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ETSC Alerts Governments to teh danger of weakening Safety regulations

1 January 0001

ETSC, together with a coalition of organisations, has written to all 27 EU Transport Ministers and Industry Ministers expressing concern that vital new EU vehicle safety standards, set to come into force from 2022, could be set for a severe blow.

The European Union agreed last year that all new cars, vans, lorries and buses should be fitted as standard with a range of new vehicle safety technologies, starting in 2022.  The measures are predicted to prevent 25,000 road deaths within fifteen years, according to analysis carried out for the European Commission.

The most important of these new technologies is Intelligent Speed Assistance (ISA), an overridable system that helps drivers keep within the legal speed limit by providing feedback on the accelerator when the limit has been exceeded.

Inappropriate speed is still one of the biggest killers on EU roads. Around a third of fatal collisions involve at least one party driving at an inappropriate speed, with cyclists and pedestrians being particularly susceptible.

But at an expert meeting held online on 9 November to discuss updated draft technical specifications for the ISA system, the European Commission presented a range of possible options for ISA, including a weaker, untested system that would use only a series of audio beeps when the speed limit is reached, rather than direct feedback on the accelerator.   Officials from France, Germany, Italy and Sweden said they supported the proposals; all four countries have significant automotive industries.

TRL, the UK Transport Research Laboratory, which carried out analysis for the European Commission’s original proposals, have estimated that fitting a speed limit information function instead of an ISA system would lead to 1300 extra deaths a year in the EU.

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