In a non-binding resolution responding to a report by the European Commission, “Saving Lives: Boosting Car Safety in the EU”, adopted today in Brussels, the committee said “more effective measures” are needed, in order to reach a goal of “no fatalities”.
Mandatory safety standards for new cars sold on the European market have not been updated since 2009. In the last round of updates automated emergency braking became mandatory for new lorries, and electronic stability control and seat belt reminders in the driver’s seat became a requirement for cars.
25,670 people lost their lives on EU roads last year. For every death there are at least a further five serious, life-changing injuries.
The transport committee's resolution calls for new legislation to be proposed by the European Commission no later than the first quarter of next year.
Antonio Avenoso, Executive Director of the European Transport Safety Council commented:
“Improving minimum vehicle safety standards is one of the most effective ways of reducing death and serious injury on our roads. Making these proposed technologies mandatory could have as big an impact on safety as the seat belt. But the latest safety upgrades are long overdue. We welcome the strong position taken today by MEPs on this issue and hope it encourages the European Commission to get on with the job of making these proposals become a reality.”
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.