ROAD SAFETY: New EU Vehicle Safety Laws Will Save Lives Spain News

All new European vehicles will be need to be equipped with advanced safety technologies to protect passengers, pedestrians and cyclists by 2022 under a new EU safety regulations.

The new regulations were announced after EU institutions reached a provisional political agreement on the revised General Security Regulation which aims to reduce the number of deaths on European roads.

As around 90% of all accidents are the result of human error, it is believed that by fitting all new vehicles with safety technologies, that the numbers can be dramatically reduced as was the case when the wearing of seatbelts was made compulsory around the world.

The European Commission proposed the introduction of such technology in May 2018 including systems that reduce dangerous blind spots or warn a driver when drowsy or distracted. Advanced safety technology will help to reduce the number of fatalities and at the same time help to increase the competitiveness of the European automotive industry.

Commissioner Elżbieta Bieńkowska said, "Every year, 25,000 people lose their lives on our roads. The vast majority of these accidents are due to human errors. We can and must act to reverse this situation. With the obligatory nature of the new advanced safety devices, we can achieve the same type of results as when the safety belt was first introduced. Many of the new elements already exist, particularly in high-end vehicles. We are now increasing the level of security in all areas and paving the way for the connected and automated mobility of the future."

  • Cars, vans, trucks and buses: warning of drowsiness and driver distraction (for example, use of the mobile phone while driving), intelligent speed assistants, safe backing thanks to cameras or sensors and data logger in case of accident (black box).
  • For cars and vans: assistance in case of leaving the lane, advanced emergency braking and improved safety belts thanks to collision tests.
  • For trucks and buses: specific requirements to improve the direct vision of bus and truck drivers and eliminate blind spots, and systems located at the front and on the side of the vehicle to detect and warn vulnerable road users , especially when making turns.

You can view a full list of the safety devices here

It is hoped that the new measures will help save more than 25,000 lives and prevent at least 140,000 serious injuries by 2038. This will contribute to the EU's long-term goal of approaching zero fatalities and serious injuries from here to 2050.

The agreement which was reached by the EU Parliament, the Commission and the European Council will now depend on the approval of the European Parliament and Council. Once passed, the new safety devices would become mandatory on all new vehicles from 2022.

It is hoped the new technologies will at the same time encourage drivers to embrace assisted driving and increase their confidence in automated vehicles and the advancement towards more autonomous driving.