The European Parliament has approved proposed regulation to integrate road safety technology solutions in new vehicles.
From May 2022, new vehicles produced in the EU must come equipped with a range of technological systems designed to prevent road accidents. Róża Thun, who steered the proposed legislation through Parliament, said: “This law 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. The additional obligatory equipment for cars, trucks and buses will help to save people’s lives.”
All new vehicles manufactured in the EU once the legislation comes into force must include the following additional road safety technology systems:
- Facilitated installation of alcohol interlock devices, which prevent a driver from using a vehicle if they have consumed more than the legal limit of alcohol;
- Drowsiness and attention warning systems, which can detect when a driver’s attention drifts away from the road and alert them;
- Driver distraction warning systems;
- Emergency stop signals, which flash the brake or hazard lights when the driver initiates an emergency stop;
- Software which detects when a vehicle is reversing and identifies nearby obstacles and hazards;
- Event data recorders or “black box” systems; and
- Intelligent speed assistance (ISA), which automatically detects the speed limit on a road and warns the driver if they accelerate over the limit.
Data estimates suggest widespread implementation of ISA systems alone could reduce road fatalities by up to 20 per cent. Ms Thun said: “ISA will provide a driver with feedback, based on maps and road sign observation, always when the speed limit is exceeded. We do not introduce a speed limiter, but an intelligent system that will make drivers fully aware when they are speeding. This will not only make all of us safer, but also help drivers to avoid speeding tickets.”
The European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) has launched an initiative to raise drivers’ awareness of the road safety technology options already available to them through a new website, www.roadsafetyfacts.eu. ACEA Secretary General Erik Jonnaert said: “Today, cars already come equipped with a wide range of safety measures. A key concern of ours is that many drivers are simply not aware of these existing technologies – let alone the many new safety features that will be fitted in all new passenger cars in just a few years’ time.”