Europe takes a major step forward in vehicle safety on 1 November 2012 as a basket of new safety requirements for new types of motor vehicles comes into force.
Measures, which become mandatory include, safety belt reminders, safety requirements for electric vehicles, easier child seat anchorages (ISOFIX), better protection of passengers against the displacement of luggage in case of the accident and tyre pressure monitoring system.
In addition, cars will be also equipped with gear shift indicators to help drivers save fuel and reduce CO2 emissions. These new features are required under the General Safety Regulation, adopted in 2009. This one regulation replaced more than 50 directives without weakening any safety standard. It thus constitutes a sweeping simplification of European legislation and reduction of regulatory and administrative burden for the vehicle industry.
European Commission Vice President Antonio Tajani, Commissioner for Industry and Entrepreneurship, said, “We are working hard to improve the safety of European drivers, passengers and road users in general. These new measures will substantially increase the level of safety by reducing the likelihood and consequences of accidents. This will be a tangible achievement of the European Union. And let’s not forget that General Safety Regulation also performed one of the most far-reaching simplifications of our legislation by repealing more than 50 Directives and replacing them with just one single Regulation.”
The safety requirements made mandatory for new types of vehicles as of 1 November will have a real impact on the safety of drivers and passengers:
The safety measures mentioned above will become mandatory for new vehicle types (i.e. vehicles which undergo type-approval after 1 November 2012). They will become mandatory for all new vehicles sold on the EU market in 2014.
Significant progress has been achieved in the reduction of road accidents by a combination of measures, tackling the vehicle, the driver and the infrastructure, applied at EU, national and local levels. These results are not yet, however satisfactory. Therefore the Commission has proposed a new target for 2020 of a further reduction of road fatalities in the EU by 50% compared to 2010. The above mentioned measures to improve vehicle safety technology will contribute to achieving this target.