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Saving lives with safer cars Published on: 12/12/2016

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Today the Commission set out a range of advanced safety measures that could be fitted to vehicles in the future and have the potential to save lives on the roads. These measures will be examined in detail to decide exactly how the vehicles of tomorrow will be made safer.

The report presents workable and cost-effective car safety measures. The main objectives are to decrease the number of road victims and to help prevent accidents. As vulnerable road users, special attention was given to children and the elderly.

In recent years, the EU has introduced a range of mandatory measures which contributed to an estimated reduction of 50,000 fatal traffic casualties per year. Examples include electronic stability control systems on all vehicles, advanced emergency braking systems and lane departure warning systems on trucks and buses.

The full benefit of these safety technologies and of new ones that have become available in the meantime can only be fully gained if they start being used in all vehicles, which is not yet the case.

Today's report features 19 specific vehicle safety measures, that could be considered when reviewing and updating the General Safety Regulation and the Pedestrian Safety Regulation. These measures should become mandatory to increase safety on the roads.

Vehicle manufacturers already use advanced safety technologies that go beyond the mandatory requirements set in existing safety regulations. Considering this, the Commission report invites for a debate on making these technologies mandatory in all vehicles. It's expected that this will contribute to reducing unequal distribution of high and low safety ranked cars within the EU country markets and improve the harmonisation of vehicle safety protection levels across the EU. It's expected that this will put an end to the current segmentation where manufacturers sell the same car model with different safety protection levels in different national markets. This will raise the safety levels to the best available all across the EU.

Next steps: All the safety measures outlined in the Commission report will be followed by an impact assessment that will contain a cost/benefit analysis and will include a public consultation and a stakeholder debate. Depending on the results of the consultations, the Commission will consider the following steps. The Commission will then move forward on the measures that are seen to produce a clear benefit.

Background

The European Parliament and Council have entrusted the Commission under the General Safety Regulation and the Pedestrian Safety Regulation with the obligation to monitor and report on the developments of the existing safety regulations and consider the possible amendments for including enhanced vehicle safety features. In order to fulfil its obligation, the Commission launched a detailed study which provided an overview of 55 candidate measures.

From this list, the Commission made a selection of measures that are both cost effective and feasible and that could be considered for the review of the General Safety and Pedestrian Safety Regulations. Some measures are complementary to existing rules, others introduce new features. 

More info

Report on car safety

Staff working document

Car safety page