Swift adoption of the General Safety Regulation could save many lives
The revision of the General Safety Regulation promises an important step towards reaching EU road safety targets and a significant reduction of road casualties. The regulation which is currently being discussed by the European Parliament and the Council would make mandatory a number of safety solutions, such as Intelligent Speed Adaptation (ISA), Advanced Emergency Braking Systems (AEB) or Blind Spot Detection. Whilst some observers liken the revision of the regulation to the mandatory introduction of the safety belt, the legislative procedure is slow and may even be delayed further by the European elections in 2019.
The proposal to revise the General Safety Regulation was adopted by the European Commission in May 2018. According to the impact assessment accompanying the legislation, it is expected that over 16 years the proposed GSR will reduce the number of deaths by 24,794, avoid 140,740 serious injuries, an provide overall net benefit for society of €15.4 bn, considering lives saved and additional costs.
CLEPA urges the timely conclusion of the revision of the General Safety Regulation as the main driver for achieving the EU road safety targets in 2020 and encourages members of the European Parliament and the governments of the Member States to work towards a swift completion of the co-decision procedure within the current legislative period.
However, given the number of incomplete dossiers in the legislative debate, there is a manifest risk, that the revision of the regulation may not be adopted before the end of the legislative period. Especially, a complex negotiation between Parliament and Council may take longer to conclude. The legislative procedure would be taken over by the new European Parliament in the autumn of 2019. The implementation of the regulation would be delayed accordingly.
Last year, several actions were initiated by EU Member states demanding further steps, as indicated in the Valletta Declaration on Road Safety, calling to accelerate the Commission´s work on new vehicle safety standards. Following the Declaration, a letter was sent in February 2017 by eight Ministers of Transport asking for new measures and higher safety standards for cars and trucks to be launched before the end of 2017. Furthermore, in a resolution adopted on 13 November 2017, the European Parliament called as well on the Commission to update vehicle safety regulations “without delay.” With the Commission proposal published, it is now up to the Parliament and Council work towards its timely adoption and implementation. Complementing the regulation, the automotive industry is committed to work towards a common road safety vision. CLEPA co-signed the “Safety Pledge” together with other sector associations ACEA and FIA to achieve zero traffic fatalities by 2050. Both, technologies and traffic education and training will support this vision for 2050.
Automotive suppliers are providing state of the art active and passive safety systems, with many technically and economically mature innovations for all vehicle categories. However, the current EU vehicle safety standards were last updated almost a decade ago. Therefore, CLEPA strongly supports the adoption of the Commission proposal, that will accelerate the introduction of effective and cost-efficient safety measures, which are already available on the market, and would bring tangible benefits to society.
Read more: Position Paper