A coalition of industry groups and NGOs have called on the UK Government to pledge its support for European Commission plans to improve new vehicle safety standards.
In a joint letter and briefing to Roads Minister Jesse Norman MP, Brake, the Association of Car Fleet Operators, Chartered Institution of Highways and Transportation, European Transport Safety Council, Living Streets, the Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety and RoadPeace say improved minimum vehicle safety standards are needed to reduce deaths and serious injuries on UK roads.
Last year the European Commission published a list of 19 safety technologies which it is considering to make mandatory. In its letter, the group urges the Minister to support these measures and champion continued improvements under UK legislation following Brexit.
The technologies under consideration for new cars include Automated Emergency Braking, Intelligent Speed Assistance (ISA), an overridable system for helping drivers stick to speed limits, as well as updates to crash testing requirements to protect occupants and people outside vehicles. The EC is also considering measures specifically for lorries, to protect people and foot and bicycles, including improvements to lorry drivers’ direct vision (what they can see out their windows).
Vehicle standards were last updated in 2009 and significant advances in vehicle technology, which have taken place since then, "make it prudent to raise the bar and implement further cost effective life-saving safety measures as standard," the group says.
The coalition concludes that improved vehicle safety standards are "crucial to ensure the effective delivery of the 'safe system' approach adopted by Britain, driving towards the ultimate target of zero road deaths and serious injuries."
Brake is a national road safety and sustainable transport charity, founded in 1995, that exists to stop the needless deaths and serious injuries that happen on roads every day, make streets and communities safer for everyone, and care for families bereaved and injured in road crashes. Brake promotes road safety awareness, safe and sustainable road use, and effective road safety policies.
We do this through national campaigns, community education, services for road safety professionals and employers, and by coordinating the UK's flagship road safety event every November, Road Safety Week. Brake is a national, government-funded provider of support to families and individuals devastated by road death and serious injury, including through a helpline and support packs.
Road crashes are not accidents; they are devastating and preventable events, not chance mishaps. Calling them accidents undermines work to make roads safer, and can cause insult to families whose lives have been torn apart by needless casualties.