A host of new safety-related features are due to become mandatory on cars and commercial vehicles from 2022 following a vote by MEPs - with legislation anticipated to also be adopted by the UK after leaving the EU.
A key committee of MEPs has voted through the range of new mandatory vehicle safety standards that could apply to new vehicle models within three years and the UK Government has previously said that it would also adopt similar legislation as it did not want to undermine road safety.
The UK is due to leave the EU on March 29 and Josh Harris, director of campaigns at road safety charity Brake, immediately put pressure on the UK Government, saying: “The government must commit to adopting these new lifesaving regulations into UK law as a matter of priority and help put an end to the epidemic of road death, which sees five people killed on our roads every single day.
“It would be a tragedy if the UK Government allowed the safety of vehicles on our roads to lag behind those in Europe and so it is vital that these ground-breaking European Union standards are maintained, or improved, in the UK, post-Brexit.”
The advanced safety features that the European Parliament’s Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO) Committee says should become mandatory in all vehicles are:
• Intelligent speed assistance
• Alcohol interlock installation facilitation
• A driver drowsiness and attention warning
• An advanced driver distraction warning
• An emergency stop signal
• Reversing detection
• An accident data recorder (also known as a black box)
New cars and vans will also have to be equipped with a mandatory advanced emergency braking (AEB) system and a lane departure warning system, both features are already compulsory for trucks and buses.
The draft law also extends the scope of the currently applicable requirement to fit cars with a tyre pressure monitoring system (TPMS) to all vehicles. The legislation is expected to be approved by the European Parliament prior to May’s European Parliament elections.