future, cars must be equipped with more life-saving technology. “The new rules propose that every car will have important safety features such as tyre pressure monitoring systems, speed assistance, an emergency braking system and an emergency stop signal. This is all for the better protection of people in traffic”, stressed the Rapporteur.

“The EPP Group has always supported innovation and these new rules are definitely a step towards the future, as they pave the way for the development of fully automated cars”, concluded Thun.

ECR: New rules to protect drivers, cyclists and pedestrians

ECR MEPs have voted today to introduce new requirements for cars and trucks to improve safety on our roads.

Daniel Dalton, who has followed the proposals for the ECR Group, has also secured support for measures to improve external visibility in truck cabs, in order to help prevent collisions with cyclists and pedestrians. This is a particular problem in towns and cities across Europe and the ECR’s proposals will bring vision improvements onto the market sooner, helping to save lives.

300 people died on EU roads in 2017 and 135.000 were seriously injured

Collisions between cyclists and trucks represent a significant proportion of the fatalities on ours roads. Given that together they only make up a small proportion of road users it has become an increasingly worrying trend and policy makers have now decided to act.

“There are clear safety issues with truck design which cause very significant blind spots.” Said Dalton, speaking after today’s vote. Under the  proposals glass doors, bigger windows and a lower driver position will be mandated for all trucks above a certain size.”

“It’s clear cut – the sooner these design changes become mandatory, the fewer people will die needlessly on our roads,” Dalton concluded.

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