Safer roads: EU lawmakers agree on life-saving technologies for new vehicles

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This article is brought to you in association with the European Parliament.


Safety features such as intelligent speed assistance and advanced emergency-braking system will have to be installed in new vehicles as from May 2022.

After sealing the deal with the Romanian Presidency of the Council on Monday night, Parliament’s rapporteur Róża Thun (EPP, PL) said: “This legislation is paving the way to save thousands of lives in the coming years. Our focus was always on the safety of road users, especially vulnerable ones. This regulation deals in the most direct sense with life and death. It introduces advanced systems that assist car users, instead of merely informing them. The additional obligatory equipment for cars, trucks and buses will help to save people’s lives”.
Vehicles better equipped to prevent accidents
The new rules will require almost 30 different features or systems to be introduced in new vehicles of different types. The majority of technologies will become obligatory in May 2022 for new models (cars which haven’t been designed yet) and from May 2024 for existing models.
The Intelligent Speed Assistance (ISA) system could reduce fatalities on EU roads by 20%, according to estimates. “ISA will provide a driver with feedback, based on maps and road sign observation, always when speed limit is exceeded. This will not only make all of us safer, but also help drivers to avoid speeding tickets”, Ms Thun said.
The other advanced life-saving systems to be introduced in new vehicles include: automated emergency breaking, advanced driver distraction warning, emergency lane keeping, reversing detection system, alcohol interlock installation facilitation and emergency stop signal.
At Parliament’s request, all vehicles will be equipped with Event Data Recorders, which will store critical crash-related data a few seconds before a crash. They will provide crucial information for accident analysis and for reducing accidents in the future.
Improved crash tests and windscreens
The new rules also improve passive safety requirements, including crash tests (front and side), as well as windscreens to mitigate the severity of injuries for pedestrians and cyclists. Type-approval of tyres will also be improved to test worn tyres.
Trucks and buses safer for cyclists and pedestrians
Trucks and buses will have to be designed and built to make vulnerable road users, such as cyclists and pedestrians, more visible to the driver (so-called “direct vision”). All big vehicles will also be equipped with advanced features, such as pedestrian and cyclist collision warning and blind spot information system. Direct vision technology should be applied as from November 2025.
Next steps
The provisional agreement still needs to be confirmed by member states’ ambassadors (Coreper) and, on 2 April, by the Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee. It will then be put to the full Parliament and the EU Council of Ministers for final approval.

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