European Parliament Takes Step Towards Safer Vehicles for Cyclists and Pedestrians
BRUSSELS, Belgium – The European Parliament has decided that now is the right time to improve the safety of pedestrians and cyclists in Europe drastically by equipping motor vehicles with up to date technical solutions. The European Cyclists` Federation (ECF) reports that last week the European Parliament Internal Market and Consumer Protection committee (IMCO) has supported a raft of vehicle safety measures in the motor vehicle General Safety Regulations; many having a direct impact on cyclist and pedestrian safety.
In order to be able to sell into the EU single market vehicle manufacturers have to submit their new vehicles to rigorous testing procedures and the General Safety Regulations lays down mandatory safety measures to be included. Members of the European Parliaments’ IMCO Committee voted on a range of new measures to be included in a new General Safety Regulation initially proposed by the European Commission.
ECF welcomed that the Committee included and approved technologies including; an intervening Intelligent Speed Assistance; autonomous emergency braking; improved Direct Vision regulations for lorries; and a cyclists/pedestrian detection system for lorries. It has been estimated that these technologies could save 25,000 lives over the next 15 years.
The IMCO position on this file was finalised last year and a final text will now have to be agreed in negotiations between the Member States (Council), Parliament and Commission, while the European Parliament committee text will also need to be passed in the European Parliament plenary.
Putting safety first
ECF Policy Director Adam Bodor commented on the outcome of the IMCO meeting with “The European Parliament and the European Council have two strong positions to enter trilogue negotiations, with plenty of opportunity for each institution to help improve the final regulation. We urge both institutions to put safety first and come together to forge a final text that will save as many lives as possible, particularly concerning Intelligent Speed Assistance, and lorry safety for cyclists and pedestrians.
“ECF would like to thank especially to MEP Róża Thun for her leadership in bringing together these measures through difficult and technical negotiations, and I urge all involved to now conclude trilogue negotiations if possible before the European election so that these safety measures can be implemented quickly with as short a lead-in time as possible.”