Van, Truck, Trailer, Bus and Coach Aftermarket News in Ireland

Tougher vehicle testing rules to save lives

New road safety regulations coming down the track will set common EU wide minimum standards for vehicle checks.

Vehicle checks are fundamental to road safety. More than five people die on Europe’s roads every day in accidents linked to technical failure. So on April 3, 2014 the European Union adopted new rules to toughen up the testing regime and widen its scope.

The new rules aim to avoid more than 36,000 accidents a year linked to technical failure.

The new directives replace existing EU rules setting minimum standards for vehicle checks which date back to 1977, with only minor updates. Cars, driver behaviour and technology have developed a lot since then.

Moreover, many technical defects with serious implications for safety (such as ABS and Electronic Stability Control) are not even checked under current rules.

The three directives that constitute the roadworthiness package concern

The new directives

Key elements of the new directives include:

  • Improving the quality of vehicle tests by setting common minimum standards for equipment, training of inspectors and assessment of deficiencies.
  • Control of cargo securing during roadside inspections of goods vehicles above 3,5 t.
  • Rendering electronic safety components (such as ABS, ESC and air-bag) subject to mandatory testing.
  • Clamping down on mileage fraud, with registered mileage readings.
  • Compulsory EU wide testing for heavy motorbikes unless a Member State reaches equivalent road safety enhancement by other measures. Motorbike riders are the highest risk group of road users.

In all cases, the directives set common EU wide minimum standards for vehicle checks with Member States free to go further if appropriate.