Parliament formally adopts important update of vehicle safety standards
The European Parliament today adopted the revision of the General Safety Regulation (GSR) during its final plenary session. The GSR will make mandatory a set of safety measures for vehicles over the coming years. The agreement should soon be approved by the Council, paving the way to a quick implementation of life-saving technologies. The Parliament will also vote tomorrow on the implementation of Cooperative Intelligent Transport Systems (C-ITS), another important text for road safety.
“Today’s vote is excellent news. The EU demonstrates a strong commitment towards improving safety on Europe’s roads. After essential technologies such as seatbelts and airbags, the GSR will represent the next big leap, with solutions that help avoiding accidents in the first place,” said Sigrid de Vries, Secretary General of CLEPA, the association of automotive suppliers. The Parliament supports all the safety technologies put forward by the European Commission in its legislative proposal. “We salute that the Parliament decided to move the final vote ahead of the elections, allowing for a swift implementation,” added de Vries.
Automotive suppliers are providing active and passive safety systems with technically and economically mature innovations for all vehicle categories. However, the current EU vehicle safety standards were last updated almost a decade ago. The agreement confirmed the inclusion into the revised Regulation of all proposed technologies, including tyre-pressure monitoring systems, intelligent speed assistance, accident data recorders, and direct vision standards for trucks, which will be progressively made mandatory for new vehicles over several years.
According to the impact assessment accompanying the proposed legislation, over 16 years, the revised GSR is expected to reduce the number of road casualties by 24,794, avoid 140,740 serious injuries, and provide an overall net benefit for society of €15.4 bn, considering lives saved and additional costs. The Regulation will accelerate the deployment of effective and cost-efficient safety measures, which are already available on the market, and will boost the competitiveness and global leadership of the European automotive industry in this sector. De Vries: “Most safety systems are developed and supplied in Europe. New safety requirements will therefore push forward European research and innovation, contributing to generate growth, jobs, and investment in the EU. They will also pave the way towards connected and automated driving, by increasing the market penetration of technologies that will be required for automated vehicles in the future.”
The next milestone for road safety: the C-ITS Directive
In addition, the European Parliament will decide tomorrow on another essential piece of legislation paving the way towards connected and automated driving, which could also have an important impact on road safety. MEPs are considering whether to reject a delegated act related to the Directive on Cooperative Intelligent Transport Systems (C-ITS). The delegated act allows for the immediate deployment of applications and systems based on the internationally recognised ITS-G5 standard, a mature technology tested in large fleets and infrastructure projects. Many of its applications are related to safety, and could significantly improve upon the GSR’s mandatory technologies. For example, emergency braking and intelligent speed assistance would greatly benefit from connectivity. Rejecting the delegated act may lead to an implementation delay of two to three years at minimum, according to the European Commission. “CLEPA encourages MEPS to vote against the resolution rejecting the delegated act and in favour of a pragmatic approach to technological progress,” said de Vries.
The Council of the European Union is now expected to formally adopt the GSR soon. Member States already confirmed their support for the text at COREPER level on 29 March.
In: CLEPA News, Safety