New road safety technologies will be mandatory in 2022

New safety technologies to reduce road accidents, such as driver warnings in the event of drowsiness, will be mandatory from 2022 on European Union (EU) vehicles, the European Commission said today.

The EU institutions reached an interim political agreement on the revised general safety regulation and from 2022 onwards European vehicles will be required to use new safety technologies to protect passengers, pedestrians and cyclists.

The political agreement reached by the European Parliament, the EU Council and the Commission in the framework of the trialogue negotiations will have to be formally validated by MEPs and the Member States.

According to a statement, new technologies available on the market can help reduce the number of road deaths and injuries, 90% of which are due to human error.

In May 2018, the European Commission proposed to make certain of these vehicle safety measures mandatory, including systems that reduce the blind spot on lorries and buses and warn the driver in case of drowsiness or distraction.

For cars, light commercial vehicles, lorries and buses, drowsiness and distraction control devices (eg when using a mobile phone while driving) are required, intelligent speed adjustment, reverse safety control through cameras or sensors and record of data in case of an accident (black box).

For passenger cars and light commercial vehicles, there will be a requirement to dismantle lane departure systems, advanced emergency braking systems and safety belts with greater collision resistance.

In the case of lorries and buses, specific requirements to improve the direct view of drivers and to reduce dead angles and to install systems at the front and sides of the vehicle must be met to detect and alert the presence of vulnerable road users, making heavy vehicles safer.

Brussels hopes that by 2038 the proposed measures will help save more than 25 000 lives and prevent at least 140 000 serious injuries, contributing to the EU’s long-term objective of practically eliminating the number of fatalities and serious injuries by 2050 ( ‘Vision Zero’).

In addition to protecting users on European roads, the new advanced safety features will help drivers gradually become accustomed to new driving aids.

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