Safety of Vehicles in the European Union

After 10 years from the first introduction of the regulations about General Safety and Pedestrian Safety, the European Union introduces a new one about the General Safety of Motor Vehicles and their Occupiers and safety of vulnerable road users (like pedestrians and riders).

The new rule updates the existing directions of vehicles safety described in the regulation (CE) 661/2009 about the General Safety, in the regulation (CE) 78/2009 about pedestrian safety and in the regulation (CE) 79/2009 about the safety of hydrogen-powered vehicles.

The main purpose is to significantly decrease the number of road deaths.

It has a noble intention, that is to “reduce the number of road accident victims or road fatalities” but, unfortunately, the regulation will come into force in the second half of 2022; that is in about 30 months.

The regulation will make mandatory a series of technical measures and/or driver support for all motor vehicles, from trucks to buses, vans and sports utility vehicles.

Photo by Sandra Foyt

This means that, in approx. 30 months, manufacturers of all the motor vehicles must construct them with the following safety devices to register new vehicles within the UE:

  • Intelligent speed adjustment;
  • Installation interface for alcolock devices;
  • Warning system in case of driver inattention and tiredness;
  • Advanced warning system for driver distraction;
  • Emergency stop signals;
  • Detection system in reverse;
  • Event data recorders;
  • Accurate monitoring of tire pressure.

For cars and vans, in particular, they will be requested these further advanced measures of safety:

  • Advanced emergency braking systems;
  • Lane keeping emergency systems;
  • Wider protection areas related to head impact capable of reducing injuries for vulnerable road users, such as pedestrians and riders, in case of collision.

Furthermore, for trucks and buses, is requested, in addition to what is stated, a design that significantly reduces the indirect vision points around the vehicle with advanced systems which allow the identification of pedestrians and riders within the proximity of the vehicle.

Photo by Francisco Antunes

I’d like to make, as industry employee, some questions to who has developed this regulation:

  1. Has the percentage increase in cost of all these cars been estimated from the middle of 2022, considering they must have all these systems called with the acronym of ADAS (Advance Driver Assistance System)?
  2. Has a potential reduction of percentage for road deaths been estimated with the mandatory introduction of these systems?
  3. It will come into force in the second half of 2022; but in these 30 months what will be done?
  4. Who will be the car accident data manager and how will he ÒthreatÓ them? Will each State need to identify a regulatory authority? Will the authority guarantee of the personal data? Will all vehicles be tracked, even those from the police or the police escort?

In my opinion, the final intent of the regulation is absolutely meritorious, but itÕs not clear the reason why the applicability has been postponed so forward in time (30 months); road fatalities should be reduced immediately even because there arenÕt particular technological devices to be developed, ADAS are safety systems already tested by every car manufacturer.

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