Thursday, October 29

European Council Agrees to Tougher Rules on Vehicle Safety

The EU is introducing legislation which will require various safety features to be included on a range of vehicles with the aim of saving lives on Europe’s roads. The European Council today agreed its position on the new rules which means that negotiations can begin with the European Parliament as soon as it has adopted its position.

Under the proposed regulation, vans and Sport Utility Vehicles (SUVs) will no longer be exempt from various safety features which until now have only been required for ordinary passenger cars. These features include tyre pressure monitoring, intelligent speed assistance, alcohol interlock, driver drowsiness monitoring and emergency stop signals.

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More advanced safety measures will be required for passenger cars and light commercial cars. These include event data recorders, which store data such as the car’s speed or the state of activation of the car’s safety systems before, during and after a collision, and enlarged head impact protection zones capable of mitigating injuries in collisions with vulnerable road users such as pedestrians and cyclists. Specific safety rules will apply to trucks, buses, hydrogen-powered vehicles and automated vehicles.

The full draft can be viewed here. The direct impact on brakes appears limited, although the proposal does include this language regarding passenger cars and light commercial vehicles:

Advanced emergency braking systems and emergency lane-keeping systems shall meet the following requirements in particular:
(a) it shall be possible to switch off systems only one at a time, and only at standstill with the parking brake engaged, by a complex sequence of actions to be carried out by the driver;
(b) the systems shall be in normal operation mode upon each activation of the vehicle master control switch;
(c) it shall be possible to easily suppress audible warnings, but such action shall not at the same time suppress system functions other than audible warnings.

The draft regulation updates existing rules on car safety contained in the General Safety Regulation (EC) 661/2009, the Pedestrian Safety Regulation (EC) 78/2009 and the Hydrogen Safety Regulation (EC) 79/2009.

The Commission will be able to update the technical specifications through delegated acts to take account of future technical developments.

EU statistics show that progress in reducing road fatalities in the EU has stalled in recent years. The proposed regulation aims to limit the number of fatalities and severe injuries due to road accidents. It is part of the third “Europe on the Move” mobility package.

Source: European Council press release, The BRAKE Report

 

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